To stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, most gyms, fitness classes, and athletic facilities are closed. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up one your fitness goals! Whether you have a fancy home gym or a studio apartment with no workout equipment, you can still get exercise. In fact, regularly exercising will not only help you to maintain your fitness, it can significantly reduce anxiety and improve your mental health. If there were ever a time to dedicate some time to your physical and mental well-being, it’s now. The following tips will help you to find the motivation and ideas to stay fit at home for as long as the quarantine lasts.
It may feel hard to set goals if your road race was canceled or you can no longer use a bench press, but goals can still help to motivate your at-home fitness. Weight loss or muscle building can be great goals, but think about smaller goals too. Maybe you want to learn a new yoga post, reach a personal max of push-ups, or ace a kickboxing routine. Think of a new goal (or a few!) that will push you to keep working.
Create a Workout Space
Whether you have the space for a home gym or you’re simply working out in a corner of your living room, it helps to have a dedicated space set aside for your workout. Even if you can’t create a permanent gym area, take the time before each workout to organize your space and make sure you won’t run into anything (or anyone) in the middle of your workout
Embrace Body Weight Exercises
Being at home means there’s no better time to perfect body weight exercises. Just because these techniques don’t use massive weights doesn’t mean they’re not intense. For the lower body, try air squats, lunges, bridges, and calf raises. For the upper body and core, try planks, mountain climbers, crunches, Russian twists, leg lifts, push-ups. and triceps dips. And if you want to add in some cardio intensity, try the exercise everyone loves to hate: burpees!
Consider Innovative Equipment
Free weights are a great piece of home gym equipment. But if you’re looking to try something new, there are some great and affordable options for creative workouts. Resistance bands can add intensity to a range of workouts and are especially great for glute exercises. Gliding disks let you slide your feet or hands along the floor – perfect for lunges, mountain climbers, and a range of other exercises.
Don’t Forget the Warm-up and Cool-down
Working out at home may mean losing touch with your usual workout routine, but don’t forget to incorporate a warm-up and cool-down. A 5-minute cardio workout will get your body warmed up before doing any strenuous strength workouts, and 5-10 minutes of stretching will help your post-workout recovery.
Try Something New
Seeing as our routines are changing anyway, it’s a good time to try something new. There are thousands of free workouts available on YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this list of video workouts from Women’s Health (great no matter your gender), including yoga, strength, HIIT, dance workouts, and more.