Many sitting rooms have become makeshift gyms. Shutterstock/antoniodiaz

The best ways to keep your fitness plans going from home

David Last gives his tips on staying active during lockdown.

IN MY LAST article I gave you The 5 S’s for healthy social distancing and was great to see lots of readers taking an interest and implementing the steps.

In that article I highlighted “structure” being a crucial part of our day for now and, in particular, a daily exercise plan.

There’s never been more a pressing time to take care of both your physical and mental health and this is where some form of daily exercise kicks in. For a lot of us getting our daily exercise might mean a trip to the gym, working with a trainer, attending a class or even going to the many clubs and studios dotted around the country.

With the new measures in place for at least the next couple of weeks, exercising is now going to be limited to brief individual physical exercise within your locality, which may include children from the household (eg for a run or walk with/without dog) within 2km of the home, adhering to strict two-metre social distancing measures.

For sure, this is going to be a challenge but you can still keep it going with some sort of exercise regime from home. For me,exercise has been an important part of my day to keep me going physically and mentally and I have no doubt its going to help you too.

In today’s article I am going to give you some ideas that you can look at from simple ideas using your bodyweight, some simple pieces of workout equipment or even just looking online at the many useful ideas out there.

Kettlebell exercises

shutterstock_1654457275 Kettlebells can be really useful. Shutterstock / LightField Studios Shutterstock / LightField Studios / LightField Studios

If you are a regular reader of my column, I’m sure you know by now that I am a big fan of the kettlebell. It features in most of my programmes and is a piece of equipment I generally have in the house.

It takes up little or no space, costs very little to buy and is really versatile when it comes to exercises. All you need is one or two kettlebells and you’re ready for a full body workout. I generally buy all my kettlebells here in D8Fitness.

A kettlebell workout can really work on every part of your body. The options are endless with the movements and you are sure to burn plenty of calories within 20 minutes. I have put together a kettlebell exercise demo directory. Lots of movements are covered and include a short demo link of each drill.

Resistance band

shutterstock_1682489632 Resistance bands are cheap and easy to use. Shutterstock / Ljupco Smokovski Shutterstock / Ljupco Smokovski / Ljupco Smokovski

Resistance bands are possibly my favorite piece of kit and something I use in nearly every training session when working with clients.

The best thing about the bands is that they are relatively cheap, easy to have around the house, won’t take up any room and you can do so much with them — from mobility drills to challenging strength and core movements.

If you are an individual who wants to put a resistance band workout together and is short on time, space or equipment then these exercises are ideal. Here is my resistance band exercise demo directory.

Bodyweight exercises

shutterstock_404650051 All you need is your own bodyweight. Shutterstock / FXQuadro Shutterstock / FXQuadro / FXQuadro

First of all, keep it simple. Doing basic bodyweight drills is something to start on, get really good at and then progress from there. You really don’t need any specific gym equipment for the most effective workouts. All you really need is 20-30 minutes, your bodyweight, a small bit of space and a little bit of motivation for a really good workout.

You really can cover all the important areas too. Full body workouts can be done and you are sure to be able to cover all angles from mobility,strength to conditioning work. It doesn’t always have to be HIIT conditioning workouts every day. Slow it down some days and bring in light mobility work, some challenging strength exercises or even some testing core work.

Sit down and make a plan for the week with your workout sessions. If you are totally lost for bodyweight drills then here is a bodyweight exercise directory with plenty of ideas to pick from.

Think outside the box

Over the last week or so I have seen some fantastic ideas popping up on my social media feeds with regards to using creative ways of getting a home workout in. If you are totally lost and have no equipment whatsoever then get creative and find ways of putting movements together.

Everything and anything can be used from a kitchen chair, bottles of water, a heavy back pack to even just some workout drills on your stairs. The main point here is to keep it safe firstly, simple to implement and avoid getting too carried away with your overall ideas.

Get online

shutterstock_1666311259 There are so many resources online. Shutterstock / insta_photos Shutterstock / insta_photos / insta_photos

In my last article I highlighted the importance of social distancing yet socially connecting. Lately I have been doing live workouts with friends overseas, which have been great fun and something a little different. I have found the apps Zoom or Houseparty to be ideal for this. As well as that, lots of trainers around the world are doing live workout group classes via all their social platforms, or why not just download an exercise app to click into every day. Everything is on offer nowadays from HIIT workouts, yoga to even meditation.

Yoga: Downdogapp
Meditation: Headspace
Group interaction with friends: Zoom or Houseparty

I hope this article has given you some simple tips and ideas while spending these few essential weeks at home. As I said before, sometimes we just have to slow down to speed back up, and I have no doubt that within time we’ll all be back to normality.

Thanks a lot for reading and mind yourself.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information, you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

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