How To WOFW – Work Out From Home
In this anxious time of intense uncertainty, it’s vitally important to exercise. Exercise helps quell anxiety and is important in managing blood pressure and cholesterol.
But with COVID-19 gym closures, social distancing and self-isolation, how is it possible to get in a workout if you can’t go for a walk, run or bike ride, and don’t have equipment at home?
Well, you’ve no doubt seen “WFH” (Work From Home) so now it’s time to consider how to WOFH (Work Out From Home.) Some gyms and spin studios are offering wonderful at-home programs via Zoom and Instagram, and there are many exercise possibilities on the web and social media. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you exercise! Here are two that I personally like.
THE 7-MINUTE WORKOUT *
Gretchen Reynolds’ 2013 article, The Scientific 7-Minute Workout is a high intensity option for any sized space—all that’s needed is a chair and a wall. Astoundingly, this is a high-intensity interval training routine even though it’s only seven minutes long and you don’t need to run. That said, it’s an INTENSE seven minutes. But if you need a way to do cardio without a lot of space or equipment, give this a try.
Here’s how it works. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then do the next exercise for 30 seconds. The intensity/work effort needs to be high, “about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1-10.” There are 12 exercises in total and it will be an unpleasant / challenging routine…but you’ll be done in 7 minutes.
There’s even an app. If you don’t like apps, no problem—there’s a web interface too. The app/desktop version counts out the duration of each exercise, then counts out the 10 seconds of rest, then calls and counts out the next exercise. Access the links to the app and the desktop version here: For a 7-Minute Workout, Try Our New App.
* NOTE: As always, it’s important to consult with your doctor before trying any new exercise program. This one is high-intensity and may not be appropriate for all; Do not start any new high-intensity interval program without consulting your doctor.
Here is a quick overview of the exercises:
High-Intensity Interval Training not your thing? No worries; How about a yoga program? They abound, and any yoga program is going to be both great exercise and calming. Like the Scientific 7-Minute Workout, you don’t need much space or any equipment other than a mat or carpet.
My personal favorite is Yoga with Adriene. She is skilled at clearly explaining yoga moves / poses—even if you have never done yoga you can follow her easily. Plus she is not very “woo-woo,” which I totally appreciate. As well, she has programs tailored to all different levels and goals. You can see her whole offering on her YouTube channel or website.
If you are a yoga beginner and want to try it out, I highly recommend her ’30 Days of Yoga’ program. You can find that either on YouTube or on her website. What I can tell you about her 30 Days of Yoga program is that each day is under 30 minutes (!) and you’ll be amazed at how much flexiblity and strength you can build in just a week or two (or four!) I downloaded it rather than streaming each one live: you can find that link here 30 Days of Yoga – Downloadable.
** NOTE: As always, it’s important to consult with your doctor before trying any new exercise program.
TO CONSIDER – White Noise and Blood Pressure Monitoring
If you’re concerned you’ll disturb others who are WFH or in your home while you’re exercising, how about a white noise machine? I brought this DOHM White Noise Machine home from my office and it’s been so helpful while the two of us are WFH, and when I’m doing yoga while my husband is working.
And it’s always a good idea to keep tabs on your blood pressure, especially if you have high cholesterol. For more information on how and why to do that, read my post, How And Why To Take Your Blood Pressure. The blood pressure monitor I recommend there seems to be low on supply / high on price at the moment, so here’s another option.
Omron 7 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor.
I hope you and your family are managing through this COVID-19 crisis, and hope these exercise options are a small help in this extraordinarily trying time.