If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that you can do everything without physically going outside. You can enjoy quick, effective workouts of all sorts in the comfort of your own home, and there’s no shortage of online workout classes and plans. When the lockdowns and quarantine initially started, all of us were quite sure that we would be getting out in the open in the next 15 to 20 days, which was an understandable time to go without going to gyms and doing hardcore workouts. But it’s almost going to be a year to quarantine and its trends, which also included home workouts and online sessions. We took to transforming our living rooms and bedrooms into our very own at-home gyms, complete with skipping ropes, yoga mats, and dumbbells. Even when restrictions were lifted and the gyms opened up, people still hesitated to go to the gym, and the thought of running on a treadmill with five sweaty men doing the same on another machine is still anxiety inducing.
In 2021, the main motive is to enhance workouts at home. Talking about fitness goals for 2021, Rishi Baveja, the co-founder of BoxFit said, “Fitness goals are always individual and person specific — it’s you versus you. Given that 2020 is something we’d all like to put behind us, I recommend starting with small, but achievable goals. I think we currently have two camps of people. The first were those who were gym regulars before the pandemic. These people would have lost a lot of gym-obtained fitness, and to expect your body to jump back into doing what you could when you were working out regularly with an access to a gym, is going to be a tough ask. The second group are those who have only gotten into fitness during lockdown. We, at BoxFit, saw almost 50 per cent of new people enrol in our online programmes. It’s a great trend to see. These people should look at building upon the fitness foundations they have set, and continue the momentum into 2021. This, however, still includes goal setting and a structured programme.”
With more people working out at home, Sohrab Khushrushahi, the founder of SOHFIT, suggests, “Most people have now invested in weights and dumbbells. However, if that’s not the case, body weight workouts are a great alternative. Cycling is also a good option to consider, provided you take precautions while riding on the road. One can also step down for a run, a jog, or a walk, on a regular basis. Everyone should look at committing 30-40 minutes a day to their health and wellbeing, and they will definitely be better off in the coming year.” Similarly, Jitendra Chouksey, the founder of FITTR says, “People can do full-body calisthenics workout, where the body’s own weight provides resistance. These exercises are convenient, easy to alter as per requirements, and can help increase strength and flexibility. However, focus more on workouts that involve compound movements. They help engage more than one major muscle group for the execution — for instance, pushups and squats. Always perform your exercises with full range of motion. This helps in muscle growth, and increases the strength of the body.” Baveja recommends 3-5 full body workouts per week. Firstly, pick up 1-2 exercises per body part, depending what body parts need working the most, and do 3-4 sets, depending on volume requirements.
Giving a lowdown on the do’s and dont’s of home workouts, Chouksey says, “While working out at home or a gym, it is important to set your goal first. Secondly, prepare a workout plan, and stick to it. Then, select the workout area and clothes for the workout. Begin your routine with a warmup, and end it with a proper cool down, and focus on the right form and technique.” Khushrushahi suggests, “Don’t worry about how much time you spend working out. Focus on yourself, and make sure you get the most out of every workout. It doesn’t always have to be an exercise circuit, you can just move around at home, play with your kids, or just go for a walk with the family sometimes. Help around and do household chores, it’s a great form of workout, and keeps you moving. Listen to your body, and be mindful of your surroundings while working out from home, and make sure you don’t break something or injure yourself, since space may be an issue.”
There are some workouts that cannot be performed at home, such as heavy cardio or CrossFit, which urges those who love heavy workouts to head back to the gym to start going to gyms. For those who wish to start training in gyms, it is necessary to take utmost care of yourself and everyone around you. For this, Chouksey recommends carrying your own towels, sanitisers, bottles, and mats as well, if possible, and being responsible by following all the safety protocols, including sanitising, wearing a face mask, cleaning every surface before and after use, and maintaining social distance at all times. On the contrary, he also opines that working out at home is the safest option. Khushrushahi says, “Depending on the gym, the precautions they are taking, and how many people are working out in that space at any given point of time, one should take their own call. I, personally, like to keep cardio outdoors and do weighted workouts in the gym, so I can keep my mask on. It’s important to be mindful and cautious.” Gunjan Kamra, a yoga instructor and founder of Equilibrium – Mind and Yoga says, “The fitness goal for the year should be more focused on strengthening immunity and mental well-being, especially in these times. Just weight loss or inch loss shouldn’t be the goal, it will eventually happen.”
For someone who is opting to do yoga and Pilates at home, she suggests, “Make sure there is someone to guide you with the postures. Most of the time, we do not know the postures, and continue to do the wrong ones. A good and cost-effective idea would be to start with a personal training for a month, and then move on to group sessions such as working out through apps, online classes.” When asked about practising yoga in studios, she opines, “I wouldn’t suggest anyone to go to a yoga studio as of now, because safety and security is a concern. If you really do wish to go, go to a place where hygiene is maintained, where social distancing is being observed as well.” She recommends adding practices such as Surya Namaskar, which will help you stay active on a daily basis. For relaxation and anxiety, Kamra suggests simple inhalation and exhalation, in which your entire attention should be on your breathing. It is an ideal exercise to start your day. It is clearly possible to maintain a desired fitness streak at home, thanks to online fitness subscriptions, and YouTube workouts.