With quarantine restrictions limiting movement to our homes and immediate vicinity, it can be challenging to get in a decent workout especially if one has gotten used to having access to gyms.
The challenge to workout out at home, however, is not so much the limited equipment at your disposal but the overabundance of time. If you’re a serial procrastinator, it can be easy to keep pushing off a workout “until later” because you have the whole day anyway. Or, what is normally a 1-hour workout becomes 2 hours because you’re not pressed for time as in the pre-pandemic days.
Of course, the other obligations of being home-based come into play: cooking, cleaning, working. Soon enough an entire day passes without actually exercising. And so you resolve to exercise the next day, but the cycle repeats.
Limit Your Workout TimeThe first thing you need to do if you want to stay fit and healthy – and this is very important so you have a strong immune system to fight COVID-19 – is to resolve to exercise at least 1 hour every day. An hour of exercise every day won’t turn you into an Ironman, but it’s enough to establish a routine and maintain a reasonable level of fitness.
What can you accomplish in an hour at home, and with limited exercise equipment? A lot. For starters, all you need is an exercise mat, a stopwatch, and some creativity to make the most of your body weight.
To maximize your 1 hour, practice exercising with time-limited workouts, with a target number of repetitions and sets per movement. Workout out against the clock gives you an incentive to get to work with as little downtime as possible. For example, in 1 hour, set aside 15 minutes to warmup and get limber, 30 minutes for the actual workout, and 15 minutes to cooldown.
In that 30-minute workout, you can do any number of movements that focus on a specific muscle group, or one that works all the major groups for a more balanced approach.
Here is 1 sample, using basic exercises with relatively low-impact movements that are easy to learn:
Warmup 15-minutes to stretch and walk around
The Workout: 30 Minutes
10 Standing Back Extensions
10 Air Squats
10-20 V-Ups or Crunches
10 Burpees or Sprawl
30-60 seconds Forearm Plank
10 Lower Leg Lifts
10 Floor Press
10 Standing Shoulder Press
10 Tricep Extension
Do As Many Repetitions As Possible (AMRAP) of V-Ups or Crunches in 5 minutes
Gently stretch your arms, shoulders, back, and legs to prevent these from tightening up.
*You will need a pair of moderately heavy dumbbells for Round 3. OR, use a water bottle for each hand. The weight should be challenging enough to complete 10 repetitions. If the liquid weight is too light for you, consider putting wet sand or soil.
Finish 1 set of each exercise per round before moving on to the next round.
Focus on good form and breathing all throughout.
“Keep score” with how many rounds of each you were able to accomplish within 30 minutes. Log your score so you can keep track of your progress. As you develop a routine, you will find that you can do more rounds within the allotted time, which means your fitness is improving.