A 30-minute functional workout you can do in the comfort of your own home_1

So now the majority of us have heeded the president’s call for social distancing because of Covid-19, it doesn’t mean that your fitness lifestyle should go on a break as well. Fewer people are stepping into gyms and social media is showing a lot of people are spending time on their couches. Well, I think that for your mental and physical health during this self-quarantine period, the best thing you can arm yourself with is exercise. It will not only ensure continued blood flow to your brain so you continue to function well, it will also curb potential weight gain...
So now the majority of us have heeded the president’s call for social distancing because of Covid-19, it doesn’t mean that your fitness lifestyle should go on a break as well.

Fewer people are stepping into gyms and social media is showing a lot of people are spending time on their couches.

Well, I think that for your mental and physical health during this self-quarantine period, the best thing you can arm yourself with is exercise.

It will not only ensure continued blood flow to your brain so you continue to function well, it will also curb potential weight gain as we spend a lot more time in our homes, close to our fridges.

The most important thing you can arm yourself with is an exercise programme or plan. Even just 30 minutes each day is adequate.

Variety is important because if you do the same thing over and over, by the end of the first week you will be bored and it will be difficult to stick to the plan.

I’ve said this before but I think this is the time to remind you: 30 minutes a day for five days is merely 2½ hours out of 120 hours. That’s a mere 2% of each day.

For those working from home, you don’t have the excuse of “I leave for work early or return home late”. You now have your bedroom, living room, garage or backyard at your disposal.
What to do

Decide on what your exercise area will be during this period.

If you have any exercise equipment, it’s time to bring it out, dust it off and prepare to use it. Some of you may have yoga mats, light weights, skipping ropes, ab wheels, Swiss balls, TheraBands etc.

Note: If you don’t have any equipment it doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. There are a lot of functional body exercises.

Choose a specific time to exercise. It might be easiest to choose the same time every day.
Functional workout

This week I’ll share with you a 30-minute functional routine that requires no equipment and can easily be done in any space you choose in your home. Make sure you only try this routine if you don’t have any muscular or bone-related injuries.

If you don’t know the name of an exercise, look it up on YouTube and watch a demonstration video.
Warm up: five minutes

1 minute – jumping jacks
1 minute – alternating high knee jumps (similar to “toy toying”)
1 minute – buttock kicks (running motion)
1 minute – side-to-side shuffles (tap each corner before you change direction)
1 minute – jumping jacks

Stretching: five minutes

30 second – quadriceps stretch (left)
30 second – quadriceps stretch (right)
30 second – hamstring stretch (left)
30 second – hamstring stretch (right)
30 second – calf stretch (left)
30 second – calf stretch (right)
30 second – side stretch (left)
30 second – side stretch (right)
30 second – triceps stretch (left)
30 second – triceps stretch (right

Exercises: 15 minutes

1 minute – standard push ups or modified push ups
1 minute – jump squats or standard squats
1 minute – burpees or mountain climbers
1 minute – reverse lunges or forward lunges
1 minute – plank with leg lifts or basic sit ups


Note: Repeat this sequence of five exercises three times to make up the 15 minutes required.
Stretches: five minutes

Repeat the same stretches as you did after the warm up.

Now you have no excuse. The 15 minute routine has basic and intermediate exercises. Choose the one that suits your fitness level and complete as many repetitions as you can within the one minute required.

If you only manage five push ups in the minute today, the next time you might be able to do six. If you manage to do 30 push ups in that minute, that’s great. Push yourself to do more with each session. Good luck and keep moving.

Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and co-founder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego.zulu; Twitter: @ letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu

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