It’s not ideal losing access to your gym. You no longer have your usual weights, straps, workout machines, or even the workout routine you’ve established over the course of months. One of your biggest stress relievers and motivators for a more fit life has now been disrupted due to COVID-19.
To keep you motivated and to help you maintain your regiment, we sought out tips and advice from experts from Miami to Portland, and everywhere in between, who know a thing or two about adapting your routine to make the most of what you have in your home. Even if you’re having to adapt household items into weights, or using just a few feet of space to accomplish your goals.
There’s never been a better time to start or add to your own home gym. The best part about owning a home gym is the access you have to it – it never closes, never charges membership fees and is always a few steps away. –Home Gym Heroes
Whether you have a home gym, small household items, or just your body weight, you can get a fun and effective workout done. Get your family together, grab a space in the living room, and let’s get fit. -Chris Silvernale, NoCoFitness.com
Incorporate general household items into your routine
Have you looked around your home yet to see what you could possibly use as weights or maybe as a yoga block? That cast-iron skillet is pretty heavy, and those college textbooks collecting dust on your shelf seem pretty supportive. Everyday household items can easily be incorporated into your routine. Things like milk jugs filled with water or sand can easily act as weights, or running up and down the stairs can help replace that elliptical at your local gym.
Look around your home for solid, supportive objects that could either support your body weight or be lifted and set down repeatedly without breaking or coming apart. You might be surprised to see a home gym quickly unfold before your very eyes.
Pro Tips and Tricks
If you’re missing a yoga block, yoga strap, or a bolster doesn’t mean you have to skip practice; use a pillow, a bathrobe tie, or a step stool instead. –Julia Lopez, Honest Soul Yoga & Practice Everywhere
Get a chair involved! Just about anything you can do for bodyweight movements can be done with a chair to make them a little more challenging and fun. Variations of push-ups, squats, lunges and core movements with a chair will keep workouts from becoming too repetitive with no real equipment. –Crossfit 1727
Get creative with what you have if you’re short on workout gear, appreciate what you can do instead of getting frustrated with what you can’t. –TwinTown Fitness
You can still do a lot with a little
You may live in a condo or a smaller home that doesn’t have an extra bedroom, basement, garage or even nook where you can create a home gym setup. You’re not alone, millions of other people also have to make do with the little space they have available to them, especially in cities like Seattle, where Stay at Home orders are in place and you don’t have a backyard. Luckily, you don’t need much space, or equipment for that matter, to get your heart pumping and achieve your goals.
All you need is a space in your home that can accommodate the length of your body. You can do pushups in a hallway, chair dips at your dining room table, or yoga on your balcony. Look around your home to see what available space you do have so you can restart your (modified) workout routine. A living room can easily transform into a temporary workout space.
Pro Tips and Tricks
Buying workout equipment for the home does not have to be expensive; a few pieces can provide you with a number of workout options found in most health clubs. Mini-bands are very affordable and easy to store and allow you to do a number of exercises specifically for your lower body, kettlebells allow you to do strength, cardio and flexibility training all at the same time, dumbbells are extremely versatile for a variety of exercises and medicine balls are a perfect option to strengthen the core. –Pete McCall Fitness
Practicing Just a few yoga poses in your living room can help you avoid feeling stiff and tense. Yoga is also a great way to boost your mood and lift your spirits. Start with simple and basic poses and then progress to more challenging poses and a longer practice. –Timothy Burgin, YogaBasics
Taking your studio yoga practice home allows you to move at your own pace, listen and respond to your body, and develop greater consistency and frequency in your yoga practice. Getting started may be the hardest part, start simple with 5 – 10 poses and focus on holding each pose while maintaining your calm and steady breath for 1 – 3 minutes each posture. –Yoga Ed.
Optimize your workout space for virtual support and motivation
If you are having trouble finding the motivation to do an at-home workout there are many apps and websites that offer live virtual workout classes that can help you get up, get moving, and stay motivated. With so many different types of workouts and exercises, you can choose from you will never have to do the same workout twice.
Also, workout with a friend through live video-chat to hold yourself accountable. You can do it through your phone or stream to your other devices so you can still have a workout buddy while practicing social distancing. Scheduling a time that works for you and your partner can not only help hold you accountable but can also help you establish a daily routine.
Pro Tips and Tricks
Find a virtual accountability partner, like an old friend or a parent, and set up a time for a video call to do an at-home workout together. Not only will you hold yourself accountable, but you’ll also have more fun working out than you would alone! –Fit Factory
The top 3 things people seem to be missing right now that can impact their health are: routine, accountability and connection. Pull together a tribe of people to hold you accountable, then schedule time each day to move your body. –Gymnazo
Online yoga, mediation, and Pilates classes that align with your needs can be found online at any time of day. Schedule classes throughout your day to feel fully supported the whole way through. –Glo
Movement boosts your metabolism and your mood. Live and On Demand classes and training sessions can be found anytime online to help you stay active and healthy. –Healthworks Fitness
Use smart home technology to keep you on track and establish a routine
Smart home technology can talk to you, respond to your commands, answer questions, and even keep you on your workout routine. For instance, you can ask Alexa to set a reminder for you to begin your workout, or you can go one step further, and turn Alexa into your own personal trainer by asking “Alexa stare Hi Fit.”
Smart hubs can also communicate with other internet devices, allowing you to control all your smart home gadgets simultaneously. They can turn down the thermostat, turn on the lights, and even make you coffee. By incorporating a smart home ecosystem into your workout routine, you can create the environment perfect for your routine.
Pro Tips and Tricks for Your Routine
Keep a schedule. Working out at the same time every day is a great way to stay on task. –Go Fitness Pro
Working out at the same time everyday can give you something to look forward to and could be a great way to take a break from working. If you lose your workout motivation as the day progresses, working out in the mornings can be a great alternative.
Prioritize exercise as the first thing they do in their day, even before breakfast. If you get it done and out of the way you won’t have to worry about it the rest of the day. –Arkitect Fitness
The time you used to spend driving to work? Now dedicate that time to building healthy habits and exercising first thing in the morning. Use this extra time to learn new, healthy recipes to nourish your body and your mind. –BayShore Fit
Whether you’ll be doing cardio, weights, or another form of exercise, getting creative with space and items you have in your home is a great way to get a proper workout. Find a partner, stick to a schedule and focus on what you can do and you will be a home workout pro in no time.
This blog originally appeared on Redfin.