The COVID-19 pandemic has been biting down hard as fall has turned to winter. As cases have spiked, gyms have begun to close again. Many businesses have also continued to maintain a remote workforce. This has left millions of individuals cramped and cooped up on the home front.
If you’re struggling to find ways to get a good workout in, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to sneak in some exercise. Some of these are obvious, like going for a jog or getting a home gym. If the traditional home workout options lack appeal, here are a few unique ways to keep your body in shape over the weeks and months ahead.
Start Outside While You Can
First thing’s first, if you live in a mild climate, you likely still have a few weeks of warmer weather ahead of you. If that’s the case, make a point to get outside as often as you can to exercise. If you’re sick of riding your bike or jogging the same trails, there are many ways that you can shake up your outdoor exercise routine.
1. Paddle Boarding
If you live near a body of water, you may want to swap out those jogging shorts for a swimsuit and a paddleboard. While it does have a learning curve, paddle boarding isn’t the same as surfing or water skiing.
The length and width of a paddleboard make it a much more accessible sport than many other water-based activities. Along with its built-in ease of balance, the rowing motion that propels a paddleboard forward makes for a great workout — and you can’t beat the view!
If you’re more of a landlubber, you can still switch up your exercise regimen by going bouldering. Once again, while it does involve climbing, bouldering isn’t the same as its close cousin, rock climbing.
In fact, bouldering is better likened to none other than that age-old childhood activity of tree-climbing. The climbing activities tend to take place closer to the ground, and they don’t need to involve high cliffs or dangling from precipices. Bouldering doesn’t even need a harness. Even so, the action of climbing provides an epic full-body workout that doubles as a great change of pace from the typical workout.
Look for In-Home Workouts with Minimal Equipment
Once the winter weather shows up in force, you’ll likely need to beat a hasty retreat into the warm interior of your home. When this happens, you don’t have to shift into couch potato mode. There are still ways that you can keep up on your cardio — and they don’t even require a hefty investment in a treadmill or exercise bike.
3. 7-Minute Workout
With work, school, rest, and relaxation all taking place on the homefront, it can be hard to find the time for regular exercise. Enter the 7-minute workout. This short and sweet routine uses science to maximize your physical efforts over a short 7-minute stretch.
The regimen consists of a dozen exercises that tend to vary. Some of the more common activities include jumping jacks, planks, push-ups with rotation, and squats. The best part? The routine only requires an app (there are tons of them out there) and a chair.
4. Deskercise Routine
Are you living with adults and possibly even children who are also using your space for their own school and work? If that’s the case, you may find it difficult to dedicate a space in your cramped household for working out. That’s when a good deskercise routine can come in handy.
As the name implies, a deskercise routine is one that takes place right at your desk. Much like the 7-minute workout, a deskercise routine can consist of a variety of different activities. Tricep, neck, and hamstring stretches feature prominently and trunk rotations are often tossed into the mix. Most deskercise routines are more focused on stretching than any intense form of cardio. However, if you couple your routine with some time spent working at a standing desk each day, the results will speak for themselves.
Tailor Existing Exercise Routines
You may find that you simply can’t beat the effectiveness of traditional workouts like jogging or biking — and that’s okay. Even then, there are still plenty of ways to keep things interesting.
5. Add Some Weight
If you’re a cardio junkie, consider adding some resistance training right into your current routine. This can introduce a unique twist to your existing activity. It can also provide an extra mental and physical challenge to an overused or boring workout routine.
For example, see how far you can jog with a weighted vest on. Hold dumbbells while you’re jogging or doing pushups. You can even spice up something like the 7-minute workout by opting for the advanced version. This ups the ante by incorporating weights and more challenging activities.
6. Speed Rope
Another way to overhaul your cardio activity is by getting a good, old-fashioned jump rope. This is particularly effective for those with minimal time. 10 minutes spent speed roping is roughly equal to half an hour spent jogging on the treadmill. A jump rope is an effective (and fun) alternative to many traditional cardio activities.
From speed roping to bouldering, paddle boarding to deskercising, there are plenty of ways to stay active this winter. The critical issue isn’t the activity itself, but rather your attitude. Giving in to a discouraged and pent-up mental state will only feed into the physical challenges that naturally come with social isolation. Instead, review the above list and look for unique and exciting ways to keep you motivated and exercising right into the next year.