ways to stay fit and healthy while you’re self-isolating

The prospect of staying at home for any prolonged period of time can seem overwhelming and a little scary, especially if you’re someone who enjoys keeping fit and active and hitting that daily step count, or an older person who might be worried about feeling isolated.

Rather than letting the isolation scare you, why not, instead, try and embrace it as an opportunity to get your sweat on with new, at-home workouts you’ve never tried before, incorporate more simplistic healthy habits into your daily routine and mix things up a little.

No-one needs a gym membership to get in great shape. While we’re big fans of a dedicated space that has all the latest fitness gear available and experts on hand, with the right approach you can achieve just as much at home.

There’s also not just one right approach to use. You can get fit at home using bodyweight exercises alone, or you might invest in some free weights to increase the intensity of your strength training. And if you’d prefer to go all-in on cardio, there are several machines you can buy to use at home, like treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines.

We’ve got all the advice you need to help you nail your at-home training whatever your favoured approach is, so let’s get to it, starting with the best home workouts you can try.

Home Workout Ideas

A fitness routine doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping it simple makes doing it consistently much easier – and that consistency is what will make a difference to your fitness. Take this straightforward session from PT Adam Jones. “A favourite of mine is to work in a 30:30 format,” says Jones, “which means 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest on each exercise for a set amount of rounds.

“A good circuit would be bodyweight squats, reverse lunges, press-ups, burpees and mountain climbers. Perform the squats for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, then move on to the lunges and continue like that. When you’ve done that for all five exercises, rest for one to two minutes, then go again. Complete the circuit four to six times in total.”

Don’t be deterred if at first you find some of the exercises too difficult to do for the full 30 seconds. “If you find press-ups difficult, you can place your hands on a chair,” says Jones. “If you struggle with a normal unweighted squat, you can try squatting onto a chair – it shortens the range of motion, which helps you maintain correct technique throughout.”

If you want to up the challenge when doing press-ups, “try placing your feet on a chair,” says Jones. “With the incline you’ll target different areas and place more emphasis on your upper chest and shoulders.” And there are plenty of ways to make squats more challenging, including jump squats or single-leg squats.

And there’s another way to make almost any exercise fiendishly difficult. “Tempo – the speed at which you perform a move – is probably one of the most overlooked elements of training,” says Jones. “Focusing on it can ramp up your results massively. Taking longer to perform a move increases tension in the muscle, forcing it to work harder, which in turn will increase stress and lead to muscle gain. When performing press-ups, try taking four seconds in the lowering phase, and add a slight pause at the bottom of the move.”

Home Workout Plans

Whether you work out at the gym or at home, having a plan to follow can make all the difference, in most part because it takes a lot of the decision-making – and therefore opportunities to procrastinate – out of your hands. Here are three options to get you started.

Goal: Lose weight The inimitable Joe Wicks shared this plan, which is four sessions a week for four weeks. You don’t need any equipment to do these 20-minute high-intensity circuits, although give yourself at least five minutes either side to warm up and down and catch your breath.

Goal: Get strong If you have (or don’t mind investing in) a set of dumbbells, use this four-week plan to build strength and power throughout your entire body. The three workouts are intended to be done on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so you have the weekend free to recover. 

Goal: Build muscle This is a muscle-building workout plan with a difference – it uses just your bodyweight to stimulate muscle growth. That means there are some tricky moves in here so beginners should start elsewhere or substitute in easier variations. You’ll need to set aside three one-hour slots a week and find yourself a pull-up bar and a bench (or any sturdy platform)

How to stay active while self-isolating: 12 expert tips

1.Stick to an active routine

2. Stretch in the living room

3. Try an at home workout

4. Maintain hobbies that keep you moving

5. Practice gentle lifting exercises

6. Up your bodyweight workouts

7. Practice basic circulation principles

8. Take the stairs

9. Get creative and recreate your walks

10. Remain in touch

11. Keep the mind active

12. Learn to meditate

tag: health , stay-fit , home , workouts


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