How to exercise at home

  • 15th Apr 20
How to exercise at home

Working out but staying in has never been so vital with the onslaught of the Coronavirus pandemic. To get through the next few weeks and months, it is vital to maintain your health, which includes eating well and exercising. With more and more restrictions placed on our daily life, it seems the safest way to exercise is to do it at home.

For the fitness fanatics

If you are looking for that cardio hit but have limited space, it is still possible to get a good anaerobic fitness session in to get your heart pumping. Turn your home into a gym with different rooms for different activities. Don’t walk to your bedroom, turn it into lunges instead. You don’t need specialised gym equipment either, chair dips will tone up your arms and get your heart pumping, water bottles or tins can act as weights and turn up the music and do an intense dance class, no experience needed, just keep moving. If you are missing the motivation of being pushed by a trainer, a lot of the big gyms, such as Les Mills, are offering a free trial to try online classes, where you can follow a specific programme for your fitness levels and goals. If you really want to push yourself, Barry’s UK is bringing its intense sessions to Instagram live. Even if you don’t have a stationary bike, Peloton has a number of different classes that focus on strength and stamina.

Free YouTube online workouts: Fitness Blender

For the kids

Being cooped up at home for children with excess energy to burn is going to be pretty miserable for all involved. Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, has come to the rescue and has proclaimed himself the nation’s PE teacher. PE With Joe is a live PE session on YouTube for children off school during the Coronavirus outbreak, every week day at 9am. The home-based workouts are aimed at keeping kids active while they are not at school and his first session attracted an audience of around 800,000 people. According to the NHS, children and young people need to do two types of physical activity each week in order to stay healthy. In isolation, where they are not running around the playground with their friends, it is really important for their mental wellbeing to get them moving as much as possible. Keep up their motivation by joining in with an online fitness session or if you’ve got skipping ropes or hoops, set up a little assault course in the home. Teenagers might be a bit more resistant so speak to them about what sort of exercise they enjoy and be their home gym buddy. 

Free YouTube online workouts: PE with Joe

For the young at heart

Anyone over the age of 70 has been hit hard by the Coronavirus. One of the things that people can do to lift their spirits and maintain their health is to follow a structured exercise routine. Helping to do just that is the original keep fit queen, The Green Goddess. Diana Moran is now 80 and in self-isolation but she will be once again inspiring the nation with exercises three times a week from her home. For older people, strength and balance exercises are particularly important because muscle strength starts to decline rapidly after the age of 30. Catering for older adults, Move It or Lose It, is offering live workout sessions on its Facebook page. Even for those that don’t want to jump around too much, there are many chair workouts available on YouTube that will focus on posture and correct breathing. The NHS has a pilates-inspired workout that is suitable for people who have difficulty getting down on to the floor.

Free YouTube online workouts: NHS.UK

For the novices

The coronavirus has changed daily life around the world. For most of us stuck inside, it is more important than ever to get our body moving, stretching and building up resistance. Start slowly and don’t overdo it; there are a plethora of online videos currently but don’t try and do too many as you will just end up with aches and pains. Allow your body to rest too so it can recover from the stress of exercise to limit injuries, such as muscle strains and stress fractures. Throughout the day, it is important to take on enough water and try to consume a balanced diet to support your exercise. Before you start, make sure you do a warm-up and finish with a cool down so your body can return to its normal state. Staying motivated in lockdown is going to be a challenge for all, especially if you are new to exercise. Try to keep moving by either joining an online session or just agreeing with a group of friends to check in with each other’s progress via Skype or Zoom. If you feel like you need a bit more guidance, there are lots of apps where you can join classes online, dependent on your fitness levels. Current ones include: Studio Tone It Up, Pure Barre On Demand, Seven, Keelo, NeoU, Aaptiv and 8Fit.

Free YouTube online workouts: POPSUGAR Fitness UK

For mums and mums to be

For pregnant women and new mums, keeping mobile will be so beneficial for giving birth and coping with the stresses and strains of looking after a newborn. According to the NHS, If you had a straightforward birth, you can start gentle exercise as soon as you feel up to it. If you are unsure, then wait until after your six-week postnatal check. Exercise during pregnancy is encouraged but don’t exhaust yourself. As a guideline, you should be able to hold a conversation and if you become breathless then you are probably doing too much. A few things to avoid include not lying flat on your back for long periods, no contact sports and don’t allow yourself to overheat.

Free YouTube online workouts: Carly Rowena

For the yogis

Now may be the time to get into yoga. Not only can it offer you increased flexibility and help you boost your strength, but it is also very soothing for the mind. In fact, classes at a studio can be expensive and over-crowded so you may prefer the benefits of at-home yoga. One of the things you will need to do is put all distractions away so either leave your phone in another room or turn off your notifications. Although there’s no perfect setting for yoga, choose a space that is free from clutter and set the mood with incense or a candle. There’s lots of different styles of yoga to choose from; classes to ease fatigue through to ones that can calm anxiety. When searching for an online yoga class to follow, it is important to know some of the basic terminology.

High energy: Rocket, Dynamic Vinyasa, Mandala and Ashtanga.

Flow: Jivamukti.

Stimulate mental energy: Kundalini.

Alignment focused and injury rehabilitation: Iyengar.

Gentle and accessible flow yoga: Hatha.

Increase circulation to joints: Yin-Yang.

Meditative relaxation: Nidra.

Sweaty and intense: Hot yoga.

Gentle moving, meditation and breathing: Qi Jong.

Free YouTube online workouts: Yoga with Adriene 




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