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Coronavirus lockdown | Stay fit at home: best workout tips that are not too technical

As South Africa’s state of lockdown was announced on Monday 23 March, many began to wonder how to stay fit if they couldn't go for a daily run or walk or workout in the gym.

Exercise is not only an immune booster but may also make a significant difference to your mental health. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for everyone to head outside into a backyard for some fresh air. Here are some tips to get your daily burst of exercise inside your home.

1. Don’t complicate things

If you didn’t manage to gather some equipment before shops closed, this doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise at home. Utilise whatever you can – that yoga mat you've never used before, a soft towel, a low bench, canned food to use as dumbbells – they can all be used with great success. You can also rely on body weight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups and squats, and combine them with high-intensity moves such as star jumps or high-knees. This article gives great tips on what exercises to do, and these are the top five exercises you can easily do in your lounge.

2. Go online

Not only will some jobs be done remotely during this time, but we will also have to rely on the internet for fitness classes or guidance. Finding an online video will especially help if you are a beginner and not sure how to put an effective home workout together. Whether you are willing to pay for an app, or find free options, the choices are endless.

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3. Give it your full attention

Focus solely on your exercise routine during the time you set aside for fitness. Now is not the time to read an email or listen to the news in the background. Use this time not only to boost your body, but also to give your mental health a break, especially during times where we feel anxious. If you simply can’t focus during a sweat session, try yoga or meditation to help you breathe. Not sure yoga is for you? This article may convince you.

Don't want a long workout? This 4-minute workout can burn fat and speed up the metabolism if you are looking for something short, but effective. 

4. Gather the pets

While you are not allowed to take your dogs for a walk, they also need to be entertained. Why don’t you make it a team effort? Play tug-of-war and fetch, but as your dog searches for the ball, do a quick run-on-the spot or a set of squats or lunges. As silly as it sounds, it can be great fun – and your dog will be amused.

5. Try something new – but don’t overthink it

We’ve heard how we are supposed to use this time in lockdown create new habits or try a new form of exercise. For many, that is simply not realistic as we might feel anxious and depressed about an unforeseen future. Have fun and try something new by all means, but don’t feel the pressure to do so. If you’ve never incorporated strength training in your running routine, now might be the time to work properly on your form, for example. Time to dust off those dumbbells and that bench in the garage!

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