Exercise you can do while self-isolating

If you want to move around a bit while self-isolating, here are some exercises you can try

Written by spunout


If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or you have received a positive test result, you will need to self-isolate for a number of days.

If you are feeling unwell, you might only have the energy to lie down and sleep or watch netflix most of the time. However, others might be experiencing only mild symptoms, or you might not have any symptoms at all.

If this is the case, you might be getting tired of sitting around for most of the day and want to move around a bit. It’s important not to push yourself too hard – even if your symptoms are mild, your body is still fighting off an infection, so you won’t be able to do as much as you usually would.

Exercises you can do while self-isolating with COVID-19

It can be good to get a little movement in each day while you’re isolating, so long as you don’t push yourself too hard. Listen to your body, and take rests when you need to.

Since you’re self-isolating, you will need to do your exercise in your room. We’ve tried to provide ideas that will suit anybody, even if they have limited space. Do what works best for you, and adapt your workout if you need to.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to working out while self-isolating.

Exercises you can do sitting down

If you have limited mobility or if you have less energy because of your COVID-19 symptoms, 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 sitting down exercises to try here.


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. Since you’re alone, you can dance however you like knowing no one else can see you!

Hula hooping

If you happen to have a hula hoop in your house, and you have the space in your room, 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.

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. 

Remember, you may not have as much energy as usual, so only do high-intensity training if you are feeling up for it, and stop if you find it’s too much for you right now. You can focus on gentle exercises instead until you get your full energy back.

Can I exercise outside?

If you are self-isolating with COVID-19, you should not go outside unless you have a private outdoor space where there are no other people. You could use this space to stretch your legs and move around a bit. If you don’t have an outdoor space where you can be completely by yourself, then there’s plenty you could do in your room.

Do not go to any public places like parks or gyms if you are supposed to be self-isolating. This puts others at risk of catching COVID-19.

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