With Covid-19 on the loose, it’s never been more important to ensure your body is fit and healthy, yet public gym closures and quarantine restrictions sure aren’t making things easy. Most apartment buildings have even closed off their communal gyms, but don’t let that rupture your fitness routine. We reached out to fitness experts for their advice on how to keep fit during a two-week isolation period, even if you have no equipment at home.
Jack Thomas, founder and CEO of BASE
“You don't need a fancy gym membership or expensive equipment to get a decent strength and cardio workout done—you just have to get resourceful and disciplined. If you have dumbbells or weights then that helps, or you can use household items such as water bottles as resistance. Then all you need is your body and a few square meters of space,” says Jack.
“First, download a free workout timer app and set up intervals of 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off. Then work through these 10 exercises," he continues. "Once you've completed one full round, rest for two-to-three minutes. Complete two-to-three rounds in total. Hit these movements every other day for two weeks and you'll probably come out of self-quarantine stronger than you went in.”
1. Jumping Jacks, a.k.a. star jumps: A good warm up exercise to get you started.
2. Squats: Keep your chest out and weight through your heels. To make it tougher, hold a weight like a big water bottle or add in a jump at the top.
3. Plank: With your forearms on the ground, hold your body straight and strong.
4. Lunges: Step forward and then lower your body until your back knee is about an inch off the ground. Like the squats, hold any weight to make it tougher or add in a jump as you switch legs.
5. Russian twist: In a half sit up position, rotate your torso side to side.
6. Push ups: Keep your body straight and breathe out as you push. To make it easier, bring your knees to the ground.
7. Good mornings: Hold a weight in front of you close to your chest and slowly lean forwards, bending through the hips. Feel the stretch in your hamstrings (back of legs) and use those muscles to drive you back up to a standing position.
8. Mountain climbers: In the push up position, bring your knee up towards your chest, alternating left to right.
9. Shadow boxing: Have some fun and get creative. Stay light on your feet and move around the room.
10. Burpees: The exercise everyone loves to hate. Finish the circuit strong with 40 seconds of full burpees.
Pholawat Wittayarungrote, certified personal trainer and face of Youtube channel “Naefit”
Create a circuit training program by working your way down the list of exercises, alternating between upper and lower body movements each time. Combine four-to-six exercises for a full program, completing each exercise for 30-to-60 seconds. Repeat the program four-to-eight times depending on your body strength. If that’s a walk in the park for you, try adding dumbbells or weights into the mix. If you don’t have these at home, you can use household items such as water bottles as resistance.
“This group of exercises focuses on each major muscle group," says Pholawat, "You can combine these moves into one session. This will improve muscular endurance, strengthen and build muscle, and, importantly, burn calories.”
Upper body movements
Lower body movements
Remember, when it comes to staying healthy during isolation, exercise is only one part of the equation. “Self-quarantine shouldn't be seen as a one-way ticket to two straight weeks of Netflix and pizza. Quite the opposite—during these times it's even more important to have a strong body and immune system,” says Jack Thomas.
Wittayarungrote adds, “No matter where you are or which situation you’re confronted with, eating healthy food is a key to good health. While isolating yourself at home, you don’t do much body movement, so the food you consume should also be less.”
As social creatures, being isolated can have a negative impact on our health. On the bright side, notes Thomas, “It's not often we get an opportunity for such focus, so channel that towards coming out the other side strong and positive.” He also adds that reading, eating nutritious food and working on your goals for the year could help you stay sane while social distancing. Hang in there!