By Amy Lewis
Portraits by ChiChi Ubiña 

“We find the belief that our choices matter, that it’s not all for nothing, it’s all for everything.” – Matthew McConaughey

As I am writing this, I am still very hopeful that in the next couple of months, the fitness world will no longer be under threat of a shutdown. Wishful thinking! We have a long winter ahead of us.

Since last March, likely, most of you have already invested in-home fitness equipment. Plus, the digital fitness world has really taken off at an astonishing pace allowing us to work out at home in private and at any time of day. Personally speaking, nothing can compare to the motivation one gets from the one on one experience with a trainer, gym, and fitness class. However, I couldn’t agree more with Matthew McConaughey’s quote from above; our choices may be limited. Yet, we still have them even if it’s exercising alone in a spare bedroom or basement; this will not be for nothing; it will be everything! (Btw, if you need inspiration, read his book, “Greenlights.” Give the man lemons, and he’ll make not just lemonade, but Tito’s and lemonade!)

To create a balanced at-home fitness experience at home, you must go in with the four basic fitness fundamentals and then apply to your weekly regimen:

  1. Cardio
  2. Strength Training
  3. Core
  4. Recovery

Cardio

It’s great if you have space for a large piece of equipment, but if you are not ready to take such a leap, start with a jump rope, weighted if possible. Five minutes of jumping rope is a good start. The next best option is to find a digital boot camp that works for you. There are many to choose from, i.e., Holly Robinson, AArmy, Peloton, Variis by Equinox, etc.

Strength Training

Weight training is so essential as we age. It builds bone density, fights muscle atrophy, and will all around just make you look and feel younger. If you want more than only using a mat and body weight. I suggest these items for the home:

  • Resistance Bands, all levels, and lengths
  • A Kettlebell
  • Pull Up Bar (You can use a long band to help support and lighten the load if you need it) Dumbbells, preferably a power block set that easily adjusts weight.
  • Bowflex makes a nice one.
  • A bench that adjusts.

The internet is limitless as far as programming and what exercises you can do with each piece of equipment. My good friend just installed an anchor gym— three hooks that attach to a wall and use resistance bands for weight. The workout is challenging and very economical.

Core

Very simple – a mat is all you need and mental endurance to push through the burn. In all forms of exercise, having a strong core makes all the difference. Whether it be running, cycling, strength, yoga, swimming, etc., being able to stray from injury and getting stronger relies on a strong core.

Recovery

Recovery is so important and a key factor in protecting the body from injury. Yoga and a gentle pilates digital class are always great to incorporate. I also suggest investing in Theragun or Hypervolt. It has worked wonders for my entire family. Lastly, a foam roller is essential. It’s used to break up fascia that builds up between our muscle fibers and alleviates stiffness.

Everything we do now at home to stay fit will not only leave you feeling happier, it is the best way to strengthen your immune system. This is how we combat a virus! Good luck, everyone, and stay well!