Work Out at Home – Stay Fit During the Lockdown!
Actually I wanted to write a different article. But when my fingers flew over the keyboard, they typed the title of this post instead of the one I had originally in mind. Well then, I guess it’s meant to be. I am currently in a forced fitness break: My body has clearly told me “So far and no further! My joints and muscles are sore and sometimes they won’t even let me sleep. And to prevent this from happening to you, I’m now writing a blog post about how you can stay fit during the lockdown (and of course afterwards when you want to work out at home) while staying healthy. These are my experiences:
Ways to Work Out at Home
First of all, it is important to say that there is not ONE method for your workout at home. There are numerous ways and you have to find out which one is best for you. Of course, there is only one way to do this: Try it out. What is ideal for me can be unthinkable for you. I have also tried a few things and got stuck with one method that I liked most.
The first method here is also the one I have chosen for myself long term. Apps allow you to create training programs or have the computer compile them for you to run through. I have trained with three apps so far:
- SEVEN: With this app, you can do circuit training, each of which takes seven minutes. In principle, you can do as many circles as you like. But when I start after a while of not working out, seven minutes are usually enough. Then I work my way up. I’ve never been able to do more than three circuits if I remember correctly. Maybe four a long time ago. I have been training with SEVEN for five years now, even if not regularly. Until yesterday I had a streak of 28 days for the first time in a very long time. With the free version, you can unfortunately only run one program. The 60 Euros per year are worth it in my opinion and I am happy to invest them, as I have a lot of different training programs to choose from with the paid account.
- Gymondo: Unfortunately I can’t say much about Gymondo, because I only used it once for a few weeks when a friend of mine wanted to train with it. But the exercises and the principle were similar to SEVEN and probably, in the end, it’s just a matter of taste concerning layout and usability. The app is a bit more expensive and costs a total of 83,99 Euro for a subscription of 12 months. However, there are recipes and motivational messages that you can request or cancel.
- 30 Day Split Challenge: A sports program of a different kind is the 30 Day Split Challenge. This is designed to do the splits at the end of the 30 days, but it is basically nothing more than a warm-up with cardio exercises and then stretching. What I particularly like about this app is that it automatically includes rest days. You train for four days and then you have a day off.
It shouldn’t surprise you to read that YouTube has an incredible number of channels on the topic of fitness. I picked out three different channels that seemed cool to me.
- DoYogaWithMe: On this channel, you will find mainly yoga videos, but these have different orientations. For example, you can train specific areas of your body, do a 14-Day Challenge, or find a video that is right for your level of experience. There are also meditations to round off the program. And to make sure it doesn’t get boring, there are various trainers teaching.
- Caroline Jordan: Health Coach Caroline Jordan puts fitness videos of various kinds online. For example, extra workouts that you can do on a chair (perfect for a quick workout during a break in the home office), or stretching for situations like After Travel or End of Day.
- Amanda Russell: Amanda Russell mainly makes videos with workout quickies. The training sessions last between three and 15 minutes and are aimed specifically at people with little time, but who still have high goals. In addition to the training units, there are also videos with tips for healthy eating.
I have to admit that I’m just not the YouTube type of person. I don’t follow YouTubers and only go there when I am looking for trailers or other videos. But for How To tutorials I still use Google. But if YouTube should be your preferred medium anyway, then have a look at these three channels.
Your Own Program
Of course, you can also set up a training according to your own rules. For quite a while, for example, I did 50 push-ups, 100 squats, and 200 crunches a day. But on the long run, I got a little bored with that and so I switched back to the app.
The advantages of a self-made program are clearly that you can easily integrate any fitness equipment you might have at home. Therabands, gym balls, or kettlebells can become part of your daily routine.
So, make a plan with the exercises that will bring you closer to your goal. Be it a better condition, better flexibility, or a flatter stomach. You decide what your program will be. You can either base this on the number of repetitions or you can set a timer and do an exercise for a certain amount of time – which is usually 30 to 60 seconds.
Now that you know how to get to the exercises in the first place, it’s time for some tips that will make your training easier or help you get through it in the long run. Build yourself up for success, my coach used to say. So if you think about everything from the beginning, nothing can go wrong!
Don’t Forget to Drink!
When working out it is even more important than in our everyday life: drink, drink, drink! Our body consists to a large extent of water and must always be hydrated. So don’t be afraid to reach for a water bottle between two exercises.
If you also want to add a little taste and vitamins to your water, I can recommend Fruit Infused Water. You simply cut a few fruits and leave them in the water for two to twelve hours so that they release vitamins and minerals into the water. That’s healthy and delicious!
Pimp Your Equipment!
While I didn’t even own a yoga mat in the past, today I enjoy thinking about how I can incorporate various sports equipment into my training. I have treated myself to a mega cool new yoga mat* (nice, not slippery, practical with a carrying strap), I use my resistance bands* again, and have taken out my finger strength trainers* to train my wrists. Next on the agenda is a foam roller set* with which I can massage my trigger points and loosen knots.
Between the exercises, you should be able to rest your body for ten to 20 seconds at a time. But even more important are the breaks between the individual training units. Especially when you try to get fit again, you should not overdo it. That is the reason why – as mentioned at the beginning – I have to take a forced break.
I have trained every day for 29 days in a row. And this after not opening SEVEN for months. I thought my body could take it. I changed the areas to train – I did abdominal training one day and the next day I trained my legs. So I wanted to train my whole body, but I also wanted to give the individual body parts breaks. Well, unfortunately, it did not work out. Now I sit in front of the computer with sore shoulders and while I was able to do the splits three days ago, I’m so in pain when I’m halfway down that I have to stop.
Hence my clear appeal to you: Give your body the necessary time to regenerate! You can’t go from zero to hero. With a dusty cape.
Nothing is more liberating than a walk in the fresh air. Depending on the lockdown regulations in your country, try to go out for half an hour every day, get some fresh air, and change your mind. You will see how this will make you feel better.
There are many ways you can motivate yourself to go through your training program as planned. One of them is, for example, that you do the training with friends. Meet up on Zoom or Skype and give yourself a kick in the butt if needed. Personally, I wouldn’t even think of chickening out if I knew that my friends had pulled themselves together and would train without me. That’s one of the reasons why I pulled it through for 28 days. Alone I would not have done that and would have given in much sooner. I know this from past experiences. As a consequence, I didn’t train for months. I hope that the fact that I have friends who continue training will help me to restart in a few days. You are welcome to give me a digital kick in the butt that will make me fall off my office chair if I don’t do that. Permission granted!
Not only to stay motivated you should also treat yourself regularly to something nice. But because you deserve it! And I’m not talking about a candy bar or a box of gummi bears. No, I’m talking about a hot bath, a massage, or anything else that will do you good physically or mentally. Or maybe it’s an offline weekend. Whatever “luxury” means to you… …plan it and treat yourself.
See Body And Mind as a Unity!
As I mentioned in my blog post on physical and mental health, we must always take care of our physical and mental health equally. So if you want to be fit in general, it is essential that you take care of your mental health as well. The best way to find out is to have a look at the other blog post. But in summary, I can advise you to do the following: Try to switch off, meditate, try to focus on the positive. Also reading a good book can contribute to your mental health.
So always remember: physical fitness alone is not enough!
Get in The Mood!
If one thing can put you in the mood, it’s music. So either create your own playlist if you like to train to certain songs. If you don’t have a playlist or you can’t spontaneously think of suitable songs, I can recommend the Workout Playlist by Decathlon: Motivational Playlist. Or simply look on YouTube.
My Final Thoughts
Today it seems more important than ever to take care of our health. Physical fitness is an essential part of it. That’s why it was important to me to write this blog post, to give you ideas about how you too can stay fit and above all motivated.
Let me know in the comments how your workout looks like and if I could inspire you to try something new or implement something new into your routine.
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