We're sure that by now many South Africans are missing their workout sessions at the gym or yoga studio. However there's plenty you can do at home to maintain your fitness level during this period. Here are a few ways you can get the best workout in the comfort of your own home.
1. Try the original “Stair Master”
Most homes come with at least two or three stairs somewhere – either inside your home or somewhere in the exterior of the building. For those living in apartment blocks, stairs are bountiful. So, get your heart rate up by walking up and down the stairs for 30 minutes – did you know a person with an average body weight of 75kgs could burn over 150 calories in 30 minutes? If you really want to get your blood pumping and burn more calories, then run up and down your stairs for at least 20 minutes.
2. Laundry bottle weight lifting
Don’t have dumbbells? No problem! Simply recycle empty laundry bottles and fill them halfway with sand or fully with water – depending on how heavy you want them to be. Start by doing 10 bicep curls, and complete two to three sets of these and gradually increase the amount as you get fitter and stronger.
You can also switch things up by holding a bottle in one hand while the other arm is resting. Rest the bottle on your shoulder and slowly lift it in the air, before slowly bringing it back. Repeat for 10 lifts, and complete two to three sets per arm.
3. Dance your calories away
Not everyone enjoys conventional exercises, and that’s okay! That’s where working out from home is an ideal solution. So, put on your best playlist and simply dance it out. Not only is dancing a great overall body workout, but it’s also something you can get your kids and partner to join in on.
4. The chair dips
All you need is a sturdy dining room chair for tricep dips. Sit on the edge of the chair with your hands next to your hips (your hands should be holding onto the chair). Now, slide off the edge and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Keep your back as close as possible to the chair while pushing back up and then back down with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Aim to do at least 10 of these and gradually increase it over time.
5. Do dishwasher bends
Who doesn’t want beautifully toned legs? If you’re the owner of a dishwasher, then you’re already one step closer to getting this. How? By doing squats as you pick up the plates, instead of bending over. Also make sure your form is right: imagine that you’re sitting down on an imaginary chair while squatting, and make sure your knees don’t go past your toes.
Don’t have a dishwasher? No stress! You can also use a wall. Simply rest your head, back and neck against a wall, with your feet about 50cm (one and a half ruler lengths) away from the wall. Slide your body down until your thighs are parallel to your feet. Hold for 15 seconds before sliding back up. Repeat 10 times.
6. Find your zen
Simply find a quiet spot in your home to do a few key stretching exercises to release the tension… One great exercise is to sit with your legs crossed on the floor; lift your arms (with fingers intertwined) in the air while keeping your shoulders relaxed; hold the pose for five breaths in and out through your nose. You should feel a wonderful release and stretch in your back.
Another great stretch is the child’s pose: sit comfortably on your heels; roll your torso forward and extend your arms in front of you; rest your chest as comfortably close on your knees. Hold the pose for five breaths in and out through your nose.
Ensure that you focus your mind on a quiet, happy place during these stretches. A great way to do so is to actually visualise that you’re on a quiet beach, watching the waves roll in and out or that you’re meandering through a quiet forest.