Due to COVID-19, everyone is challenged to figure out their own way to stay fit without having access to a gym. The best tip for staying consistent with no gym access is having a set time each day to get your workout done. This keeps you on schedule and provides a “habit” or new normal even if everything else seems chaotic these days. Here is a sample workout you can do at home with no equipment:
1. Squats — This is a staple exercise that helps burn fat and build muscle. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and sit back as you would in a chair, making sure your femur (thigh bone) is parallel to the floor.
2. Elbow Planks — This is a great full-body exercise that will help keep your core toned and lean, leading to a strong, slim stomach. Make sure to align your elbows under your shoulders, back nice and flat, bring your belly-button to your spine (aka “bracing”).
3. Modified Push-Ups — The benefit of this exercise is to strengthen your upper body. They’re great if you need to lift small children or groceries! These are just like a typical push-up; only your knees are bent. Make sure to keep your core tight, wrists stacked in-line with chest, keeping elbows close to your body (to stabilize shoulder).
Not only can you complete these simple yet effective strength exercises, but you can also incorporate a HIIT workout into your routine. HIIT is defined as High-Intensity Interval Training — basically just a fancy acronym for a circuit to get your heart rate up. Here is a sample HIIT circuit workout you can do in your own home; try three rounds of each:
1. Running up a flight of stairs — This is sure to get your heart pumping and get you warm! Whether you run up your apartment steps or up some steps at the park, you’ll be working your leg muscles while also getting some cardio mixed in.
2. Jumping Jacks — Works the outsides of your legs to help tone-up your hips while also slimming them down.
3. Shoulder Taps — This exercise not only strengthens your core but also sculpts your shoulders. With these, you want to begin in plank position, keeping hips parallel to the ground, lift your right arm to “tap” your left shoulder. You’ll do this on the other side as well, lifting your left arm to tap your right shoulder. Do this until you reach your desired amount of reps and see those results!
Generally, gaining any excess poundage is most likely due to nutrition. Not only does exercise impact a huge part of your physique, but your nutrition is also just as important! If you notice yourself snacking here, there and everywhere, try eating more nutritious snacks that are high in protein, like a stick of cheese or hummus. This will satisfy your hunger while also providing fuel to your muscles.
Another huge factor that we tend to face with weight gain is eating out (or, in this case, eating-in with the easy click of a button on UberEats). Try making meals at home by planning them out in advance. This will help when you don’t have the energy or brain-power to think of what you want to make for dinner after a long day at work. Not only will you just be able to throw your meals into the microwave, but you’re also saving a ton by eating at home! Not having to tip your driver, no overpaying for meals, just convenience at your fingertips and ready in minutes after work.
Finally, don’t forget to hydrate! Water is a great source to keep your muscles working properly and keep your body feeling amazing. Instead of drinking a soda (super high in sugar), alcoholic beverages or sugary drinks, try drinking only water for a full day and feel the difference it makes! Males are recommended to intake about 15 cups of water, while females are recommended to intake about 11.
These are just a few tips and tricks to help everyone fight off some of those COVID pounds. Keep consistent; once you start seeing results, you’ll be so proud of what you can achieve if you put your mind to it!
About the author: Danielle Francy is a CPT (certified personal trainer) through NASM with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. She has previously worked as a Sports Performance Coach as well as interned as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Towson University. She is also certified as a USAW-Level 1 Coach. Danielle Francy 410-782-5612 [email protected]