March 18, 2020


Working out from home: tips to keep you in shape during the shutdown

IN A LOT of my previous articles, I have used the phrase “sometimes you have to slow down to speed back up again”.

That’s exactly what all of us have been forced into for the next few weeks ahead and I firmly believe we all will speed back up again and back into normality within time.

The goal of this article is to keep things as positive as possible, and to highlight many ways we can keep our bodies and minds physically and mentally fit while we come to terms with the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

With the recent disruption, we have now seen many people working from home, schools and colleges closing down, along with the many bigger mainstream gyms shutting their doors.

When this happens, it’s really quite normal to feel a lot more stressed than might usually be the case. Everything is affected, from your typical daily routine, your sleeping pattern, stress levels, eating habits, to even the trip to your local gym.

If you let all of this disruption affect you it can take over and will slowly chip away at your mental and physical health. Of course, the first thing you need to do is look after yourself and your loved ones, take notice of the HSE website and look after your mental and physical health.

Around that, do your best to stay active, positive and keep things as normal as you can for the next few weeks. Here are some simple steps to keep on track with that can only help you.


Bodyweight drills

For now, do what you can. More than likely, this will be a home workout as your gym stays shut for the moment. Like I have said before, you don’t need the best of equipment for the most effective workouts.

My best advice is stay on top of your fitness at this stressful time and make some use with simple body weight exercises. There are plenty of variations you can do with squats, push-ups, lunges and planks for instance. Here is a quick example of a challenging bodyweight home workout you could try.

Source: David Last/YouTube

Simple home equipment

Anyone who has trained with me knows how I love resistance bands. They are cheap, easy to use for a home workout and very versatile when it comes to the amount of exercises you can perform with them.

Here is a good idea for a home workout using a simple resistance band and you can purchase all range of bands here from D8fitness.

Source: David Last/YouTube

Get outside

By now, many of you may have been spending a lot of time indoors. The last thing you might want to do is a home workout so my advice would be to get outside, break a little sweat and get some fresh air. This will no doubt clear the head and give you that nice bit of feel-good factor that you might just need in your day. Get out for a jog or walk at your local park, a hike up the mountain or even just get out on your bike with the kids as no doubt they will need a few minutes out of the house too.


When stress kicks in we can go both ways. Some of us will under-eat or some just go the other way. During this time, do your best to keep your food in order as best as possible. The 80/20 approach is something I tend to talk about and live by.

Look to increase your fruit and vegetable intake and try to reduce inflammatory foods (processed/junk food) as much as you can. Stick with whole foods that overall will help to nourish your body.

There’s harm in looking at supplementing with extra vitamins and keep well topped up with water. All of this is sure to keep your immune system in check.

Experiment in the kitchen

Social distancing guidelines are sure to free up a lot more time at home, which can give you an opportunity to become more creative in the kitchen. Now is the time to test out new recipes and ideas which will work further down the line when we are back into normality.

Plan meals, try out making those healthy snacks you said you’d make some day, or even look at attempting a few recipes from that cookbook you bought last Christmas.

Here are six great snack ideas to keep you on track over the next few weeks. Some require simple ingredients and a little time but they are really easy to make.

Mental fitness

It’s really quite normal to feel a little overwhelmed at the minute. All this distraction, panic or change can affect our mental fitness and health. Once this is not managed in the right way, it really can chip away at things such as your sleep, mood, energy levels. The best way to control this is to take action and here are a few steps that can help you keep cool and in control.

Along with the points of exercise and nutrition mentioned above, I find doing things that help the brain to slow down, de-stress and unwind are vital.

Yoga, meditation, or even just simple tasks like reading/listening to a book or article will all help. It wont take up too much time and all you need is a little space from home to apply these activities.

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I hope this article has given you some simple tips and ideas while spending that bit more extra time at home. As I said at the top, sometimes we just have to slow down to speed back up and I have no doubt that within time we’ll all be back to normality.

Thanks a lot for reading and mind yourself!

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information, you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here