As coronavirus spread across Northern Italy several weeks ago, Italians took to their homes to contain the spread. They also took to social media, challenging themselves to push their minds and bodies to new limits, even in limited space. As more countries began following suit, the trend caught on. Right now, it’s hard to go on social media without seeing friends posting their own home workout challenges.
This is all fantastic for a couple reasons. First of all, the perception abounds that being confined to home means our workouts have to suffer too. That’s just not true. Secondly, during an unprecedented time of isolation such as this, the social bonds that we so desperately need are reinforced with social challenges like these. At home workouts aren’t just possible, right now they’re necessary.
So just in case you happen to find yourself spending some extra quality time at home, we’ve compiled a list of challenging activities that can engage your body as well as your soul.
1. The Step Count Challenge
What it is: for those of you who love to log your steps during the day, the step count challenge is perfect. Why? Because the CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, and the National Institute of health recommends 10,000 steps (or about five miles) a day. Walking is just good for you, plain and simple.
How it works: this workout challenge is easy. Take at least 10,000 steps a day and track your progress using a pedometer, smartphone, or wearable. Then challenge three other friends to do the same thing on your post or Instagram Story. They’ll do likewise and tag their own friends.
2. The Jump Rope Challenge
What it is: think jumping rope is just for kids? Think again. Because it’s actually one of the oldest cardio workouts around. Jumping rope is incredibly affordable. You can do it anywhere. And, as it turns out, it’s not just fun – it’s one of the most effective cardio workouts you’ll ever find. Just 10 minutes skipping rope equals about 30 minutes of jogging.
How it works: record yourself jumping rope for as long as you can. The trick here is you can’t mess up. Want to add another layer of difficulty, use a weighted rope. Once you’re done, post your time on social media and challenge a few friends to beat you. It’s as easy as . . . skipping rope.
3. The Drop and Give Me 10 Challenge
What it is: you’ve probably seen this one lately. It’s all over Instagram. It’s the perfect workout challenge because everyone knows how to do a push up. But few people know how good push ups are for you. They’re a great way to use your own body’s weight to train not just your upper body – but all your major abdominal groups as well.
How it works: just record yourself completing 10 proper (don’t be sloppy) push ups on camera and post it while asking three others to do the same by tagging them directly into your post. Game on.
4. The Plank Challenge
What it is: the dreaded plank is probably as close to a full body workout as you’re going to get at home. It strengthens your back, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs. Great for your posture, and an even better way to counteract all those hours you spend sitting at your desk – or just quarantined.
How it works: The plank might seem easy, but it’s not. This is what makes it such a fun challenge. The goal here is to see who can hold a plank for the longest. Record yourself doing the plank for as long as possible, post your time, and then challenge your friends to do the same. You’ll love watching their faces turn red as they try to beat your time.
We’re definitely living in unpredictable, unprecedented times. But even as we’re alone, we can find new ways to come together, challenge each other, and improve our health and wellness in the process. You don’t need a lot of space. You don’t need to be a superhuman athlete. Just your body, a phone, and a few friends.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author
s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LifeVantage or any other agency, organization, employer or company