While there are many obvious physical benefits to exercise, physical activity also causes an increase in endorphin levels, the body’s ‘feel-good’ chemical. It can help you feel more self-confident and energised, can help you sleep better and can also create a sense of clarity and calm post-workout, improving your health physically and mentally.
The team at Spatone have come up with a workout-plan to keep you healthy and motivated when you can’t leave the house, but feel free to adapt it as much as you like. Try to get 30 minutes of activity a day, whether that’s a dynamic HIIT session or some simple stretching, get that blood flowing and that body moving!
Starting your Monday morning with some yoga is a great way to get both your mind and body ready for the week ahead. Yoga is a bit of a double whammy – not only is it amazing for your core strength, flexibility and balance, but it also has many benefits for your mind. Before you jump ahead into full yogi-mode, focus on mastering some of the basics such as downward dog, a good forward fold and chaturanga. Once you’ve got those skills under your belt, maybe try a 20-30 minute beginner vinyasa flow video on YouTube and work your way up. Take a look at Cat Meffan, Yoga with Kassandra and Yoga with Adriene on YouTube for a variety of videos of all different lengths and levels.
After Monday’s calming and grounding yoga, amp it up with High Intensity Interval Training to get your heart rate going and your body sweating. A HIIT workout is usually structured with 20-45 seconds of ‘on’ time (the time during which you are performing an exercise) and 15-40 seconds of rest time. The longer the HIIT session, the shorter the ‘on’ time and longer the rest time. Here’s a recent HIIT workout by Whitney Simmons. Natacha Oceane has a whole programme with HIIT workouts, but also has free options on her Instagram and YouTube channel for you to try out.
Dancing is an amazing way to let loose and be active all while having fun. Put some upbeat music on and dance around the living room during a work break or follow an online Zumba video. The great thing about dancing at home is that you don’t have to worry about anyone watching, so feel free to go wild and let your feet and body do the thinking for you! If you’re looking for a lower-impact dance workout, you could try a POPSUGAR Fitness Barre workout video on YouTube.
After three workout days, let your body rest with some active recovery. If you can’t go for a walk, why not turn on some calming music and spend 30 minutes giving your muscles a nice stretch. If you have a foam roller or a tennis ball, use it to roll out any tight muscles, but if you don’t, regular stretching can work just as well. Working on your flexibility can also be quite fulfilling and is beneficial to your body’s overall health. Aim to spend 30 seconds to 1 minute on each stretch, remembering to breathe deeply in order to get oxygen flowing through those muscles and enabling you to go further into the stretch.
A cross between conditioning exercises and yoga, Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that targets every muscle in your body and that you can easily do at home. Check out Blogilates on YouTube for a number of videos to suit your every need.
Setting a weekly bodyweight challenge on a Saturday can be a great way to keep yourself motivated while physically noting your progress. You could even challenge a family member or housemate for a little added competition. Here are two different kinds of challenges you can do, pick one or alternate between the two and note your progress every week:
• AMRAP challenge: An AMRAP challenge is a high-intensity workout where you aim to do as many exercises as possible within a certain period of time. Here are 7 different AMRAP workouts from 12 Minute Athlete that you can try out. Pick one, write down how many rounds you’re able to do in 12 minutes and see if you can do more next Saturday.
• Push-up or plank challenge: A bodyweight exercise challenge is a fun way to check in with your progress every few weeks. The idea here is to do as many reps of one exercise as possible before you max out. Maybe do a push-up challenge this week and a plank challenge (hold it as long as you can) next week. In a couple weeks’ time, do your push-up challenge again and see how many more you can do. Other bodyweight challenges could be how many crunches can you do or how long can you perform a wall sit.
It’s Sunday Funday and that means today’s activity is totally up to you! If you feel like your muscles need some rest before starting a new week, then don’t push yourself and simply give yourself a gentle stretch. Ending the week with an evening yoga video can also be a nice way to settle down but if you’re feeling adventurous, then why not try out another HIIT video to end the week on a high note?