Having to stay at home during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic means we’re more likely to be less active. Although it’s still okay to go outside, having to keep 2 metres apart from other people makes it harder to get exercise while social distancing.
There are lots of ways to exercise at home. You just need to find the right activity or exercise routine for you.
How to start exercising at home
Starting an exercise routine at home is about forming habits and setting goals for yourself. It’s important not to try to do too much at once. You don’t need to have exercise equipment to get fit, there are lots of things you can start doing straight away.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to working out at home.
Set exercise goals
Set goals for yourself to help keep you focused and work towards something. Start small and build up from there. For example, you might start with some gentle yoga in the mornings, and work your way up to more intense workouts as the weeks go on.
Find the right time
If you have some flexibility in your day, then try working out at different times to find what suits you best. Some people prefer exercising first thing in the morning, while others like to break up their day by exercising at lunch. You can also use a workout as a way to end your day of working or studying at home, before you settle in for the evening. The best time to work out is the one that fits with your schedule, so try experimenting.
Find an exercise you like
If you don’t like exercising, you’re not alone. It can be hard to motivate yourself to work out if you don’t find it enjoyable. However, there are lots of different ways you can keep it, it’s just a matter of finding the exercise that you like to do. Try different things and do your best to stick with it. Exercising is great for your physical health, but it can also help to lift your mood and improve your mental health too. Find a list of exercise ideas that you can do at home below and try some of them out.
Exercises you can do at home
Here are some easy exercises you can try to help you get into a routine at home:
Yoga is a great way to stretch the body and look after your mind. Depending on the type of yoga you do, you can go for something slower and more relaxing, or you can go for a workout. There are lots of yoga classes available for free on YouTube – just make sure to follow the instructions, and come out of the posture if you’re experiencing any pain.
Pilates is a form of exercise that concentrates on strengthening the core muscles in the body. Using a series of moves and postures, the exercises work the abdominal muscles to help you improve your posture and build strength, and it also helps to increase flexibility. Pilates helps to give you a full-body workout.
You can find pilates videos online, but since the instructor won’t be there to keep an eye on your posture and form, it’s important to try and follow the instructions as closely as you can, and stop if you have any pain.
Find out about the difference between yoga and pilates if you’re trying to decide what’s best for you.
Dancing is a great way to release energy, get exercise, and have fun at the same time. There are different types of dance classes that you can find online, or you can simply turn on some music and dance by yourself or with other people in your house.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are short workouts that usually last no longer than 30 minutes. HIIT training involves short busts of high-energy exercises, followed by short breaks. This is usually 15-30 seconds of an exercise, followed by 60 seconds of rest. Although the workout only lasts for 30 minutes, it is still intense, so make sure you know what your body can handle before you attempt HIIT, especially on your own.
You can find HIIT training videos on YouTube. If you’re new to HIIT look for beginner resources, such as this video from The Body Coach, and make sure to follow the instructions carefully, as the instructor will not be there to correct your posture.
If you happen to have a hula hoop in your house, it can be a fun way to get exercise. It’s great for building strength, improving coordination, and working on your concentration. You can move the hoop around your waist, arms, legs, and between different parts of your body. There are even videos online that give you routines to try.
Exercises you can do sitting down
If you have limited mobility or you have less energy, there are exercises you can do in a chair or on the floor that still let you work certain parts of the body. This can include stretching, lifting weights (or water bottles), and even cardio. Find some exercises to try here.
Exercising outside while social distancing
If you are feeling well and are able to get out for some fresh air, then you could go for a walk, a run, or a cycle. However, it is really important that you keep your distance from other people and try not to be out for too long. If you go to a park or a beach and you’re finding it too hard to keep 2 metres away from other people, it is a good idea to leave and find somewhere else to go.