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How to keep fit during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kristy Curtis
A young man planking at home while following along to a workout routine on a tablet

Creating a new routine can help you stay on track

A young man planking at home while following along to a workout routine on a tablet

If you’re trying to limit your time out in the community during the pandemic, or you want to save money on gym memberships, maintaining fitness at home might be a better option.

Personal trainer Kristy Curtis, former trainer from The Biggest Loser Asia, says creating a new routine can help you stay on track.

“The most important thing to do if you are working from home is try to establish a routine that you can easily stick to on a weekly basis. I find getting up 45 minutes earlier is the best time for me as I have no distractions from family or work – you may find lunchtimes easier or an afternoon schedule.”

Unlike Chris Hemsworth, most of us don’t have a private workout studio at home, but it’s still possible to carve out a dedicated exercise space – even if it’s small.

“Allocate a space at your residence where you have room to perform some bodyweight exercises, put in some home equipment or have a good stretch,” Kristy says. “Schedule your workout time like a meeting in your diary so it is a priority and you are less likely to cancel.”

Exercising at home

The Australian Government recommends building up 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise – meaning you work hard, but not too hard – or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity across each week, as well as two days of muscle strengthening activities.

A young woman drinks a glass of water as she looks out the kitchen window

Here are Kristy’s tips for hitting those goals while exercising at home:

  • Go online. “Check out some great online content from fitness experts who are live streaming mini workouts in their lounge rooms or offering subscriptions for a course of classes over this time,” she advises.

  • Head outside. “Walking or jogging is great for some cardio conditioning – throw in some stairs or sprints for an additional challenge,” she says. “After each sprint perform bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, burpees, push-ups, planks and mountain climbers for an all-over body workout.”

  • Get creative with resistance work. “When it comes to indoor training, furniture such as couches or chairs can be used as benches for exercises such as tricep dips, decline push-ups, step-ups and even Bulgarian split squats,” she says.

Related: 7 bodyweight workouts you can do at home

Being your own trainer

When you’re coming up with a home workout regimen, Kristy says you need to consider:

  • Your fitness level

  • Your strength

  • Any injuries or physical limitations

  • The equipment you have on hand

You also need to zero in on your goals each session: “For example, do you want to work on your cardio fitness? If so, a more cardio-based workout would be better – perhaps some burpees, skipping and star jumps,” she advises. “If your goal is to develop your strength then a workout with dumbbells or bodyweight exercises might be more appropriate.”

Remember, without a fitness instructor or personal trainer, you’re accountable to yourself.

“You need to monitor your effort level, be honest with how hard you are working and your level of exertion, and don’t get distracted or take too many breaks,” Kristy warns.

“Try to mix up your routines every couple of weeks to avoid workout plateaus and reach out to an online personal trainer if you need some accountability or some guidance.”

Looking for other ways to keep you and your family healthy during this time? From grocery and nutrition guides to tips on managing your mental wellbeing during self-isolation, check out the rest of our COVID-19 content series.

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Kristy Curtis

Kristy Curtis is one of Australia and Asia’s leading wellness experts. She discovered her passion for fitness at a young age and has since transformed that passion into a career, with a successful personal training business and as a TV presenter. Kristy strongly believes while there are some things in life you can’t control, you can take ownership and responsibility of your health through eating good food, thinking positively and keeping your body moving. Every night before bed, Kristy completes a sudoku puzzle.