If you're finding it tough to stay motivated and work out at home during the COVID-19 lockdown, don't worry — a workout doesn't have to last long to be effective. In fact, you can get a sweat on in less than 15 minutes if you do it right! Here's what you need to know about staying active during the quarantine.
Why Is It Important to Stay Active During Quarantine?
We should all get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week to keep our hearts, lungs and muscles healthy. Since we're sitting around more than usual during quarantine, it's critical that we find creative ways to stay fit and healthy. One way to stay active during the COVID-19 lockdown is high intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT workouts are short bursts of all-out effort, meaning they're quick and seriously effective. You'll burn calories at a faster rate than normal hours after a HIIT workout, and quick, intense circuits are great for improving cardiovascular endurance and aerobic capacity. Whether you're new to HIIT or you're a pro looking for inspiration, here are three HIIT circuits to try.
HIIT Circuit 1 – Beginner
For this circuit, you don't need any equipment at all — you just need to show up ready to work! HIIT workouts are supposed to be tough, so make sure you're feeling up to training before you start. Remember, if any movement is too much for you, or you can't finish the circuit, that's OK! You can always push yourself further at your next workout.
Complete the circuit 3 to 5 times, depending on your fitness level, and rest for a full minute between rounds. Before you get started, though, jog or walk on the spot for a few minutes to elevate your heart rate.
Perform a circuit of:
- 15 squats
- 12 push-ups (start from your knees if you can't do full push-ups)
- 15 sit-ups
- 20 alternating lunges (10 reps per leg)
If 5 rounds of these exercises are too easy, you're ready for an intermediate workout.
If you have access to a treadmill or an exercise bike, you can instead do 20 seconds at a faster pace, then 20 seconds slow, for 3 to 5 rounds.
HIIT Circuit 2 – Intermediate
Intermediate HIIT workouts are a little more high-impact, but you can always swap out movements to suit your current fitness level or work around an injury. Switch out the jumping lunges for ordinary alternating lunges if you have sensitive knees.
Again, you should start with a quick warm-up to get the muscles going. Perform 3 to 5 rounds of this circuit, and rest for 40 seconds between rounds.
- 15 sumo squats to mountain climbers
- 30 second plank
- 24 jumping lunges (12 reps per leg)
- 24 plank knee to elbow (12 reps per side)
- 12 wide grip push-ups (drop to your knees if it's too much)
If you feel you don't need the full rest, or the moves are too easy, move on to circuit 3. Alternatively, get outside and try 5 10-second sprint intervals.
HIIT Circuit 3 – Advanced
For those who are more comfortable working at higher intensities, here's a burner for you! If you have weights and you can use them safely, feel free to add them in for extra resistance. As always, start with a brief warm-up to prep your body for the workout.
Perform 5 rounds, and rest for 30 seconds between circuits.
If this workout doesn't burn, we salute you! You can also do 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 5 rounds on an exercise bike or treadmill, or 10 10-second sprints.
What's just as important as staying active during the COVID-19 lockdown? Washing or sanitising your hands regularly! From doing push-ups to lifting weights, you’re constantly touching different surfaces, and it’s key that you avoid cross-contamination. Keeping your hands clean is an easy way to protect both you and your family from many viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19 — so get Your Sanitiser here and stay safe.