Despite it feeling like February was just yesterday, we’ve somehow found ourselves three quarters of the way through 2020 – with spring right around the corner. How??! I guess that’s one of the (many) side-effects of a global pandemic: we lose our sense of time. One moment we’re planning birthday parties, road trips, international getaways, work weeks and school terms. Next second, we realise we’ve spent most of the year sitting around the house bingeing Tiger King and soppy sitcoms. Not exactly what we had anticipated for the new decade, that’s for sure!
If you’re anything like me, while Covid-19 definitely wasn’t included in my five-year plan, the upside of spending so much time around the house (aside from the guilty pleasure of TV-time), was that I got back in the kitchen. From cooking my favourite chilli to discovering the incredible benefits of a late afternoon hot cacao, I’ve indulged and enjoyed eating this winter more than I can recall in years past. The result? Yet another side-effect of the pandemic: I’ve gained a little extra padding (the ‘Covid-five’ as you may know it – five kilos being the average amount of weight gained by individuals during the Coronavirus outbreak!).
Now, no one minds a little extra insulation during winter, but with spring mere days away it feels time to leap into action and get a bit of an exercise routine going again. And this isn’t just for the sake of appearances, it’s also for the benefit of my mental and emotional health. Partaking in regular exercise releases endorphins into the bloodstream, resulting in yummy feelings and extra energy - and it doesn’t even have to be strenuous movements to feel such benefits.
Depending on where you’re based, you’re likely still living in a slightly altered version of normality; perhaps you’re unable to leave the house or need to remain within a certain distance of your residence. Maybe social distancing has you feeling uneasy about re-joining a gym and working out near others? Well, never fear – I’m going to share some of my favourite at-home workouts, tips and tricks so that, no matter your current reality, you can get your body, mind and soul into gear and feel great both inside and out.
Create an at-home gym without breaking the bank, with these three essential items:
Make that booty POP with a Booty Band. These little inventions have changed the booty game forever. Available in five different resistance levels, and easily incorporated into any workout program these bands help strengthen and tone your booty with just the smallest of movements. Try slipping a band just above your knees and moving into half (or full!) squats to feel that deep booty burn - not to mention giving your thighs a wake-up call at the same time.
My favourite exercises: Side lying clams, wall squats and crab walk.
Want to tone your arms and increase your upper body strength? Silly question, who doesn’t? Suggest incorporating some bicep curls, lateral raises, and lunges into your daily routine.
Just be sure to start out slowly and don’t go too heavy too quickly – it’s all about building strength and tone in a safe and secure way.
My favourite exercises: reverse lunges, step-ups and bent over one-arm rows.
(Alternatively visit our Carra Lee Collective store in Burleigh to purchase a vegan suede mat by MOONCHILD FITNESS MATS or eco-friendly mat by JADE ECO RUBBER MATS)
The cornerstone of any exercise involves stretching, breathing, and moving in a way that’s kind to your body. A yoga mat provides support and cushioning for your back, knees, and hands, whilst ensuring you’re not slipping and sliding around the room. Suggest combining with a pair of grip socks from sockitandco to add a little extra security (and style) to your workout.
My favourite yoga posture: child’s pose, down dog – split, half pigeon.
Try an uplifting and invigorating online exercise video:
Yoga with Adriene: This woman will change your life. My absolute go-to. Whether you’re an avid yogi or a first-timer, Adriene Mischler has a video for you. Her super chilled, genuine attitude and incorporation of ‘real’ at-home situations (like her dog Benji nudging her during poses and the floorboards creaking), she has a ‘no-frills’, ‘no intimidation’ approach to mindful, strengthening movement.
As well as having an extensive playlist of videos tailored to different moods, states of mind, strength or weight loss goals – Adriene also releases a 30 day challenge each year. These challenges are brilliant at helping create a routine out of your yoga practice (particularly during lockdown!), while also building strength and stamina in an achievable way – each video is only 20-30 mins long. Check out her FREE YouTube channel today!
The Fitness Marshall: Caleb is a fitness trainer I only discovered earlier this year, but his hilarious, energetic, relevant approach to exercise has had me in sweats and stitches (both from laughing and the actual exercise) ever since. The Fitness Marshall is all about dance and having fun while you’re doing it. I know dancing is something we’re often too self-conscious of to take seriously, but I promise this is different: you’ll laugh your way through it while burning some serious calories!
With routines set to the latest pop tracks you can’t help but feel sexy while working up a sweat as you join him and his friends in their wild and wonderful moves. With a couple of free 30 minute ‘sweat sessions’ available on his YouTube channel, I suggest starting there - but you can then make a playlist of your own from his individual tracks – or even subscribe to his Booty Army (suggest wearing a pair of our Bootie shorts whilst you’re at it 😉) for weekly hour-long sessions.
As with any change, getting started can be the hardest part – but with these easy, affordable, and fun ways of working out available, hopefully getting your body moving again feels a little less daunting and a little more exciting.
So, it’s time to get in to your favourite Carra Lee gear, get a friend involved (even through video calling), turn the volume on your YouTube or Spotify up – and spring in to action! Your Carra Lee Tribe has your back.