For the average person, fitness is hard enough to keep up on a regular basis. In this new normal that we’re experiencing, it’s even tougher. I’m no bodybuilder or athlete, far from it, but I recognize the importance of getting the blood pumping and making the muscles work. Being cooped up at home is a sure-fire way of becoming even lazier and as a result, productivity will suffer.

Maybe it’s time to lace up those running shoes and get out of bed. Whether you plan your daily routine down to the second or wing it, here are some basic suggestions to get some exercise in while quarantining at home.

Stretching

Working for hours on end hunched over a laptop is definitely taking its toll on the body, from a strained neck to a stiff back, I’ve definitely felt it. Not to mention the effect on the mind, getting up to stretch and roll the neck is a good way to get away from that stress-inducing screen. When you sit down to work, consider setting a timer every 20 minutes to remind yourself to get away from the desk.

It may not be feasible for everyone, but if you can stand up and work for a while, that’s good for you too. At the very least, walk around when you make or take phone calls.

For the early risers, a great option is to practice yoga every morning.

A man stretching. Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

Go for a walk

Now I’m well aware that this might be the most controversial pick on the list but it’s also the easiest and absolutely free.

You just need to put on a pair of comfortable shoes, any shoes at all, and take a walk around the block. Moreover, the benefits of fresh air and sunlight cannot be overstated.

Just remember to take the recommended precautions, wear your face mask, stay six feet away from people and don’t get distracted by the cafe or supermarket on your way. When you come back home just remember to wash your hands.

Stair climb

If your apartment building has stairs, go up the stairs, go down the stairs. Repeat.

A person climbing the stairs. Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

Improvise

Some people have gotten rather creative with their home workouts. On the bottom end of the no-fuss scale, it’s as simple as taking those milk bottles out of recycling and filling them with water to create makeshift dumbbells.

If you have more time and dedication, use some heavy-duty duct tape to stick those bottles onto a mop handle and all manner of barbell exercise variations open up to you.

My roommate uses nothing but chairs for his entire workout!

The author’s roommate doing a home workout with chairs. Photo courtesy: Zhongming Jin

Home workout videos and apps

There are tons of great videos available online for workout routines catering to every experience level. Of course the caliber of the trainer in question is also important, so looking for videos created by celebrity trainers or fitness influencers would be a good place to start.

The paid apps and programs are likely to give you more guidance and a fixed routine to follow, but with a little bit of dedication free resources can work just as well.

For example, Don Saladino has trained the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman. He constantly posts fitness routines on his Instagram page and YouTube channel.

Chris Hemsworth, of Marvel movie fame, even has his own fitness app called Centr, which is free for six weeks during this pandemic. Maybe give that a try — if it’s good enough for Thor, it’s good enough for you.

Gamify it

Admittedly, not everyone enjoys the concept of sweating it out and putting in the work. Maybe turning it into a game could work for you. Instead of just watching the water for your coffee boil, do some squats until the water starts to bubble.

You can increase the difficulty and introduce your own variations to this based on what you enjoy. Maybe get down and do 10 push ups every time you re-enter your room.