The pandemic has canceled many of our plans this year. While we can still hope to bring out our Bogner Elaine ski pants for a weekend in December, our summer plans are pretty much a no-go. But there’s another way to spend this season away from your laptop, TV, and couch—workouts.
If you’re an exercise newbie, don’t start with back-breaking routines. You should enjoy every workout session to develop a habit, get stronger, and eventually move on to more challenging activities.
Start with these easy workouts at home
You don’t need to shop for gym equipment or even turn an unoccupied room into a home gym. With these simple workouts, you can get started on reaching some of your short-term fitness goals:
Skip the dumbbells and focus on taking on your bodyweight first. Burn calories, build stronger muscles, and boost stamina by doing this sequence: five incline push-ups, five chair squats, and five walking lunges. Repeat this sequence two to three times. Once you become accustomed to taking on your weight, you can move to more challenging routines or start using dumbbells, kettlebells, and other equipment.
Put on some music, encourage your kids or partner to join or go solo, and dance for 15 to 30 minutes. You can check out some online dance classes or learn the dance routine of your favorite K-pop group. If your neighbors see you in the window, ask them to groove with you while social distancing. Perhaps you can bring out a huge speaker so that you and your neighbor can have a dancing session in your yards.
20-minute low-impact HIIT workout
Most high-intensity interval training or HIIT workouts are full of jumping, which is great for some people but may not be the best option for a beginner or someone who has problems with their joints. So try this 20-minute HIIT workout that includes lower-impact moves such as crab toe touch and side kick-through.
Try easy workouts for outdoors
While you can’t go to your local gym yet, try exercising around your neighborhood. Here are some activities:
Turn walking into a 30-minute workout. Walk around your block for five minutes and then pick up your pace for 20 minutes. Finish the routine with a five-minute cool down by walking slowly again.
If going on a jog still sounds challenging, take a leisurely spin around your neighborhood instead. Once you develop a habit of biking daily, find a continuous and clear path that allows you to keep pedaling for 20 to 30 minutes straight without stopping for traffic lights or pedestrians.
When you’re a beginner (or you’ve spent the past few months being a couch potato), the point is simply to get moving, build a habit, and boost your confidence. Gradually, maximize the health benefits of easy workouts by doubling the reps or exercising more often in a week.
Later on, higher-impact routines and more challenging workouts will be a walk in the park—and you’ll be in better shape after the pandemic.