British Columbia

Here are 3 exercises you can do while stuck at home during COVID-19

Maintaining a fitness routine while cooped up indoors is a challenge that B.C. trainer Beth Spooner can help with.

This living room workout can work for anyone, B.C. trainer Beth Spooner says

Push-ups are a classic exercise you can do in the comfort of your living room and they can be modified for every fitness level. (Shutterstock / shurkin_son)

Is the couch calling to you more than cardio these days?


Maintaining a fitness routine while cooped up indoors is a challenge that B.C. trainer Beth Spooner can help with.

Spooner, president of Fitness on the Go, joined CBC's The Early Edition Wednesday to offer pointers for people who want to start, or keep, working out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Now is a fantastic time to start if you've never been exercising," said Spooner.

Don't forget to warm up

First things first, you have to warm up those muscles, especially if you've been hunched over a computer or listless in the living room.

Spooner suggests doing some jumping jacks to wake up your muscles. She recommends two sets of 60 seconds each.

Get low

It's squat time.

This simple exercise requires no equipment and targets your backside, legs, back and abdominal muscles all at the same time. You are using major muscles in a squat, which means they need lots of energy to work and the bigger the muscles, the more calories you burn.

Here's how to do it:

Plant your feet just slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Shift your weight to your heels, keep your chest lifted, and lower your backside until you resemble someone sitting in a chair.

Squats. You may hate them, but you'll probably like the results. (Shutterstock / antoniodiaz)

Spooner says you can use a knee-high chair or couch behind you as a guide. If you can't lower all the way down to sitting positing, just go down as far as you feel comfortable.

Then rise up, squeezing your glutes — the muscles in your backside — and repeat. 

"You want to drive up through the heels, pushing the floor away from the body," said Spooner, who says your shins and chest should be parallel.

Aim for 20 squats to kick off your at-home circuit, Spooner says.

Push it real good 

Get down and give me 20.

Gym class shudders aside, the classic push-up is still around for a reason.

Spooner says if you are new to the old move, the easiest way to start is actually standing up.

To do this, stand at a wall with both palms flat against it, then mimic a push-up from a vertical position.

Spooner suggests working from the wall, to the stairs if you have them, slowly progressing until you are comfortable doing a floor push-up.

Push-ups can be done against a wall for anyone not ready to hit the ground yet. (Shutterstock / Artsplav)

The wall and floor variations follow the same steps: retract your shoulder blades, lower your body weight, pretend you are pushing the wall or floor away from your body. Repeat.

"This is a great overall upper body strength and development exercise," said Spooner, adding that it is also a great calorie burner.

Twenty of these should do it.

Cramped cardio

Even indoors, you don't have to cut cardio out of your routine.

Spooner says your cardio exercise should be done for 60 second sets. You can do as few, or as many, sets as feel comfortable.

High knees is the cardio option Spooner suggests.

To do this, stand with your knees hip-width apart and lift your left knee up to your chest. Alternate legs at a jogging pace.

Get that heart rate up with a little high knees action. (Shutterstock / Artsplav)

If high knees doesn't thrill you, Spooner says jogging or marching on the spot is also beneficial. You could also try running up the stairs or more jumping jacks.

Go ahead and do the circuit again if you are feeling ambitious.

Spooner said moving your body is "a huge stress relief." And everyone could use a little of that these days.

Beth Spooner, president of Fitness on the Go, says you don't actually need to go anywhere to have a workout. (Niki Pike)

With files from The Early Edition


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.