Last updated on June 2, 2020.
How to stay in shape amid increasing coronavirus concerns, social distancing, gym closures and home confinement? Just because you are stuck at home, doesn’t mean you should stop exercising. In fact, now is the time to take care of yourself. And there are many options to stay fit, even with a small space, no equipment or little time.
Regular exercise is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system and emotional balance, and preventing weight gain. Since most of our daily activities are being limited now, the average amount of calories burnt per day is most likely to decrease. To stay fit, it is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise per day and at least two strength training per week. In this article from Harvard University, you can preview some of the basic daily activities to get your recommended dose of exercise.
Remember to not overdo intense training, especially if you just have begun a fitness journey, have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65.
Free workout apps
One of the most effective ways to start a home workout routine is through instructor-led videos, with week-by-week structures. There is a boom in the number of fitness apps, online exercise classes and streaming services that offer free and low-cost workouts for all fitness levels. Live or recorded videos usually last 25-45 minutes and can be accessed either for free or with a subscription.
Here, we prepared a list of free popular fitness apps for you:
FitOn app is one that has been very popular amongst modern fitness lovers. It offers high-quality workout video for all levels – everything from cardio to strength to HIIT to yoga. For free. With guidance from celebrity trainers and the ability to work out with your friends on the app.
Nike Training Club features over 185+ free workouts from world-class Nike Master Trainers. To help everyone to stay active and healthy during quarantine, they are giving free access to NTC Premium that includes guidance on nutrition & wellness, sleep, mindset and more. It is a limited time offer so make sure you grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
7 Minute Workout is another top trending app, with over 3 millions active users! Designed by exercise physiologist Chris Jordan, the app is based on the science-backed routine called interval training. An effective sweat session consists of only 12 exercises lasting 30 seconds aimed to deliver “maximum results with minimum investment”. No equipment needed, just your bodyweight. With this app, no more excuse that you don’t have the time to exercise!
Free apps for pilates & yoga
If you want to focus on strengthening your core, getting toned or correct breathing techniques, pilates and yoga can be good choices for you. They also have long-term health benefits: better sleep, greater stamina, lower blood pressure, and more. All you need is a small comfortable space and a yoga mat.
Take a look at these free apps to find the one you like:
Daily Yoga shows you how to safely master challenging poses, with a step-by-step instruction guide. It offers 500+ asanas, 70+ yoga programs and the largest yoga pose library, to suit both beginner and advanced levels. You can join a community from all over the world, motivate each other for new challenges and discuss your practicing experience.
Yoga Studio has detailed descriptions of over 280+ poses that includes step-by-step instructions, list of benefits, variations and cautions for each and every pose. You can either use the preset class or create your own customized class using “blocks” of poses. Another benefit: you can use this app even without connection by downloading your favorite video classes.
5 Minute Pilates is an ideal app if you want a quick and effective daily pilates workout. Each exercise comes with a 3D animation and a text description, to ensure all poses are performed correctly. If you want a longer session, repeat each exercise 2-5 times or have several rounds of the different sessions.
Other tips to stay fit
30-day fitness challenges
Joining a fitness challenge is one of the most effective ways to develop a consistent workout habit. Choose a major muscle group you want to build and feel the difference day by day. There are a variety of customized challenges focusing on different muscles: squat, plank, cardio, burpee challenges etc. Try it with your family members and have fun together!
Don’t be surprised but you can actually burn calories by simply walking around your house or apartment. It is an easy way to stay in shape and active. Just keep yourself moving during your daily routine: brushing your teeth, talking over the phone, texting, watching YouTube videos etc.
How to plan a workout at home?
- Set the goal – Do you want to lose weight? Get strong? Or Build Muscle?
- Choose your workout — Cardio, strength training or a mix of both
- Choose 10 different exercises — For cardio, focus on exercises with different levels of intensity. For example, you might alternate a high-intensity exercise (such as jumping jacks or burpees) with an easier move (such as marching in place). For strength training, choose pushes, pulls, front-of-leg, back-of-leg, and core movements, such as squats, lunges, pushups, and dips.
- Choose the length of each exercise — Beginners might start with 10-30 seconds or 8-16 reps, while intermediate or advanced exercisers might go for 60-90 seconds or 20 or more reps
- Get Ready — Set up a timer, turn on some music or your favorite TV show and start with a warm-up
- Do The Workout — Do 1 circuit if you’re a beginner or short on time. Do 2-5 circuits for a more intense workout
Check out our tips on emotional health during COVID-19 and stay healthy!