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Werk it! Staying fit during Coronavirus lockdown

I get it. Cabin fever is kicking in for everyone. Spring is about to happen, and it’s some of the best weather for outdoor exercise. Please, don’t be tempted. And, New Yorkers- stop running, walking and rollerblading in Central Park. I lived in NYC and I know how wonderful the park is. But, we need to stay inside. And I realize, Coronavirus is attempting to keep us on the couch, sedentary and eating more carbs and sugar than we might consume in a year.

But, I’ve been working out at home for years now, and I am here to tell you-it’s okay. It’s more than okay. First of all, it’s way cheaper than any gym-I’m not including your cable bill in this-and most of what I do is virtually all FREE or very inexpensive ($10.) You’ll need a little push from yourself, as exercising at home takes some discipline. Once you get into a groove though, you may never go back to a gym again.

Second, when you work out at home, you really have no reason not to get the workout in. There are rainy days, snowy days and cold days, and these are excuses we all use to not trudge out to go to the gym, or for a run or walk. When you exercise at home, you can just roll out of bed, roll out your mat, and get to work. No fancy workout clothes or gym bags needed. You also save in transportation time, gas money, being smooshed with strangers on the subway, and don’t have to deal with some guy who is on YOUR treadmill at the gym. 

And third, there are unlimited resources for home workouts. YouTube has thousands (maybe millions?) of free videos.With the virus keeping everyone at home, trainers are spending all their time creating workouts for us. This is also a way for them to stay in business, so you can feel good about supporting them. 90% of my workouts are coming from YouTube. I also belong to Gaia, which is a Yoga app, and it’s only $10 a month. I will talk about this more in a minute.

Let’s get started. 

Tabata and HIIT workouts are my favorite. If you’re not familiar with them, here’s a quick breakdown:

Tabata: a high-intensity interval training that consists of eight sets of fast-paced exercises each performed for 20 seconds interspersed with a brief rest of 10 seconds.

HIIT: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts are more flexible with the time allotted for work and the time for rest. Simply lengthening either period means you’ve entered HIIT territory. Example-workouts can be 40 seconds on and 20 seconds rest.

The great thing about these are the time commitment. I’ve seen everywhere from 15 to 45 minute long Tabata & HIIT workouts. They burn mad calories in a short period. They combine bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, planks, etc, with stints of cardio-think jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, etc-for a complete full body workout. Typically, they have moderations during the class in case you are a beginner. And classes using dumbbells are available as well. Have water and a towel by your side. These workouts are no joke. But, most anyone can do them. Even my husband is doing them, begrudgingly.

Here are some of the names and links to the trainers I use:

Rainier Pollard, Popsugar– I challenge you just even watch this video and tell me this guy is not the most fun trainer you’ve seen. He is all energy with a lot of laughs (he’s actually also a comedian!) and you almost forget how hard you’re working. You will sweat and “twerk” while doing the basics-squats, push-ups, jumping jacks and lunges. Popsugar has many videos and you can choose to use no equipment, or weights if you like.

Simone De La Rue– is an adorable, tiny, muscular Australian who was a former dancer turned Hollywood fitness expert. She leads through Pilates-inspired moves and dance cardio. She likes to focus on one body part at a time to exhaust muscles, which builds strength and definition. Some workouts use very light weights, others use just bodyweight.

Bodyfit by Amy She does everything from no equipment needed HIIT workouts to yoga, Pilates, dumbbell and kettle ball workouts. All in her little workout room. She’s fun, and you will feel the burn.

Holly Dolke– she is my latest obsession. Her body is insane. Her workouts are short, but very, very effective and I think a great start for first time at-home worker-outers. She uses absolutely no weights. You will need nothing for these workouts. Just a towel and water.

Gaia– I’ve been using Gaia for years, since I lived in Chicago 7 years ago. Their catalog of classes has expanded greatly. You can filter by duration, teacher, length of time, and even specific parts of the body you want to focus on. It’s a subscription service, with a $10 monthly fee. You will need a smart TV, Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick to use. You can also just use your iPad and set it on the floor next to you.

If you have some extra piles of cash laying around, don’t forget about Peloton, The Mirror, and NordicTrack & ProForm who provide treadmills, ellipticals, rowers and full on home gyms. Just know that after lockdown is over, these may end up as dusty coat racks once you can go back outside again.

I’ve only scratched the surface on all the options out there. Instagram and Facebook have daily ads now with programs to do. Nutrition as well. You can do this. We don’t have a choice right now. Let’s not let this pandemic turn us into lazy blobs. Throw on some workout gear, change the channel from Tiger King (omg, that show!) and take some time to take care of you.

Stay home and stay safe!

Yoga photo credit

Couch guy photo credit

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