If you’re reading this post in real time, it’s a good bet that your life has been (or soon will be) changed by the coronavirus outbreak. I’m in Maryland and, like many other people across the country, my orbit has pretty much been reduced to my house, save occasional trips to the grocery store or Target (a real treat!). This is only week one.
My hubs and I are fortunate to be able to work from home and, of course, our boys are here with us. At two and four years old, they are having a GREAT time with us being around 24/7 (and they’re definitely keeping us smiling and focused on the positive).
But with all the change – worry about a situation that is so far beyond my control, constant cooking for a family of four and trying to stay on top of my work – I realize how important it will be look out for my own mental health and overall wellness. A major part of this is sticking to some semblance of a workout schedule.
The key for me is getting up early. If I’m firing on all cylinders, I’m up by 5 a.m. (harder immediately following daylight savings!!), which gives me roughly two hours to do my own thing.
In normal times, I aim to workout at least four times/week which should still be achievable since I primarily workout at home. I usually aim for two, preferably three, workouts each week that include weights or high-intensity interval exercise and at least two cardio or core-focused workouts. But this fast-moving, dramatic time in our history has me craving workouts that make me smile and feel emotionally lifted when I’m done.
A Focus on Dance and Yoga
I love to incorporate dance workouts because they’re great cardio and many of the videos I’ve tried – especially on the PopSugar Fitness YouTube channel – have great choreography. Bubbly and bouncy (with a little bit of sass), they’re so fun to do and channel my inner-cheerleader.
I’m also looking to my yoga practice to help me settle my mind and keep things in perspective. At a time when the primary reaction is to tense and contract (you know the posture: shoulders crunched up to the ears, spine compressed, etc.), yoga reminds us to lengthen and stretch (release the shoulders, grow tall in the spine) and breathe deep from the belly.
Below are a week’s worth of workouts that may help you relax your mind, strengthen your body and work up a sweat. They’re all 35 minutes or less. If you’re looking for a longer yoga flow, check out Yoga District – an excellent yoga collective where I did my teacher’s training and taught for several years. They’ve started streaming a full schedule of studio workouts – I’m excited to sign up for one of these myself! Six-class passes are $60, can be used online or in-person and never expire.
- 30-Minute Power Flow with Jess Taras: This is a great energizing, heat-building (read: sweaty) flow sequence to start your week off right. Taras cues are on point and she’s got a calming presence. ~Level 1-2.
- 30-Minute Latin Dance Workout with Nicole Steen: This is essentially a Zumba workout, with Latin and other styles of dance (pop, hip hop, belly dancing, etc.) worked in. Nicole Steen has great energy and her routines are so fun. If you’re working out in a shared area of your home while your kids, parents, significant others or pets are around, they may look at you like a crazy person. She will have you shakin’ and poppin’ in ways you didn’t know where possible … but you WILL be sweaty.
- 30-Minute Ashtanga-style Flow and Stretch with Lindsay Bushman– I haven’t done Ashtanga yoga regularly since my 200-hour teacher training at Yoga District back in 2011. We took a 75-minute class each week that was the kick off session to each week’s daylong training session. It was an extremely physical practice that taught me a lot about the breadth of yoga practice, my limits and how to respect them. So when I saw this on the GymRa YouTube station, I wasn’t sure how I felt – Ashtanga can be tough! But I bookmarked it anyway thinking “I can do anything for 30 minutes.” I’m glad I did. It was definitely Ashtanga-lite, but was still challenging (Bushman definitely offers several advanced poses, transitions and binds).
- Deja Riley’s 15-Minute Dance/Sculpting Workout with Weights: This is my favorite quick dance workout. It incorporates fun choreography, cardio and weights into a quick routine that really makes you feel like you did something. Plus, Deja Riley is one of my favorite trainers. I love her energy and her moves.
30-Minute Caribbean Dance with Selena Watkins: I’ve written about this workout before, but it’s certainly worth mentioning again. It’s such a good time and you’ll spend the rest of the day channeling your favorite reggae songs.
- 30-Minute Hip Hop Tabata with Keaira LeShae: I searched my blog multiple times looking for a post on this workout and I can’t believe I haven’t written this up yet. It is, by far, my favorite workout to do bothe when I need to boost my spirits and when I’m feeling good and have a spring in my step. The moves in this routine (along with Selena Watkins Caribbean workout) are the most club-applicable. You will learn proper twerking technique. ‘Nuff said.
- 35-Minute Yoga, Cardio and Meditation Session with Kelsey Patel: I just did this workout for the first time this morning and it was amazing. Meditation followed by vinyasas (flow sequence) then cardio and a delicious hip-opening stretch session at the end. My belly and pelvis feel open, my breath is easy flowing and uninhibited. And I’m looking forward to carrying this feeling and mindspace through the whole day. I’ll definitely be adding this video to my list!
I hope you give these workouts a try and that they help you relax and feel great in the midst of all that’s going on. We’ll get through it and will come out stronger on the other side!