It’s another day at home. You’re in your pyjamas, and you’re still seriously contemplating getting out of bed. Diets are tough enough already. Now you’ve got unlimited access to the kitchen. No one would blame you if your eating habits veered to the unhealthy side, or if you skipped a workout – or five. As easy as it is to slip, your body and mind need you, now more than ever! Motivate yourself to stick to a kickass diet and fitness routine to keep a strong body and clear mind with our picks for keeping in shape while at home.
Strength training using bodyweight
While most of you fitness fanatics are not able to get to the gym, it does not mean your health and fitness should be left behind. Whether you have a full home-gym, or no fitness equipment at all, with a little guidance, everyone can utilise what they have to create a great fitness routine.
We’re big fans of circuits and these translate great into the home. Simply choose a few exercises (like bodyweight squats, push ups, side planks, triceps dips off the side of the bed, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, etc.) and complete them in a circuit fashion; we suggest doing each for one minute then taking a 30-second break before starting the next exercise.
Alternatively, pick up a few resistance bands and incorporate these into a home workout. They add an extra challenge to bodyweight exercises but don’t put the same sort of pressure on your joints that external weights, like dumbbells and kettlebells, do. They’re also great for targeting smaller stabilising muscles that you may not typically work.
For ladies looking for that killer booty, the banded hip thrust and glute kickbacks are a must! A strong back is also vital for a strong chest, meaning the more you work on your lat pull-downs, you’ll not just achieve a well-defined back but much more. Lastly but most importantly are the triceps extensions for firmer looking arms. To create your own resistance band workout, pick four or five resistance band exercises, do 15 to 20 reps of each, and repeat four times.
Strike your yoga poses at home
Of course, yoga studios are truly wonderful, but you don’t actually need one to practice. There are lots of poses for the beginner yogi. If your back is giving you trouble, lifting and lowering your back with the cat and cow poses is the way to go. Need help straightening your spine? Half-warrior will help. We love the locust pose – with your shoulders, arms and legs lifted off the ground, it feels like you’re Wonder Woman sailing through the air.
Despite its grand name, the hero pose isn’t a complicated feat. Sitting with your feet tucked under your butt, the hero pose is about relaxing your breath and maintaining a good posture. Downward-Facing Dog is the bread and butter of yoga, but it can be challenging for beginners. This pose stretches the hamstrings, opens the shoulders and creates length in the spine – without all the weight on your upper body.
Although it’s an ancient practice, yoga has become the exercise in recent years. Practicing yoga has serious health benefits beyond flexibility and balance, though those are some great perks. Studies show yoga does everything from fighting anxiety, depression and stress to reducing inflammation in the body – all something we could use a little more of these days.
Get in on the latest diet craze
While many popular healthy diets—from Ketogenic to Mediterranean and Paleo—share many of the same basic principles, it’s helpful to get into the nitty gritty if you’re really going to dive into one in particular.
The ketogenic diet has received a lot of attention this year; it’s officially replaced the Mediterranean diet as the most popular diet with nutrition experts, wellness bloggers and health-minded individuals analysing its benefits and downfalls. The goal of this diet is to put the body in a state of ketosis, which means your body burns fat as its main energy source (instead of carbs or protein) which aids in healthy weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet is centred around whole and minimally processed ingredients with a minimal amount of added sugars and red meats. The fresh local produce found in markets becomes the foundation of any Mediterranean diet meal. It’s an antioxidant-rich diet that is plant-based with heart-healthy fats rounded out with ample seafood.
Meat eaters do well on Paleo diets, as it’s mainly a meat and two-veg diet. It’s also popular with gym bunnies. The focus on protein combined with moderate amounts of slow-releasing carbohydrates promotes muscle growth and will help to optimise levels of body fat for many. In addition, many Paleo foodies report sustained energy levels so you don’t have to reach for quick-fix snacks.
Exercise with video games
Sick of sitting on the couch and watching Netflix? These fitness video games will get you back on your feet whether you own a PS4, Nintendo Switch or an Xbox.
If you’ve an old Kinect Sensor lying around that you want to dust off and put to use, Shape Up is a great way to have fun and get a quick workout in. This fitness video game takes traditional exercise routines and mixes them up using crazy graphics and special effects. In the game you’ll do anything from bench-pressing an elephant, to breaking ice cubes as quickly as possible and performing squats while simultaneously destroying asteroids.
If you’re a fan of Zumba in real life then you should find the game version just as fun, if not quite as challenging. Zumba Burn It Up lets you learn routines from real-life instructors who help keep you motivated and keep your moves on track. Up to four players can get in on the fun, making it a great hit at family game night as well. We say there is never a bad time to want to improve one’s body and there has never been a better time for video games fans.