Get fitter during the lockdown

Mala Bhargava | Updated on March 25, 2020

Technology can help by offering an incredible variety of workout routines you can perform right at home, even without equipment

For those who have been relying on their trips to the gym to stay fit, the coronavirus-enforced lockdown must be most frustrating. As ever, technology can help by offering an incredible variety of workouts you can do right at home, including without equipment. While there are many apps in the stores, it’s just as easy — and cheaper — to tap YouTube for workouts right where you are: at home.

Walk miles in a space of 3 feet

A number of fitness instructors have complete workouts available but if you’re not used to formal workout-style exercise, try walk-at-home videos. All you have to do is search the word walk, or walk 3 miles, or walk at home, etc.

Among the results you’ll find Leslie Sansone, who has very easy to follow programmes for all levels of walkers. It isn’t quite just walking but includes a smattering of simple steps such as kicks, knee touches which work the abs, and even using props like light weights, resistance bands and so on. There are short 1 mile workouts and 3 to 5 mile workouts.

If you’re starting slow, there are easy ones including for the elderly, for those with heart issues or diabetes. Pick a walk, clear a few feet of space, and follow alone as there’s nothing to learn in these sessions. They tend not to be too boring either as there’s constant talking and encouragement. There are also walks by Jessica Smith and Lucy Wyndham, but by far the most extensive variety is from Leslie Sansone — and that includes weight loss and tummy trimming walks.

All kinds of fitness

A few fitness schools, if one can call them that, put out a nice variety of workouts. Look for Fitness Blender to meet the couple that make it their business to design clean, beautifully guided workouts from HIIT programmes to fat burning cardio, from back rehab to body weight toning. Fitness Blender is an app with many paid workout sections, but a generous number of them are right there on YouTube for the taking.

There are new workouts all the time and what is really nice about these is that they’re very carefully timed with proper safety instructions. There’s enough for both men and women here. Also search for GymRa, whose workouts are more women-led but can be done by anyone. These are more focussed workouts such as on the lower body or to lose arm-fat. They’re almost always set to nicely paced music and at a balanced pace. These are perfect for those who have worked out before and want something specific to suit their body type and state of fitness.

Ab melting workouts

Our stomachs are what most of us are really bothered about. You’ll find enough ab workouts even with Fitness Blender and GymRa; in fact, look for a ten-minute session called Crunchless Abs Workout for a nice and easy standing abs set of exercises. But searching for abs workouts will show up no end of fantastic instruction and guided sessions. Watch carefully the first time around and then get down to it and use the audio clues to get moving. Look specially for Pilates workouts and start with beginner sessions that are short and then move to more advanced ones, perhaps taking time to first read about the six principles that underlie this form of exercise and perhaps even watching a video on how ‘imprinting’ the back is done to get safety into Pilates.

The same is true of Yoga, except that this is best done with an actual instructor to avoid injury, unless you’ve already done it before. If you have any exercise equipment, such as weights, balance ball or medicine ball or resistance bands, there are fantastic full-fledged workouts to dive into and strengthen the core — and look nice and trim and ready for when the world goes outdoors again.

Published on March 25, 2020

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