Homebound? Tips for working out safely


Winter is in full swing here in Rhode Island, and while this is the perfect time to stay under the covers, it is also the perfect time to refresh your at-home workout. Check out our tips for staying active and COVID-19-safe at home this winter:

Create a workout space

Designate an area in your home to be your gym. Storing everything you need in one readily available, designated spot is a great way to focus and get the most out of exercising. The space doesn’t have to be large; just make sure there’s enough room to stretch out on a yoga mat, lift weights and exercise without knocking anything over.

Purchase key equipment

You do not need to transform your space into a full-blown gym; instead, invest in equipment that is suitable for a variety of workouts. A set of heavy and light weights, a yoga mat and resistance bands are versatile workout tools that do not take up much space.

Eliminate distractions

These days, we do everything at home, so the lines between work, parenting, relaxing and working out can easily blur together. To limit distractions during your workout, put the phone aside, hang up a sign on the door reminding family members that you are exercising, and silence your work email.  

Warm up and cool down

Preparing your body for a workout enhances muscle strength and ability, so don’t skip the warmup. End your workout by cooling down to stretch your muscles and boost recovery.

A quick workout is okay

Resist the urge to skip your workout because you are short of time.  Even 20 minutes is enough time to get moving and improve your mental and physical health. Keeping focused on your workout is just as important as the length of the session.

Stream free workouts

A simple search of YouTube will yield endless workouts, at any skill level, that you can follow along with. There are also a slew of apps, such as Aaptiv and Volt, that can guide your at-home workout.  And an added bonus is that, unlike in an in-person group class, you can pause the videos at any point for a water break!

Morning workouts start your day right

It can be hard to face the long “commute” from your bedroom to your home office. Starting your day with a pre-work workout can help wake you up and refresh your spirits before you get to work. 

Work all muscles each week 

Vary your routines so you do not overwork some muscles while neglecting others. A variety of routines helps with posture and flexibility, too, and switching it up allows some muscles to recover while others are put to work.

Increase intensity

Already working out at home? Up the ante by increasing the intensity of your workout with either more weight, more reps or new goals. Continuously challenging yourself is a great way to stay engaged in your workout.

Crank up the music 

Dori Venditti, director of J-Fitness at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center, in Providence, says music can pump up your workout.

“For a spark of motivation, set a timer for 15 minutes and turn on your favorite playlist,” she says. “Commit to any kind of movement you can think of (dancing counts!) without interruption until the timer goes off.  You may be surprised to find how fast it goes by – and that you end up doing more activity.”

HANNAH ALTMAN (haltman@jewishallianceri.org) is the content producer for the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

health and wellness, exercise