Turn your home into a gym

We know coronavirus and social distancing have introduced many new challenges for you, and they can create a lot of added stress or anxiety.

Working out is a great way to keep yourself busy, healthy and reduce stress.

Here are some quick exercises you can try, whether you’re now working from home or just looking for new ways to stay active, without being able to go to the gym.

Upper body builders

  • Seated raise. Sit up straight with your hands on your armrests, and use your arms, shoulders and core to lift yourself out of the seat. Hold for 15 seconds, then slowly lower yourself. Repeat 5–10 times. Want to make it harder? Sit cross-legged with your feet up in the chair.
  • Bicep curl. Use a full purse, briefcase or full water bottle to work your arms. Keep your elbows close to your sides, and don’t rush the movement; the slower you go, the harder your muscles work. Go for 15–20 reps.
  • Pencil pincher. Feeling stiff and sore? A back strengthener can help. Drop your shoulders and roll them back, then pretend you’re holding a pencil between your shoulder blades. Pinch it as hard as you can, then release. Try 10–12 reps.
  • Namaste. Sit up straight, with your feet on the floor. Put your hands together in front of you, prayer-style, with your elbows out. Now push your palms together as hard as you can for 15–20 seconds. Feel those shoulders and biceps work? Good. Now do it 5–10 more times.
  • Tricep dips. Stand facing away from your desk, a sturdy table or couch and place your palms on the edge of it, on either side of you. (Make sure your desk, table or couch is secured before trying this!) Lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees, then push back up slowly, making sure you straighten your arms completely at the top. Repeat 12–15 times.

Lower body moves

  • No-chair sit squats. Slowly lower yourself until you feel like you should be sitting in a chair, hold for a few seconds, then slowly stand back up. Do 15–20 reps. Want to add challenge? Try a wall sit; lean against the wall with your legs at a 90-degree angle and hold for up to 60 seconds.
  • Glute squeezes. This one is incredibly easy — and surprisingly effective. Simply tighten your glutes, hold for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat as many times as you want.
  • Seated leg raises. Want to feel your quads work? Raise one or both legs and hold for 5–10 seconds. Repeat 12–15 times. Add challenge by looping a purse or briefcase over your ankle for added weight.
  • Invisible ab crunches. Strengthen your core by tightening your abdominal muscles and pulling them toward your spine as you exhale. Hold tight for 5–10 seconds, then release. Repeat 12–15 times.

We’re here to help. Please check our coronavirus (COVID-19) page regularly, for important information and related articles.

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