Creative Quarantine Fitness Tips
Written by Megan Murray McDonald
Well…everything is closed.
It is so frustrating for those of us with fitness goals to have to social distance, or even quarantine. But all is not lost. With a little creativity, you can continue to work towards your goals, and have a lot of fun doing it! Here's 11 ideas to get you started.
1.) Embrace YouTube
You can find virtually millions of FREE (this doesn’t have to be expensive) ways to work out on YouTube. There is even a whole channel dedicated to running and running education - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX7dV4OPDSutwMUauSD5AAA
But also use this time to cross-train and try exercises you never tried before. Your muscles will thank you!
2.) Soup is good for you!
If you don’t have weights at home, soup cans are a decent substitute for light hand weights. You can add them to your daily, but socially distant, walks to increase stamina, or you can do a variety of upper body exercises to build muscle. If you are looking to use soup cans for muscle building, be sure to use static contractions since the weight is so light:
Just be sure to be extra vigilant with using soup cans or any other weight substitute. These are not ergonomically perfect so keep an eye on your wrists and toes. #beenthere
3.) Got Sand?
If you have sand, or access to sand, you can make heavier weights out of empty bottles. Empty water bottles, empty dish detergent bottles, even empty bleach and laundry soap containers, end even balloons can be filled with sand to make heavier weights! Even empty milk containers make great Kettle Bell substitutes!
Just be careful to weigh your DIY weights so that you don’t over do it. Also, make sure the lid is on tight and reinforced with tape so you don’t make your living room a sandbox. #beentheretoo
As with the soup cans, be extra vigilant! These are not ergonomically perfect, so pay attention for form!
4.) Use that Broom!
I usually ignore my broom for long periods of time; however, a broom is one of the best workout tools you have in your home! You can use brooms to build strength, but they are also amazing for flexibility and improving your posture by keeping your spine lined up while you work out:
5.) Don’t Get out of Your Seat!
You can do everything from cardio, to abs, to even barre work using your chair, and there are chair workouts for every fitness level.
These workouts are particularly great for those who are telecommuting. They can be done at your desk, and in 15 minutes or less!
6.) Your Kitchen Counter can give you a whole workout.
Kitchen counters are great tool to use for everything from strength training to Pilates! You can even exercise while you are making dinner or washing dishes.
7.) Use the Stairs
Your can do an entire cardio and lower body workout with your stairs. Stair climbing can strengthen and tone your leg muscles, but it can also keep the arteries in your legs flexible, which is VITAL to heart health.
8.) Remember your high school gym days?
Honestly, I tried my best to get out of gym. Now I pay money for races! LOL
But, honestly, a high school gym workout is easy and effective, even if you can’t get out of the house!
See if you can reach the old Presidential Fitness Challenge:
- Sit-ups (or crunches), which measure abdominal muscle tone and core strength; they must be completed within one minute. A 17-year old boy was expected to perform 55 and a girl, 44.
- An endurance run/walk designed to test aerobic fitness. For older students, the goals were 6 minutes, 6 seconds for boys and 8 minutes, 17 seconds for girls. Some of these scores are no joke!
- Pull-ups (or right angle push-ups) measure upper-body strength. At 17, a boy had to do 13 pull-ups or 53 pushups; girls had to do 1 pull-up or 23 push-ups.
- The shuttle run measures speed and agility. The student runs 30 feet, picks up a block, runs back and lays it down, picks up a second block and runs back 30 feet to lay the block down. Boys and girls had to complete the test in 8.7 and 10 seconds in the oldest groups, respectively.
- V-sit reaches show the flexibility of the muscles in the spine and back of the legs. Students sit on the floor and reach between their legs. Goals were to reach more than 7 inches for 17-year old boys and more than 8 inches for 17-year old girls.
Heavy gardening burns 450-600 calories an hour! Pulling weeds, planting, and manually cutting the grass burns anywhere from 350 – 450 calories per hour. Create a new landscape, start that victory garden, and make your life more beautiful in the sunshine!
10.) Clean…I am sorry…but Clean
Most household chores use the same body movements as other types of cardio and strength training. With a few tweaks, you can have a spotless house, burn calories, and engage your core!
I know this is almost an item of last resort, but it is a great time to get your house ready for spring and summer!
11.) Virtual Races and Challenges –
Virtual races and challenges are amazing. They can be done any time, anywhere, and with any intentional miles that you choose. Treadmills, ellipticals, or even walking videos in your living room count! These races are fun and inspiring, but Run Motivators offers something more. We have one of the most amazing fitness families on Facebook. We have Run Motivators Run Club, a special group for those who participate in our Run Like a Woman 100 mile challenges, and a special group for those who participate in our Invincible in 2020 Challenge.
These Facebook groups offer support, friendship, and a whole lot of motivation, which is so important whatever your goals are.
You don't need a fitness tracker for our virtual races, but if you are searching for one, check out this helpful resource.
So let’s not let this difficult time get us down! Let’s find ways to keep fit, and find friends to keep us together!