Self-isolation workout ideas

22 April 2020

Phi Phi Nguyen

Phi Phi is the Communications Officer at YWCA Canberra

As we all try our best to adjust to these difficult times, it’s no doubt that many of us have had to make big changes to our everyday lives and lifestyle habits. With gyms and centres closed, it’s clear to say that another thing being impacted during this pandemic is our exercise regimes and physical health. But while many of us might reside to the couch during this period of isolation, it’s important to remember to continue practising daily exercise to not only maintain our physical health but also our mental of people doing exercises

Below, we have provided you with just a few free exercise ideas you can adopt in your time at home to help you keep motivated during this time of isolation.

Go for a walk

For those who enjoy the outdoors, we recommend going for a walk to keep your body moving and to soak in some vitamin D. Use this time as an opportunity to bond with the family and enjoy some fresh air. For recommendations on where to walk around Canberra, check out this article by the Australian Traveller (just remember to keep close to home and practice social distancing).  


Being stuck inside all day can often make you feel a little cramped and stiff. Give your body a much-needed stretch by practising some basic daily stretches. Stretching is a great exercise to help keep your body loose while also smoothing out those home-isolation knots. For some examples of easy at-home stretches, check out this chart here.

Lightweight training

Weight training is a great way to keep your body strong and fit during this time of self-isolation. Don’t have any weights? Here is a helpful video on ways you can use items around your house as substitutes. We recommend lifting a lighter weight with higher repetitions. Just remember to take it slow and steady, and to take breaks where necessary.

Tai Chi

Prefer something a little more slow-paced and peaceful? Why not take up Tai Chi? Tai Chi is a form of therapeutic exercise aimed to connect your body to your mind. Through controlled movement and breathing techniques, Tai Chi is perfect for targeting balance and muscle strengthFor examples of Tai Chi movements, check out this simplified chart here.    


Among all the great exercises in this list, one of the most basic includes aerobics training. Aerobics is anything type of repetitive movement that increases your heart and breathing rate. These can include arm movements (e.g. rowing, arm extensions) and leg movements (e.g. walking, lunges). Aerobic exercises are great for lowering blood pressure and strengthening cardiovascular health. For some simple aerobics moves check out this video here.


If you’re not one to gravitate towards lightweight training or going for a walk, we recommend picking up dancing! Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or hard, dancing is a great way to get your body moving without worrying too much on technique. Just turn on your favourite song and let your body do the rest.

So, whether you’re tossing up between a quick 15-minute workout or a one hour walk, we hope you feel inspired to continue wanting to work out even throughout this time of isolation. While we encourage physical activity, we also want to remind you to continue eating healthily, drink plenty of water and to listen to your body when it needs rest.

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