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Inspo, ideas and equipment swaps to get your fitness fix at home

By Jessie Stewart
It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on our lives, stress levels, bodies and minds. Keeping active at home, however, can help you relieve stress and feel good.
In times like these, it’s important to keep routine where possible and ensure you are staying active to keep you feeling good, relieve stress and look after your happiness levels.“Exercise has a multitude of mental and psychological benefits which can assist with the management and reduction of stress, anxiety and low moods,” says personal trainer, Dannibelle Robertson.

“One of the most famed effects of exercise is its ability to boost the body’s natural ‘feel-good’ chemical known as endorphins. Endorphins promote the feelings of happiness and euphoria which assist in the reduction of stress and help pull you out of low moods.”

Involved in the upcoming 2020 Fitness Show, we sat down with Dannibelle to find out what her advice is on how to stay active in isolation and get her tips on equipment swaps using things from around the house to ensure you get results from your efforts.

1. Keep active as often as possible

Taking care of yourself is key during these times and this includes eating well, getting in some time outdoor time and staying active.

“Although we’re all going through this unsettling time together, our own individual response, goals and motivation will differ. It’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally,” the personal trainer says.

“You should exercise because it makes you feel good to move your body not because you feel guilty for sitting at home all day.”

While we’re all under pressure to be productive or keep multiple plates spinning (like working from home and homeschooling at the same time), it’s important to not be too hard on yourself either. Do what you can, when you can.

“I think there’s a perception that isolation has given us unlimited ‘free time’ in which we need to be knuckling down to smash our goals but the reality is much different,” Dannibelle says.

“I believe it’s a time to reflect, to establish a new routine that works for you and to put in place positive goals for the future but above all, it’s important to be kind to yourself and one another.”

2. Find an exercise regime that you enjoy

With a lot of restrictions on us right now, the usual things that bring us joy just might not be possible at the moment. So this is the time to find a way of keeping active that puts a smile on your face.

“It’s really important to find what exercise you enjoy. If you find an activity you enjoy then you’re much more likely to do it and be consistent,” Dannibelle says.

“My favourite type of home exercise is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) because it’s challenging, effective and you can get a great workout without any equipment! The frequency and length of training depend on the individual but I try to do something active each day for 30 to 45 minutes, mixing it up between challenging workouts and less strenuous exercise such as yoga or a brisk walk.”

3. Find equipment swaps with items from around the home

I think everyone is doing quite well as the moment with the mantra, ‘Work with what you’ve got.’ The same applies when it comes to exercise equipment.

Although Dannibelle says there are many workouts to do from home that don’t require any equipment at all, looking for items from around the home can push your workout that little bit further.

“I love seeing everyone getting creative with equipment, substituting dumbbells for water bottles and cans and using chairs/tables instead of benches.”

Exercise equipment swaps at home

Don’t bother rushing out to buy expensive gym gear when there are items you already have which are perfect for home exercise:

  • A couch for squats, step-ups and more
  • The kitchen bench for press-ups
  • A chair, ottoman or stairs for arm dips
  • Cans, water bottles or bags of flour instead of hand weights
  • Chairs and tables to do barre moves on
  • A backpack filled with weights to push your workout or for resistance training


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