You came home from college unexpectedly because of the coronavirus pandemic. You no longer walk around campus every day, and you lost access to your school’s rec center. At least you can go to the gym to stay fit! Oh, wait. No you can’t.
With stay-at-home orders instated in most states, finding ways to stay active might seem like one of your biggest challenges, understandably so. However, we’ve got you covered. With these easy tips, you’ll be able to stay in shape, regardless of not being able to leave the house!
1. Maintain a routine
If you have a hard time with self discipline, consider your work out an hour long appointment with yourself every day. That way, you have zero excuses not to follow through, and if you bail on physical activity, you’ll have wasted a full hour of your precious time. Whichever ways to stay active you decide to try out, holding them as a routine is critical!
2. Go for a walk
Believe it or not, but walking is one of the most effective ways to stay active when you’re cooped up at home. If you challenge yourself with a super brisk pace, you’re probably better off with an hour long walk every day than you would be with a 30 minute run. Walking is lower impact than running, meaning it’s kinder to your hips and knees. Plus, it’s harder to feel fatigued from walking – no matter how fast your pace or how long your path is – so you won’t likely tire out from it.
Walking is also a good time to reflect and meditate, too, since it’s one of the more relaxing forms of physical activity. But if you aren’t sold yet and taking a stroll sounds too boring to you, bring a friend (but keep them at a comfortable six-foot distance right now…) or put in some headphones to make the time pass quicker!
3. Have a dance party
As far as ways to stay active at home go, dancing is super fun and mood boosting! If you have a Wii or PlayStation, throwing it back to games like Just Dance or Dance Dance Revenge will work out the choreography for you, so all YOU have to do is move that body. YouTube also has tons of channels that offer virtual dance classes, but you can also let your body take over and react to a fire dance party playlist.
Channel your inner Beyonce with some of these dance party song suggestions: Groove Is In The Heart – Deee-Lite // Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham! // 24K Magic – Bruno Mars
YouTube is also a great platform for online work out routines, since many trainers offer online versions of their real-time classes. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to mix and match a workout to your fitness needs and abilities!
As the cardio-cousin of yoga, pilates is one of the easiest ways to stay active at home. If you keep up with it, your body will be stronger and able to handle more intensive, challenging moves, giving you AND your yoga mat a great workout!
Taking the intensity down a notch, though, yoga is another great way to stay active at home. Yoga increases your flexibility, muscle tone, and helps you breathe more easily. Plus, it’s great for your metabolism, so if quarantine snacks are starting to bring out your love handles, look no further than to this fun workout option!
6. Stretch it out
Believe it or not, stretching is a good form of physical activity! Most people only think of it as a maintenance strategy, but stretching when you wake up or right before bed increases blood flow and makes your body’s circulation much smoother. In turn, it evens out pulse rate and boosts your metabolic activity.
So, next time you’re feeling like a lazy lump, look for some online guided free flows and give that body the good stretch it needs!
7. Find movement-centered hobbies
Ever strained your abs during a workout while trying to maintain a slightly angled, seated position? Crazy as it sounds, certain hobbies that require maintaining a specific posture, like playing an instrument or sewing, are a form of physical activity and one of the most feasible ways to stay active at home! Or, if you’ve been dying to hunker down with a new book for a while, incorporate physical movement with your reading by positioning yourself on an exercise ball or pacing around the house.
8. Gentle lifting exercises
If you don’t have access to weight but want to work on your strength at home, get creative! Bags of rice, canned food, and filled water jugs are perfect makeshift weights. Begin by lifting the objects above your head and holding them, then bring them back down to waist level. Not only is this an easy way to build strength, but you can do it right in front of your TV!
9. Ditch the car for a bike
Next time you need to make a supermarket trip, leave your car behind! As long as you have a backpack you can wear to bring your groceries home, biking instead of driving is a fantastic way to stay active when you’re limited on gym access or tired of at home workouts. Plus, you’ll rake in those daily Vitamin D levels, assuming the sun is shining.
Biking is doable as long as there’s no snow on the ground, and if you live somewhere with elevation, you’ll build up those core muscles and develop better lung strength.
10. Makeshift stair climber
It’s called a “stair” climber for a reason; as long as you live in a multi-level house, you can run up and down the stairs for as long as your heart desires! Don’t knock it ’till you try it – running up and down the stairs sounds repetitive and maybe even dumb, but it’s seriously one of the most intense home workouts you can do. Your calves will thank you, but your underarm sweat will not. After just five minutes of this activity I guarantee you will feel the burn, no matter how good of shape you’re in!