It’s been a while since I posted on this blog – I’ve been working pretty furiously at developing another blog (Culture Champs) for HR and people leaders instead.
I’m a bit of a gym junkie (‘bit’ being a massive understatement) and was pretty upset at the thought of losing my gym privileges in iso. I’ve been working on building up my fitness for the last year and worried I’d lose it all and become the size of a house with all the comfort eating and #boredbaking I’ve been doing. I have, however, found a way to keep fit and managed to challenge my body without any equipment except resistance bands and a Swiss ball (the kettle bells I ordered were cancelled by the supplier -_-). As a prolific Instagrammer, a lot of you are probably already familiar with my new #parkworkouts, but I thought I’d share some #inspo and top #sejtips to help you stay fit in our crisis.
*I do want to add that this post isn’t trying to make you feel bad about being unproductive throughout this COVID shit – if you’re not feeling up to a challenging workout, just go for a walk instead. I cannot overstate the importance of fresh air and limb moving.
#SEJ TIP ONE: Home yoga
I’ve become a bit of an expert on this one, having been a home yogi for quite some time now. You may have seen references (several, actually) to my favourite Youtuber Adriene, who literally has a yoga practice for every occasion on her channel. I’m currently doing the 30 Days of Yoga HOME practice and am a huge fan. I’m also told the Down Dog app is pretty good. If you’re in a small apartment, there’s still a lot of practices you can do. I recommend getting a good quality yoga mat – the $10 one I bought from Aldi is now starting to malt. It’s worth investing in something $30+ (no, you don’t have to get a Lululemon one, just something that won’t be a) slippery b) malt underneath you). I’ll keep you posted on my latest mat purchase once it arrives.
#SEJ TIP TWO: The park workout
I honestly never thought I’d be one of those people you see out in the park getting their Lululemon pants dirty (okay, they’re actually Kmart, but same thing, right?) doing push ups on the grass, but here we are… I took inspiration from Pinterest and created my own park workout circuit that is super challenging and burns around ~500 calories. It includes split squats, push ups, tricep dips, jumping squats and some ab exercises. All you need is a park bench to challenge you a little and your body weight. I use the Tabata app to do 45 seconds on with 15 second break for 12 rounds per circuit, but you do you with this one! I do recommend using the timer as I think it’s easier than trying to remember if you’re on the 15th or 20th lunge.
#SEJ TIP THREE: Old fashioned running
Despite winning Cross Country (TWICE) in Primary School, I’d pretty much decided that as an adult, my running days were behind me and am a firm advocate for spin class in lieu. However, I couldn’t fit another piece of equipment in my apartment, so decided to abandon my prejudice for running. I really adopted the aesthetic of a runner with my skin-tight shorts, hat and sports bra, which is half the challenge really (see below). Having not run in years (except away from problems), I decided to use the C25K app to help motivate myself. It’s going pretty well, I’m 5 weeks in and can now run 2x 8 minutes without stopping (judge me not – it’s a HUGE improvement from where I started). I recommend using this or some other fitness app (I heard Nike Run Club is good) to hold you accountable to actually running (I would otherwise end up with a 90:10 walk to run ratio). You can really hit peak runner status by posting the geo-log of your run on your Instagram story so everyone can see how fit you are (yes, guilty).
#SEJ TIP FOUR: Pop Sugar HIIT workouts
The Pop Sugar Fitness Channel on YouTube has some fantastic workouts (all free, although they may tell you many times how great oat milk is). I’ve been doing these when I’m short on time/low on motivation. They’re pretty good, you’ll definitely sweat and the timer in the corner reminds you that you only have to suffer for another 5 minutes (jk, they’re not thaattt bad). A lot of them are no equipment too, so you can do them wherever with whatever you have (i.e. nothing).
#SEJ TIP FIVE: Home Pilates
I bought a Swiss ball from Amazon for $16 so I could diversify my home workouts and also sit at my desk and bounce when I’m on the tenth Zoom call for the day. Great investment. Sitting on a Swiss ball helps stabilise and challenge your core and is also a nice break from sitting at a chair all the time. They also make for good Pilates workouts at home. I’ve found some great Youtube workouts using the Swiss ball and often tack these on after a run. You can choose how long you want to go for, but I will warn you that they’re pretty challenging!
#SEJ TIP SIX: The resistance band workout
Another great purchase from Amazon was a set of resistance bands which are a nice break from just body weight all the time. There are a lot of resistance band workout ideas on Instagram and Pinterest, so I create my own workout using those and the Tabata app for timing. I do love a circuit.
#SEJ TIP SEVEN: Go for a walk
I’ve been pretty committed to getting my 10K steps every day in iso, which is pretty hard given the square footage of my apartment. I usually go for a run/workout and then a walk later in the day. If you can’t be bothered with anything else, please just get out and go for a walk. Sitting all day is super bad for your body and fresh air and sunshine will lift your mood infinitely (or at least it does for me). You don’t have to go far, or fast, but you should move your body at least every day.
I want to end with another reminder that you don’t have to push yourself physically when you’re probably struggling a bit mentally. If you’re like me, a challenging workout will lift your spirits and make you feel some sense of achievement. If you’re not, again – just try do something! I’d love to hear any other ideas if you’ve got them for great iso exercises!
Stay safe, stay sane.
-Curly Girl x