Global pandemic and lockdowns is no reason to skip workouts! Here are fun at-home workouts for you to try to stay physically and mentally fit!
Too much time spent indoors, thanks to the global pandemic, has a negative effect on your mind and body. Getting the motivation to get out of that couch and exercise your muscles isn’t always possible.
On such days, I always think of fun workouts I can do, something that will not only keep my body from rusting but also give my moods and spirits a lift.
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Check out below some of my favourite and Fun At-home Workouts to keep you physically and mentally fit:
Fun At-Home Workouts To Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy
How is yoga fun, you ask? Well, when it comes to workouts I can do at home, I like to choose activities that are sustainable, something I look forward to doing every day (ok, at least thrice a week), without boredom seeping in.
Yoga has a gazillion poses, so many variations in each and different intensities.
Check out youtube for instructional videos on dance yoga where the instructor guides you through step by step for a choreographed peppy song.
By the end of the 20-minute workout, you will find yourself nicely warmed up, even sweating a little maybe, and thoroughly enjoying yourself as you dance to the song.
All this without even realising that you’ve actually practised at least 10 different yoga asanas in the process.
I usually choose instructional yoga videos that I find interesting where I can comfortably do at least 80% of it. The other 20% is something that I “challenge myself” to do, and if I can do it, that’s a nice achievement.
On the days I’m tired, I do a long deep stretch routine that includes the downward dog pose, cat-cow pose and the cobra to relieve my tired muscles.
Yoga benefits the mind as well by helping you improve your concentration and focus, all that deep breathing you do certainly calms you down and helps you destress. Oh, and the best part – the guided relaxation at the end of the workout where its acceptable to even doze off!
Pilates is very similar to yoga, the only thing that is different is the lack of meditation at the end of it. I love Pilates for the reason that you can do it anywhere without any major equipment.
All you need is a yoga mat or even a carpet and you’re good to go.
Pilates, just like yoga, is a workout where you use your own body, the result of which is a slim, sleek, toned and strong physique.
I’ve always had a weak upper body with not much strength, but have personally experienced my arms getting stronger, thanks to Pilates. Imagine my glee when I also found my biceps getting that sculpted look!
There are lots of instructors on youtube who upload detailed instructional videos and video series.
There are some that are amazing for a quick 6-minute workout which you can sneak in between those boring Zoom meetings, or a longer 30-60 minute Pilates workout that you can do when you have lots of time.
Pilates is a lot of fun as a lot of moves are quick, there’s peppy music in the background, and there are lots of variations to every move. Things never get boring once you find an instructor you like.
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Zumba is one of my favourite workouts and the moves I learn, keep me going throughout the day. Long after the session is over, I often catch my feet moving to the rhythm stuck in my brain. I find that the music keeps my mind healthy and happy.
Zumba is a dance fitness activity that requires a certified instructor, which ensures that the person who is teaching knows what they are doing. It is, of course, a fantastic cardio workout, getting you to move and sweat, but I have also found that it can help tone the physique.
The beauty of Zumba is that this dance workout was designed to make it super easy and doable even for those who aren’t good dancers.
If you are anything like me and have two left feet, don’t worry. Take it slow in the beginning and learn the steps. In a couple of weeks’ time, you will find that the basic steps are quite repetitive and you will start enjoying the choreography put together by the instructor.
Zumba is the most fun workout you will find and this is something that will never bore you. This is because, every few months, the instructors receive a new set of music to choreograph for your workout. And we are never going to run out of music, ever!
The Plank Challenge
This is simple, yet not so simple. If you’re one of those who has perfectly sculpted abs and plenty of core strength, holding a plank might sound like child’s play to you. But for the rest of us normal mortals, the plank itself is a challenge.
Having said that, I do think planks can be super fun and help in keeping you both physically as well as mentally fit.
Holding a plank does not come easy to many. Give yourself “The plank challenge”. Start with holding a plank for about 20 seconds on day one, and slowly build it up every day.
This is a great challenge just for you, or you could challenge a friend or loved one to it too.
Planks are some of the best exercises that engage all your muscles and your will power.
If you’re a beginner, start off by placing your knees and elbows on the floor, lifting your feet off the floor and holding the position. Tighten your stomach muscles but keep breathing.
Don’t give up. This is where your will power works, helping you stay mentally focused and fit.
As you progress through the first week, try balancing on your toes and elbows.
If you’re up for a bigger challenge, you could also try side planks as part of the challenge.
Squats & Lunges
These are some of my favourite workouts as they require very little space and I can do it anywhere, anytime.
I usually incorporate these with my Netflix marathons where, before I know it, I’ve spent an easy 3 to 4 hours on the couch without moving or stretching. Between those re-runs of my favourite sitcoms, I challenge myself to get off the couch and do a set of 10 squats and 10 lunges.
Before I know it, I have done about 200 reps of each. (You’re allowed to do the math about the number of episodes I’ve watched but no, you can’t judge).
Another way of incorporating this workout is to do it when you’re waiting for the coffee to brew, or the eggs to get cooked, or do a few of these between those video conference meetings that are literally putting you to sleep. Just wherever, whenever, it’s so easy.
Squats & lunges are great to keep your lower body strong and toned. Don’t forget to stretch afterwards so that your muscles don’t get tight.
Workout Video Series
A lot of instructors putting up workout videos online realise that at home, we may not always have free weights or the luxury of a lot of space.
It’s quite easy to find workout videos online where you require just enough space to lay down your exercise mat. Also, I’m the kind who will drop a workout if I decide to do it myself (not much will power there), but throw in an instructor and I am all obedience!
Most of these videos have fun and motivating music in the background, and even a motivating instructor. There are a lot of instructors who are super funny as well, and I often have a good laugh at their jokes and comments while we work out.
Another thing I like is that the instructors do the workout with you, so you know you’re not the only one in pain!
These fun videos can be chosen depending on how much time you have and what intensity of workout you prefer. I have also done a few where you don’t jump around at all, saving your downstairs neighbours the trouble of something pounding on their heads.
As a child, I loved jump ropes and hula hooping. Now, as an adult, I hear that hula hooping is back as a fitness workout, and I’m so thrilled!
There are loads of hula hooping videos on the internet, each one more fun than the other. Unlike jump ropes, hula hooping requires lesser space, making this one of the most convenient exercises you can participate in.
It works on your agility, builds your core strength, flexibility and can tone the muscles of your abs and obliques. Do this regularly and you will bid goodbye to those love handles and muffin tops.
Hula hooping brings back a lot of childhood memories, which always put a smile on my face. The happiness and the release of endorphins when I can get the hoop to twirl on my hips is something that cannot be measured.