I wouldn’t say I was a frequent visitor of my local gym prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. I also can’t pretend I was an at-home workout fiend, or even an avid fan of exercise in general. Instead, I viewed the gym as an affordable escape from my two kids, my job, my partner, and the responsibilities of daily life. Every once in a while I’d walk two blocks, smile nicely at the front desk person when signing in, then pop in my ear buds and spend 60 minutes focusing on nothing but my breath and concentrating on the internal monologue necessary to keep myself running for just one more mile.
But now that COVID-19 has left me sheltering in place with my two children for four months (and counting), I have severely missed the mental release visiting the gym provided me. And given that the number of confirmed cases of the virus are surging in 40 states, thinking my local gym will be able to safely open anytime soon is, at best, wishful thinking (and in reality, delusional).
So absent the ability to head to the gym, I’ve had to find alternative ways to get my sweat on and maintain my mental health. Thankfully, there are some truly wonderful at-home workouts available at little or no-cost. Whether it’s live Zoom sessions, streaming videos, or 30-day regimens, there’s a little something for anyone who, like me, desperately needs an escape from *all this* and some self-care time dedicated to moving their body.
Lately, I’ve been relying on quick at-home workouts that I can sneak in during my workday and while my two feral children are napping. This great 20-minute full-body toning workout from P.volve does the trick, and while it’s fast it definitely tires me out. What I’ve come to really appreciate from any P.volve at-home workout is the mindfulness incorporated in every movement. The regimens are designed to help you slow down, focus on your body’s movements and the areas of the body you’re targeting, and facilitate a mind-body connection. In 20 minutes, I feel as centered as I did after an hour workout at the gym.
If you can afford and have the space for an at-home stationary bike, I highly suggest you invest in one. I bit the bullet and bought a SoulCycle bike a little over a month ago, and it has already helped improve my mental health in spades. The bikes themselves are spendy (in the $1,000 to $2,000 range) and the monthly fee will cost you around $40, but if you consider that a single in-person SoulCycle class is roughly $40, the bike will more than pay for itself in a matter of months.
This at-home yoga workout is a godsend when I’m completely overwhelmed, frustrated, and struggling to get through the day. This class focuses on “stepping into your power,” and uses breathing techniques, mindfulness, and intentioned movements to reduce stress, own the present moment, and feel more connected to your body.
This series of six at-home workouts are specifically designed to tone, strengthen, and sculpt your body. When it comes to exercise, I’m not as comfortable with a workout that relies on equipment (especially weights). But the p.ball — an inflated ball attached to elastic bands —
is a patented, easy-to-use piece of workout equipment designed by P.volve with the sole purpose of targeting areas that are difficult to engage during any workout.
For the uninitiated, HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training… and it’s exactly as it sounds. By alternating between short periods of intense cardiovascular workouts and quick periods of recovery, this at-home workout focuses on your thighs and glutes. I can’t lie, it sucks in the moment, but you won’t be able to think about literally anything else during this workout and when it’s over you’ll feel absolutely fabulous.
Who among us doesn’t need to punch it out? Especially these days, throwing a 1-2 punch at the air will help your mind as much as it’ll tone your arms and abs. Via the Obe Fitness app, you can stream this high-intensity workout on-demand and whenever you’re in need of some physical reprieve. It’s a two-for-one conditioning and cardio routine designed to give your entire body a workout while reducing your stress and improving your hand-eye coordination.
As you can see, a pattern has emerged. Not only am I a fan of quick at-home workouts I can seamlessly incorporate into my daily routine, but I’ve become incredibly reliant on P.volve’s dedication to the mind-body connection and the way mindfulness is purposefully woven into their exercises. This quick arms and abs workout utilizes low-impact plank moves to engage the entire body without putting unnecessary and often painful stress on your joints.
Again, if you’re looking for a workout designed to target the entire body in a slow amount of time, this Barre 3 workout is perfect. You do need a set of weights (nothing too heavy, 1 to 3 lbs max) and a yoga mat. If you’re new to Barre 3, this video provides notifications of certain moves so you can workout at your own pace and in a way that works best for you and your body.
The longer I remain in quarantine with my family, the more space inside my home my children claim as their own. So I’ve come to rely on equipment-free at-home workouts that don’t require a full set of dumbbells or a lot of square footage. This workout, which utilizes leg lifts and purposeful stepping patterns, strengthens muscles and stretches out your body. And once again, since the focus is on slow, steady, powerful body movements and quality over quantity, you’ll end the workout feeling centered and in-tune with your body.
You don’t have to be a professional dancer to get the most out of this at-home workout. You only have to learn seven moves, which you’ll repeat four times. This routine will scratch any Zoomba or Zoobma-adjacent itch you may have, while burning calories and toning your arms and legs.