With lockdown many of us were having to practice fitness at home as our normal exercise classes cancelled. Before lockdown I used to say that I had to belong to a gym in order to exercise as it was the discipline that I needed. In actual fact it was the timed classes that you had to pre-book that made me turn up for an hour of torture. Working out in the gym was never a long term thing for me as I first of all spent all day saying, I’ll go in an hour, and then never going. Then, when, on the rare occasion that I was doing my workout, I knew I was meant to be doing 3 x sets of 8 repetitions I would inevitably cheat because no-one was counting. I need the instructor standing over me, whipping me, metaphorically, into shape.
Then Lockdown came, gyms closed, and it was either running which I hate or going online to find something to fight the Covid-14 (the 14lbs on average that each of us gained). Luckily for me my Yoga teacher, Yoga with Maddy, joined the Zoomers and very quickly I was signed up for 4 lessons a week. Even though no-one was standing over me it worked and I did not cheat. Maybe it was the money leaving my bank account or perhaps, as it was early in the morning I did not have time to over think it and I just did it with no complaints. However I missed my instructor, Maddy, checking my position, praising me when I had done well and encouraging me when I was failing. Nothing beats personal tuition and I am now enjoying a mix of Zoom Yoga classes with Maddy and some personal tuition, socially distanced of course, outside in the fresh air. It has been lovely to see that a couple of Annabel & Grace readers have joined Maddy’s Zoom classes.
However lockdown has taught me that there is so much online that is available for free and if you enjoy any of the them you might sign up for some more intensive paid training sessions.
I am spoilt as, apart from Maddy, I have a Pilates Reformer studio (Nubodi Pilates) very near me (10 minute walk away) which is back open with very strict Covid rules and combined with my Yoga I am feeling fitter and more flexible than ever. My cardio is probably a disaster so I will have to do something about that as I am not a runner it may have to wait to be sorted out.
Anyway for those of you who don’t have a Marvellous Maddy or a Pilates Reformer studio at the end of the lane here are my pick of the online exercise options that I have tried so I can vouch for. However not to say I am any good at them but I feel good that I am trying.
If you haven’t heard of Adriene then you must have been hiding under a stone. She is the go-to Yoga for free tutorials online. She has a lovely voice and manner and explains everything very clearly and succinctly. You may think that Yoga is just a lot of stretching I can vouch for the fact that it you will tone if you do it regularly so it definitely is fitness at home and all you need is a mat and a quiet space.
I use Adriene when I have something specific I either want to focus on to improve or I have an area of my body that is suffering a little. There are over 500 yoga videos and they are divided into sections. Yoga for Upper Back, Yoga for Lower Back, Yoga for Loneliness, Yoga for Mood Swings. There is a Yoga workout for every physical or mental need that you may have. Click HERE to watch some of her videos.
If you are more of a Pilates lady then I can highly recommend Tilly. During lockdown she held a weekly Pilates on the mat session via Zoom. However she has a regularly updated Instagram page and she demonstrates a few exercises in each posting so it can make a mini workout for you. To be honest she is inspirational and her demos are so good but it is hard to achieve her perfection. I can only dream of being as fit as her!
HOME HIIT WORKOUT
This workout, devised by personal trainer Williams, takes approximately 25 minutes to complete. My daughter follows Stef Williams so I have not personally done it as it is a step too far for my older body. However it is still a great app if you want to find some fitness at home with no equipment.
All it entails is a series of exercises, spending 30 seconds doing each, and then repeating the entire workout three times.
These exercises are:
- Chest to floor burpees
- Lying leg raises
- Jumping squats
- Jumping curtsy squats
- Press ups, which you can do either on the floor or resting on a piece of furniture such as a sofa
- Crab walks
Williams also offers more at-home workouts on her app Fit with Stef, which is available to download on iOS from the App Store.
AT HOME -CARDIO
I do a lot of Yoga and Pilates but I was worried about my cardio. Dog walking I know is not enough. I found myself panting when I had to walk up a steep hill. While you may think being at-home eliminates your chance to take part in an effective cardio workout, you are mistaken.
Doing a quick cardio workout at home is more accessible than you might think. It is efficient, offers convenience, and you may even save money. Luckily, a good cardio workout doesn’t have to require a ton of space or fancy equipment.
With a little creativity, you can put together a fitness routine that includes a wide range of effective cardio exercises to build muscle, burn calories, and feel better. Below are some home cardio exercises you can do anytime, anywhere. Here is a good example of a free online video. Even if you can’t do as many reps as these two, doing just a few is better than none and you will be amazed at how quickly you build the number of reps up.
With all these exercise options available I find now that I enjoy practising fitness at home. Also having seen the results after 16 weeks of lockdown, I realise I don’t need an expensive gym membership or lots of home equipment.