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Exercise strategies and activities to help you work out at home

Author Details

Melissa Matto blog author

Melissa Matto

HBSc(Kin), BAHSc(AT), CAT(C), R.Kin

Clinic Director

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021
 
a man exercising at home

Has COVID-19 given you cabin fever? Are you feeling like you have to ride out the next wave on your couch instead of your bike or your blades?  As restrictions continue to limit us from participating in our favourite sports or gym activities, it can be tough to find an outlet to replace them.

We are often our own biggest barrier to getting moving, but it’s important to remember that a good workout not only makes you feel accomplished, it can also help you grow and give you mental and physical strength to get through life’s daily challenges.

Where do you start with the gym closed? Body weight exercises can safely be performed by almost anyone, anywhere. If you do them in succession, you can achieve a similar increase in heart rate as if you were playing sports, jogging, or cycling.

The key is to be creative. Pick 3-4 exercises and perform 8-12 repetitions, 3 times in a row without resting. Or better yet, make them into your own high-intensity interval training (HIIT) intervals (HIIT). Here’s an example of a 10-minute HIIT workout for any fitness level that you can try at home:

  • 30 seconds each: squats, pushups, lunges, plank.

    • Low intensity option: ½ squat, counter or wall pushups, stepping up and down on a step, plank from knees. Reduce time to 20 seconds to start.
    • High intensity option: jump squats, clap pushups, shoulder tap planks. Increase time to 45seconds.


       

  • 1 minute active rest (recover without sitting or lying down). 
    • Low intensity option: march in place
    • High intensity option: run up and down the stairs or jog on the spot
  • Repeat 3 to 4 rounds

If you’re feeling extra energized, super-set the workout below immediately after the one above for a full body workout incorporating cardio, strength, and power in as little as 15 minutes.

  • Squat jumps or tuck jumps
  • Mountain climbers
  • Skater lunge jumps

Why not make family game night a fitness activity?  Here’s how:

  • Alphabet game: every letter of the alphabet is a different movement or activity. For example: A is for airplane yoga pose, B is for bouncing a ball, C is for ab crunches. Get the whole family to pitch in for the selection process so everyone gets something they enjoy.

    • Everyone has to spell their name OR the person to your right gets to pick the word you have to spell through exercise. This is perfect for the ultra-competitive family or where there are a variety of different ages or fitness levels playing along
       
  • Card Shark: assign one exercise to each suit in a deck of cards
    • randomly select a card from the deck, the number on the card is the number of reps you have to complete
    • everyone takes turns until the deck is complete

An exercise buddy can help keep you accountable. Why not set a standing fitness meeting (same day and time) and try one of these suggestions over Zoom, Facetime, Microsoft Teams etc.

If this all sounds like too much effort, try engaging in family fun such as playing touch football, kicking a soccer ball, or even playing tag in the backyard.

Added bonus if there’s a good dusting of snow on the ground – the added resistance of trucking through the snow will increase your heart rate, burn more calories, and fire up your stabilizer muscles.  As adults we often forget the power of play both physically and emotionally – there’s no better time than today to return to play.

Exercise can be the one constant you are always in control of – you can decide intensity, type, and time. It is a guaranteed amount of time you can set for yourself to forget about everything else the day has handed to you and do something for you. Endorphins released during exercise can also help manage stress. It's time to try something new!

If you require a more personalized plan or if you’re dealing with discomfort, check our Locations page to find a clinic near you or book online to schedule an appointment with a clinician.

Author Details

Melissa Matto blog author

Melissa Matto

HBSc(Kin), BAHSc(AT), CAT(C), R.Kin

Clinic Director

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