In-Home Workouts to Stay Physically Active While Staying Inside


Hand weights, a water bottle, sneakers, a jump rope and a smartphone arranged in a semi-circle

Courtney McCuen-Wurst, PsyD, LCSW, a licensed psychologist and member of the Penn Bariatrics team, shares tips on maintaining healthy activity habits while you may be spending most of your time at home.

We all need physical exercise now more than ever.

In addition to scheduling your meals, it’s important to find a time during the day to fit in exercise, which can boost your physical and emotional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although you may not be able to access a gym, there are other ways for you to exercise in the comfort of your home.

Walking or hiking remains a great option, as long as you practice social distancing by remaining at least six feet away from those around you. You can take in the beauty of nature by visiting a local trail or just walking around your own neighborhood.

Here are a few resources that may help you stay in shape from home. And, you can access them all for free!

Exercise Videos

Many health clubs are offering live and on-demand workouts that you can do every day. Here’s just a sampling of what’s available:

  • 305 Fitness - Cardio dance live streams are available at noon and 6 p.m.
  • Blink Fitness – Cardio, strength and functional exercise sessions will stream on Facebook Live at 8 a.m. Mondays through Fridays.
  • CorePower Yoga – On-demand yoga and meditation classes for all skill levels.
  • Orange Theory - A new 30-minute video that includes balance, cardio, and strength exercises are posted daily.
  • Planet Fitness – Live “Work-Ins” occur at 7 p.m. each day on Facebook, and 20 to 30 minute videos are also available on their YouTube channel.
  • Retro Fitness – HIIT, Pilates, cardio burn, yoga, and more, streamed 6 p.m. daily on Facebook.
  • YMCA 360 – On-demand classes, including yoga, boot camp and tai chi, as well as those tailored for active older adults and children, are available.

Fitness Apps

There are many free fitness apps available for your smartphone or tablet. Here are two we enjoy:

  • 7-Minute Workout - All you need is 7 minutes. This free app does not require account setup, so you can get moving immediately. It features a variety of 7-minute video and audio workouts for all fitness levels. It also offers a special beginner class that limits jumping, which is great for people who are concerned with injuries of discomfort in their knees or back.
  • Down Dog Yoga - This app is free, but you will need to set up an account to use it. You can select videos based on your practice level, preferred duration and pace. You also can select your favorite background music, and your instructor’s voice.

In-Home Exercise Equipment

You don’t need fancy equipment to get a good in-home workout. Two no-frills items we love are resistance bands and portable exercise pedals.

Bands take up very little space and sets start at about $10 online. You can use bands to better target your workouts to specific areas of your body.

Portable exercise pedals allow you to work out your legs and arms depending on where you position the pedals. They can be adjusted to a variety of resistances, and are easy to use while working from home. You can find them for about $40 online.

If you don’t have equipment at home and you don’t want to buy any, there are plenty of household items you can use in their place. Try using water bottles, canned goods or bottles of laundry detergent instead weights – feel free to be creative!

About this Blog

Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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