With the current round of restrictions in Hong Kong meaning that gyms are closed for the foreseeable future, we’ll all likely be spending a lot of time at home. But that doesn’t mean your fitness has to suffer. Whether you’re looking to keep up with your normal gym routine, or just looking for a break from boredom baking, try one of these home fitness programmes to keep you sane.
Research shows exercise has benefits beyond keeping your body fit. Exercise can clear your mind, give you a sense of calm, improve your mood, boost your energy levels and improve your sleep quality, to name but a few of the positive effects of moving your body.
If you have been inactive for a while (we hear you!), choose a brief and easy home fitness programme to start. Build your way up to one of the tougher programmes when you’re ready. You can do these on your own or involve the whole family. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it and you’ll reap the benefits.
If you don’t feel like you have the capacity or resources to do one of the online programmes, read to the end and you’ll find a few exercises you can do at home with no equipment or programme at all.
Maddie is a Canadian fitness instructor who gained popularity on Youtube during the worldwide shutdowns in 2020. She creates a variety of fitness videos that you can follow along with, for different levels and at different intensities. From ab workouts, to legs, bum and arms, MadFit is a fun way to keep fit. She regularly creates a workout routine to popular songs that are a fun way to get the kids involved, too!
This is a great resource with hundreds of free workout videos you can view on your computer. Choose your difficulty level (1-5), whether you want a male or female trainer, which part of the body you want to work on (or total body), what type of training you want (nine categories to choose from) and what equipment you have on hand (including no equipment, yoga mat, etc). The variety in Fitness Blender is astounding. From baby and mum classes, yoga and pilates, to full-on HIIT workouts, there is truly something for every body. If you’re short on time, there’s a 7-minute, no equipment total body programme that will have you feeling good in a short period of time. You’ll thank yourself for those brief minutes.They even have meal plans and recipes.
The Body Coach Joe Wicks – Catch the craze! Coach Joe has become the UK’s “PE Teacher” via free classes through his YouTube channel. The fun, live 30-minute workouts have proven incredibly popular in the UK (all advertising revenue is being donated to the NHS) but word has now spread further around the globe. The workouts are suitable for the whole family and he talks you through modifications if needed. There are also workouts for the older generation, perfect for grandparents. If you don’t catch the workouts live, they are still available on YouTube. Have fun and stay healthy!
If apps work for you, this is a good one to have on your phone or iPad. There are so many choices and each workout is brief so you have no excuse not to try one each day. Choose total body workouts, just arms, abs, core, back (or back stretches), beginner workouts, boxing, butt & thigh workouts, chair exercises, warm ups, nighttime stretches, morning routines, office programmes, Tabata exercises and even HIIT workouts for 10, 15 or 20 minutes. There are individual workouts as well as a host of other home fitness programmes and a calendar to track your progress.
This app is ideal for those of you with some resistance bands on hand. The free workouts on this app include full body, shoulders and back and lower body. Choose one of these then select the amount of time you have to do your exercise, from five to 60 minutes. These workouts provide a way to focus and get it done! Even five minutes will have you feeling better and maybe you’ll opt for 10 minutes next time. As your fitness improves you can add time and find yourself in a better mood too.
If yoga is more your thing, there are quite a few free classes online. This website offers a large variety from total beginner to advanced levels with varying class lengths and styles. Once you select your level, time and style you’re ready for some yoga bliss. There are also meditations and other relaxation techniques offered. If you can find a quiet moment and a bit of sacred space, give this a go and be prepared to feel at ease.
This is a good all around app for fitness, nutrition, exercise and news. You can sign up for their newsletter, which is always full of timely information.
Many gyms and fitness coaches in Hong Kong are also providing online workouts. Some are for members, some have a fee for each session, while some are completely free.
If you prefer to exercise without a device on hand, or if you’re unable to use a screen during the time you have for some exercise, there are some other options. A home exercise routine can be as simple as doing a few of these:
Mix it up by choosing five exercises each day. Start with 10 repetitions of each exercise and build your way up to 20. As you get stronger, add an extra exercise every week.
- Dips (using a chair or steps)
- Calf Raises
- Lunges, walking lunges
- Mountain climbers
- Knee raises
- Star jumps
- Plank, side plank