Authored by Judy Caramello – Fitness Instructor at Hilton Head Health
There is no better time than the present to create a virtual workout space in your home or residence. With mandatory social distancing required during the Coronavirus quarantine, numerous health clubs and gyms are temporarily closed throughout the country and the world. Gym-goers are now avoiding group workouts and shared fitness equipment in favor of home fitness for health and sanitary reasons. Millions of people have been feeling trapped when they are accustomed to getting out of the house on a daily basis for work, socialization, going to parks, sporting events, and also to exercise. We are all witnessing the importance of body movement to reduce stress, anxiety, and keep us fit during these challenging times. The Center for Disease Control says
“Regular physical activity is one of the most important things people can do to improve their health. Moving more and sitting less have tremendous benefits for everyone, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, or current fitness levels.” The CDC also recommends adults get 150 minutes of exercise per week through a mix of muscle training and moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
An exciting solution is to create a custom virtual workout space in the luxury of our own home. Having your personally designed space can help alleviate stress and also give you exercise options and flexibility in the future. Recently there has been a sudden surge of online workouts as people are self-isolating and social distancing ie; videos on demand, YouTube videos, Facebook Live Streams, and Instagram. Having a dedicated space in your house, garage, or apartment is key. There are also so many workout options available through streaming such as yoga, pilates, strength training, boxing, Tabata, etc. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home with minimal equipment to get a full-body workout.
Listed below are some easy guidelines to create your very own virtual workout space in the comfort of your home and get you conveniently exercising in no time.
The first thing to do is take a look around in your home and get an idea of a good spot to create your ideal exercise space. Exercise should be fun and joyful so take the time to find the right location in your residence. Do you have a spare bedroom that isn’t being used by your mother in law? What about an area of your garage that’s collecting dust, paint cans, and junk? Same with a cluttered basement or attic? I love the idea of the outdoors- what about a covered porch outside? Rooms with natural light and sunshine would be great to workout in, but a dark area could be peaceful for yoga or meditation.
If the area of your residence does not have a smart tv (and you do not want to purchase one), you can use a smartphone, tablet, iPad, laptop, or desktop computer. With your streaming device, you need a good internet connection for your virtual workout area. Most streaming apps like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc require good internet connections. (You might need to install additional internet wireless access points or range extenders)
Next is music! Listening to music while exercising doesn’t just alleviate boredom, it can increase your stamina, revitalize you, and get you motivated. I suggest a Bluetooth wireless speaker that you can use to jam and rock out to your favorite tunes.
The furniture you already have in your home such as a couch or chair is an excellent addition to some basic exercise moves. A chair or couch can be used in a variety of exercises in your workout including tricep dips, push-ups, lunges, and squats.
Your first inexpensive investment should be dumbbells or free weights. If space is an issue, dumbbells are an effective tool to work all the muscles in your body. Weights come in different shapes and sizes and range in size from 1 pound to up over 20 pounds. To get started and dependent on your fitness level you could get two sets of free weights. The American Council of Exercise suggests you need 20-50 square feet of physical space for using free weights.
Depending on the type of exercise you are doing and the flooring in your home I would suggest a mat. There are a wide variety of mats to practice yoga, meditation, or Pilates. I would suggest a large rubber mat for more weight lifting or strength training.
Jumping rope is a wonderful way to get cardio especially in small places, indoors, and can be done anywhere. It is said that skipping rope for 10 minutes is like jogging for 30 minutes.
Kettlebells take up little room and are very effective because they stimulate the muscles and enable you to build strength and endurance.
Medicine balls are a great stress reliever and are very useful for explosive movements. You can hurl them to the ground- unlike dumbbells!
If you want to work on stretching and flexibility, then yoga straps and blocks should be in your virtual workout area. Straps are mainly used for stretching for a wide range of motion and for posture improvement. Yoga blocks are a wonderful way to support the neck, back, and hips, and are often used as an aid or an extension of the arm.
If cost and space aren’t factors for your virtual workout space, there are high tech home machine systems and numerous cardio equipment available such as a treadmill, elliptical, indoor cycling bike, rowing machine, steppers, and arc trainers.
Regular exercise is essential for keeping your body healthy and creating a balanced immune system especially in times of stress and uncertainty.
So kiss the excuses goodbye and set up your own virtual workout space and enjoy the beauty of getting healthy and fit right in your own home!
Fitness Instructor at Hilton Head Health