The COVID-19 crisis has impacted our daily lives in countless ways and many of us are now working from and self-isolating at home. While this “new normal” feels anything but normal, maintaining or even beginning a fitness routine at home can help improve both your emotional and physical well-being during this unprecedented and stressful time. Much like working from home, exercising at home requires strategies, structure and discipline. I reached out to some of the top fitness professionals to ask them to share their tips for how to be successful with a home workout program and on staying active while spending so much time indoors. Here’s what they had to say:
Tamilee Webb has a B.A. in Physical Education and a Master of Arts degree in Exercise Science with numerous fitness certifications. She was inducted into the Fitness Hall of Fame in 2008, is the author of four best-selling books, The Original Rubber Band Workout, Step-up Fitness, Workout for Dummies and Defy Gravity Workout. Tamilee has been involved with numerous fitness television programs and video workouts and is perhaps best known for her successful Buns of Steel series that sold more than 10 million copies!
*If you are short on space, time, or equipment, try to do 25 repetitions of what I call, “The Basic 4.” Pushups, crunches, tricep dips and jumping jacks. Pyramid pushups are also a simple yet effective full body workout. You simply do one pushup (on your knees if you need to modify), and then stand up, then go back down on the ground and do two pushups and stand up. Continue adding a pushup until you reach 10 and then work your way back to 1 pushup, always standing in between. You’ll have completed 109 pushups!
*Online and DVD home workouts are also a great option, but search for instructors that are a good match for your personality as well as your body type. A good workout should be safe, effective and (most importantly) fun!
*Take advantage of virtual meeting applications like Facetime and Zoom and connect with your friends for some group fitness time. Try a virtual fitness happy hour, where you each take turns coming up with moves for the group to do together. You’ll enjoy channeling your inner workout instructor, sharing some time with friends, and burn some calories!
*Commit to a routine. If you’re going to do a morning workout, set your alarm each day. Create visual reminders by using a calendar or checking off your workouts on your “to do list” each day. Don’t get stuck in a rut of doing the same things. If you’re bored or not enjoying your workouts, you won’t stick to doing them routinely. Your workouts should make you feel good! Finally, remember that something is better than nothing. There are days that I call, “the goes, the woes, and the slows.” On a “goes” day, when you’re extremely motivated, challenge yourself and aim for 30-60 minutes. On a “woes” day, it’s okay to only do 10-20 minutes, or break your workout into smaller, more manageable segments throughout the day.
On a “slow” day, when you aren’t feeling as energized, focus on stretching, flexibility and meditation. Be consistent with doing something each day and the results you’re looking for will follow!
Want more of Tamilee’s expert advice? Take advantage of her free 15 minute consultation offer available on her Facebook page at: @TamileeWebbFitness
You can learn more about Tamilee Webb and her available workout programs at https://www.designyourfitplans.com/ and https://www.tamileewebb.com/ and on Facebook at @TamileeWebbFitness , on Instagram @TamileeWebb, and on Twitter @TamileeWebb
Gilad Janklowicz is one of the world’s most popular and recognizable fitness personalities and his incredibly successful television show, Bodies in Motion with Gilad, was the longest running fitness show in the United States. He’s also the creator and star of the Total Body Sculpt with Gilad television program, more than 30 workout video programs and was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame.
*Find your guide. If you don’t know where to begin or what to do, doing a home video workout can be as easy as moving the coffee table out of the way and following along on your TV, smartphone or table. Putting together a workout whether you’re at the gym or at home requires thought and discipline. When I designed my routines for the Bodies in Motion with Gilad show, my goal was to create programs that didn’t require a lot of space or equipment and that viewers could easily follow along, yet still get a great workout in. Following along with trained instructors while working out at home can not only show you what moves to do, but also provide great information on proper form.
*Make fitness a family affair! Much like Albert Einstein, I have my own theory of relativity: The more muscle you have relative to fat, the more energy your body can produce! But my special law of relativity is to get your relatives involved! I created two Gilad’s Kids in Motion workouts specifically to encourage not only children to be active, but in a format that adults could follow along with as well. Regardless of what fitness routine you’re doing at home, doing it as a family can create a fun group setting that benefits everyone. It also helps you to keep your routine, since your kids will be less likely to distract you from your workout if they’re exercising with you.
*Realize that you have a choice as to how you use your time. While practicing self-distancing, for example, you can succumb to a “poor me” mentality and sit on the couch, or you can realize that, while you don’t know how long this will last, you can still eat healthy and think of this as an opportunity to fashion your own fitness camp at home. Motivation is extremely influenced by how you think of your circumstances and, while many things are out of your control, how you think about things is up to you!
Want to get your body in motion? Gilad released several of his DVDs in full for free on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/giladhawaii and also has two free workouts for children to help keep them active while stuck inside. You can also take advantage of a limited time, free two week trial period of the Giladondemand.com network which offers the complete library of Bodies in Motion with Gilad and Total Body Sculpt with Gilad.
You can discover more about Gilad’s workouts and fitness expertise by visiting https://bodiesinmotionwithgilad.com/, on Facebook at @BIMHawaii, and on Instagram @gilad_bodies_in_motion
Jari Love is a certified personal trainer, author and creator of the wildly popular and scientifically tested Get Ripped! workout series. Jari is also a frequent contributor on fitness, weight loss, and nutrition topics for publications and television programs world-wide.
*If you don’t have a plan in place for your fitness goals, then you’re planning to fail. To be successful, I tell my clients to think in terms of the “Three D’s”: Discipline, determination and dedication! This is especially true when trying to workout at home, where you may be facing many more distractions. Focus on making your workout a habit. I recommend trying to do at least something in the morning and to arrange fitness clothes and gear the evening before, so that you’re ready to go. Avoid negative self-talk or “stinking thinking” where you allow yourself to get overwhelmed and discouraged. You are what you think and, if we say it enough, we become what we think. Change your mind and your body will follow!
*Be emotionally connected to your goals. Ask yourself how you are going to feel after a workout or after you eat something. You want what you do, and what you eat, to make you feel good. Working out during these uncertain times can help boost your endorphins and keep your mood lifted. This time of social distancing is going to pass but, until it does, you can imagine that you’re away at a spa and you’re in control of your time with no excuses. You can use this time to get in great shape, or the time can simply pass by and you could easily find yourself coming out on the other end ten or fifteen pounds heavier.
*Make the most of your time and what you have at your disposal. If you don’t have free weights, you can use plastic jugs of water to add some weighted resistance to your moves. I designed my Get Ripped programs to incorporate compound intervals to maximize results. If you do a bicep curl with 8 lb. hand weights, for example, you may burn say 2 calories a minute. If you do that same bicep curl combined with a squat, then perhaps it bumps up to 7 calories per minute but, if you perform the same bicep curl with the same weight and use a squat and a step platform, it can increase the calories burned to 12-15 calories per minute!
Even if you are walking, you can dramatically improve your results and increase your heart rate by taking walks that involve inclines and declines, as opposed to just a flat terrain. If you own a treadmill, exercise cycle, or elliptical at home, incorporate using it while watching your favorite television programs.
Want to try Get Ripped for free? You can enjoy several of Jari’s full length workout videos on her YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/jarilove. I’ve also partnered with psychologist Claire Hanlon (BAA, Bed, MACP) and we share strategies and to combat emotional eating and depression which are freely available on Facebook at @JariLoveFitness.
You can learn more about Jari Love and her workout programs at https://www.jarilove.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JariLoveFitness/, on Instagram @rippedjari, and on Twitter @JariLove
Holly Perkins, has a B.S. degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, founder of Women’s Strength Nation, author of Lift to Get Lean, voted Top Trainer to follow by Shape Magazine, and can be seen in numerous exercise videos.
*Create a detailed plan. Make the decision that you’re going to begin a home workout program and then follow that up with action. If you’re not used to working out at home, it can be hard to stay committed with so many distractions. Set up a schedule at the beginning of each week. List out how many workouts you want to do that week, the nature of the workouts you want to do, and exactly what days you plan to do them. This simple planning step, as opposed to a haphazard “I’ll start tomorrow,” will greatly improve the likelihood of completing them.
*Establish boundaries! Teach other members of your household that your workout time is a priority and that you need time devoted to your mental and physical health. Be sure to enforce those boundaries! Women, especially mothers, find it challenging not to immediately stop what they’re doing when a family member needs them. Unless it’s urgent, you can train your family to respect your fitness commitment while you’re also training your body!
*Take advantage of all the free resources the internet has to offer. There are so many professional and complimentary offerings online that can be so helpful if you’re just starting out or not sure what to do to get in an effective home workout.
Want to try Holly’s The GLUTES Project ACTIVATE workout program for free? Simply enter the coupon code: ACTIVATE4FREE at http://bit.ly/2rGL0Pf
So, whether you are missing going to the gym, looking to start a new fitness journey, or searching for a way to boost your mood during these stressful times, listen to the experts and you’ll find that there is truly no place like home!
About the author: Charlene Bazarian is a fitness and weight loss success story after losing 96 pounds. She mixes her no-nonsense style of fitness advice with humor on her blog at Fbjfit.com and on Facebook at FBJ Fit.