Fit at Home: Tips from AGC Guide and Personal Trainer Debra Huntington
For most of us, our normal exercise routines have been as disrupted as everything else in our lives. Gyms are closed, parking lots for city parks and hiking paths are cordoned off, our favorite hiking groups have been halted, and the camaraderie of getting out and being active with friends has been stalled because of the need to self-isolate. Staying at home has made it difficult to stay on schedule. Let’s face it: we need to up our exercise-at-home game! Luckily, there are many great options for staying fit at home in the time of physical-distancing that will keep us healthy and prepare us for our next adventure.
Go to the (virtual) Gym
Check out the website or Facebook page of your local gym or health club; they are probably offering classes online through Zoom, Instagram, or Facebook. Online classes are almost like being there in person! The nice thing about these classes is if you can’t make it during a live session, most remain online and you can do them at any time. And, the classes are most often free or donation-based. One of my favorites is at my gym the John H. Chafee Fitness Center. They are offering different classes every day, that are open to anyone who tunes in. So, another fun thing is you aren’t limited to your local area to attend a live class. I’ve taken classes from Massachusetts, California, and an online dance class from New Zealand, where my daughter lives! Many instructors will show you high and low impact versions of exercises so you can pick the level that suits you best. Most also utilize your own body weight, so there’s no need to worry about not having the right equipment at home. If you do need hand weights, those can be turned into weights. We all know how heavy they can be in our backpacks! ☺
There’s an App for That
There are also any number of apps you can use to stay on track with regular workouts. I like the short ones aka 7-minute workouts. My favorite is Johnson & Johnson’s Official 7 Minute Workout app. It has a variety of 7-minute workouts as well as longer workouts at the level of your choosing. There is a ‘Couch to 5K’ app to help you get running. Peloton is offering a 90-day free trial if you want to try their courses and workouts.
Be Your Own Trainer
Perhaps you just want to have a series of exercises to do on your own? Here are my top five at-home exercises:
1. Planks - You can do these starts on your hands or elbows. Remember to keep a flat back. Side Planks are great too.
2. Squats - Brace your core, keep your chest up and knees behind the tows. Add a jump for a cardio blast.
3. Crunches - Bicycles, Vertical leg, Oblique (side) – there are just so many great ones!
4. Pushups – Start with doing them on your knees
5. Tricep Dips – You can do this on the side of a chair or Tricep Extension (use that water bottle for a weight)
Lastly, get outside whenever you can. Walking is the best exercise not only for your body but for your mind. Make it a jog/walk or fast/slow walk if you want to up the cardio.
As with any exercise program, it must be started slowly, and be sure to check with your doctors before starting anything new and different than what you have already been doing, and if you have any medical conditions.