At-home fitness tips


For those who are not ready to return to the gym yet, at-home workouts are an important part of staying healthy during the pandemic.

Dai'Tynn Coppage-Walker

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, students were advised to do most activities indoors, including fitness.

Vanessa Carrillo, a previous Cycle Fit fitness instructor at Iowa State University Recreation Services who just recently graduated from Iowa State, said besides teaching her own class she liked to take other classes as well.

“I try my best to take other fitness classes with different instructors just because everyone is so unique in their own workout and like a personality shines through,” Carrillo said. “So definitely going out and even taking other cycling classes is what works best for me just because I hate working alone, and what to do. And it’s like fun too, because there’s always music in the background.”

Carrillo also encourages students to take advantage of free trial workout apps like Peloton, Down Dog, CorePower Yoga and her favorite, Nike Run Club.

Rec Services has options for students to either take their gym classes virtually or in person while social distancing.

Carrillo also recommends doing high-intensity exercises with 30-second intervals in between is a good type of workout but, if it does not work for you, try to do what is best for you.

“My best wish is to not necessarily think we have to go high intensity because I think we need to still acknowledge our COVID circumstances that’s exhausting us a little bit so, we want to make sure that we’re strengthening our immune system and not weakening our immune system,” said Nora Hudson, the assistant director of fitness at Rec Services. “So again to me it’s more about enjoyment, raising our spirits, getting our body movement.”

Health professionals also state that working out with friends — either virtually or in person — can be a good way to help motivate yourself.

“If they’re comfortable working out with a friend or like FaceTime on the side while they work out to make even more fun so they’re not by themselves, because I know like working out by yourself can be really boring or be like, you might talk yourself out of it because I’ve definitely done that a few times myself,” Carrillo said. 

Justin Bond, Iowa State University alumnus ‘17 and health educator, said eating healthy and being positive is a good way to stay fit.

He also said he likes to do cardio from home.

“Running, bicycling, pushups. I also have Bowflex and Insanity and P90X DVD workouts where I can workout at home,” Bond said. 

Making sure that you have a space at home and you know what kind of workout you want to do is the key to exercising while in quarantine.

“The first tip is to find a space that you feel comfortable in calling your workout area and depending on if you can bring different items in there,” Hudson said. “If you have equipment at home you can get creative and bring water bottles as hand weights, if you have carpet you can use paper plates as sliding discs as options, you can use pillows for some resistance. So it depends on what kind of fitness you want to do.”

While being stuck in quarantine it is important to know that in order to create blood circulation in your body, you must get exercise.

“There are two things that are important: we need to get the body moving and we need to create blood circulation in our muscles, our tissue and we need to get active in our lungs to stimulate our immune system and to prevent muscle aches and pains that are discouraging; that adds to some of the frustration that we’re experiencing in different levels,” Hudson said.

Dancing is also a form of exercise. While listening to your favorite song you can try to create a dance to go along with it.

If you want to have more intentionality in your movement you may want to think about doing functional movements like a pushup or a squat because it builds strength in your body.

Hudson said if you do not have equipment at home, it might be beneficial to do more endurance activities such as leg lifts and arm raises. Endurance activities are supposed to increase blood circulation and tighten your muscles.

Outside activities are also great use of exercise.

“Going outdoors for a walk is really beneficial because there’s a lot of different fun things in parks and nature that gets you challenging your body in different ways,” Hudson said.