With everything going on in the world right now, specifically the spread of COVID-19 and how that has impacted people’s health, work and even their ability to go outside, worrying about keeping up with your workout routine is probably the last thing on your mind. It’s understandable.
But if you’re someone who enjoyed working out before we were all instructed to self-isolate, and cabin fever has left you desperate to do something other than work from home and watch TV for hours when you’re done (and repeat), doing some exercises in the house can go a long way. Not only can fitting a workout in help you to stay on top of your fitness goals and help you rebound from all the junk food you’ve been consuming, but research proved long ago that working up a sweat just makes you feel good thanks to the endorphins that are being released. Who doesn’t want to feel good right now?!
So what should you do? While many of us flock to machines, weights and group fitness classes regularly, not everyone has these things at home, let alone any equipment at all. So we turned to Fort Washington, Marlyand-based trainer and health and wellness coach Monique, better known as @get_moefit on Instagram, for ideas. We interviewed her before for our Fitness Fridays column, and she started her journey doing videos and exercises strictly at home. She wound up losing 40 pounds in two months.
“I was YouTubing a lot of different exercises,” she told me over the phone. “When it got to a point where I could put stuff together on my own, I literally devoted 30 to 45 minutes with me nonstop moving, working out in the house, and I didn’t have anything.”
When you don’t have a lot at your disposable, using one’s body weight is always an extremely effective mode of working out. As Moe pointed out, using your legs, the heaviest part of your body, can “help you burn a lot more and help you sweat a lot more. And if you use your legs, more than likely, you’ll engage your core and get your arms involved, too.”
She offered us a number of movements to execute that can still burn up a serious sweat and make us feel like we’re not being couch potatoes. When that’s said and done though, Moe says this is a crucial time to eat well to supplement your exercise.
“I would say to people just be mindful of what you’re eating. A lot of people are in the house and they’re eating more than anything and then they’re getting discouraged,” she said. “The eating is going to play a factor in what happens to you right now. You can work out all day, but if your eating isn’t on point, you’re not going to see a change. This is especially true for somebody who is already active and your body is used to burning a certain amount throughout the day. Your body knows your workout time, so the worst thing for somebody who is already working at a certain level is to be on a regimen and end up staying in the house and letting your eating change significantly for the worst. They’re going to hurt themselves worse in the long run than someone who is just getting started.”
So take these suggestions and put them to work, and when you’re done, eat something light so that whenever this coronavirus lockdown passes, as we believe it will soon enough, you can come out of it looking and feeling your best.
“With those you stand in place,” she said. “You can modify by simply raising your knee and kicking out one leg and bringing it back down and kicking out the opposite leg. I love them because it gets my core going, but it also burns my legs.”
“Body weight squats are a great basic full-body movement,” she said.
“I don’t know why people don’t think about jumping jacks, but I do have my clients warm up with jumping jacks,” she said of the basic but always intense move.
“Your arms are above your head crossed over, and then when you power down to squat, your arms are coming down as well,” she said.
“Bringing your knees to your chest, alternating, and you want to do it at a fast speed,” she said. “If you can’t do it as fast, just alternate bringing your knee up one at a time and tapping them and going back. Modified is just as efficient. You’re going to feel it in your core.”
“Find like the end of a chair or table, something sturdy you can hang onto. You just raise your legs and roll your hips up,” she said. “You don’t necessarily have to hang onto something but I would recommend hanging onto something. You can put your hands underneath your bottom and do them that way as well, but I like to hold on to something because I feel like I get more of a workout that way.”
“If you have stairs, run up and down the stairs,” she said. “But for somebody who needs more so low impact, that wouldn’t be the best thing for them. But you can do step ups on the stairs or walk up and down.”
Body Roll Crunches
“You lie down on your back, arms extended behind you, and you roll all the way up until your hands reach your toes,” she said. “That’s a great core workout.”