Online exercise has become a lifeline for exercising during the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s always a good idea to have as many options for exercise as possible. This challenging time is an opportunity to find new ways to exercise when time and equipment are limited. I am hearing from many people how they are discovering old favorites and new ways to exercise.
Here are some things to look for when searching for online cardio exercise:
- If the cardio involves using hand weights or bands to add upper body toning or more calorie burning, do the exercises without anything in your hands. Studies show adding upper body resistance does not burn more calories and puts more strain on your upper body joints (shoulders especially). Just enjoy moving and do strength training separately to strengthen your upper body. The same goes for wearing ankle weights when walking or doing cardio; the risks far outweigh the benefit
- High Intensity Interval Training is very ‘in’ right now. Some people love exercising at a super high intensity. For most people, it is NOT a positive experience. Considering that your brain is hardwired to avoid what makes you feel worse, you may want to reconsider HIIT training if you don’t love it. There is more research that shows moderate intensity cardio has plenty of benefits and it is much more enjoyable for most people. You can still do intervals, just keep them between moderate to comfortable challenge for your breathing and stay away from the uncomfortable levels.
- If the program has very complicated moves that limit your ability to keep moving, choose something that has more simple moves. (examples below) The goal of cardio is to move continuously. If the moves in the cardio program are so complicated you end up standing still until you figure them out, it will not be as beneficial as something that keeps you moving.
- If your lower body is limited by pain, try seated aerobics (links below) or doing a hybrid of seated and standing. This is a great option to improve stamina without straining weight bearing joints. If it seems like it won’t be challenging enough, I challenge you to give it a try. 🙂
Here are some free resources you might try for cardio:
Basic aerobics: Walk at home has great videos for free online as well as a subscription for more videos including an app. (Reminder, skip holding onto anything in your hand when doing the ones they include bands) They even have a video with all men, which is not easy to find with aerobics videos. Body Groove is a paid subscription but there is a sample you can try. If you like to dance, you might enjoy this approach that is very body positive and friendly for all sizes.
Seated aerobics videos free online: Fuzion Fitness is a great seated dance exercise program. Paul Eugene offers a wide variety of videos that are higher intensity (and his smile is contagious). The Walk at Home videos are simple enough they can be done in seated as well.
Kickboxing: Tae Bo on YouTube is offering some fresh workouts just for the pandemic.
Next week we will focus on what to look for in strength training videos online.
Keep Moving and Be Well