COVID-19 is here for the foreseeable future. As the cases go up and down, it is likely that the locks will float down and down in the coming months as well. That means your gym may not always be open. So how can you stay fit at home? Exercise equipment can be expensive and hard to come by these days, but there are many ways you can reuse household items or change your space so that you can exercise at home to fill the void. Here is a list of 5 essential things to do to get the most out of your quarantine routine.

Stairs and outdoors

Some exercises are already incorporated into your daily life, although we may not see it that way. It may seem a bit of a scam to put these on the list, but you can take normal daily actions and make them more intense as part of your workout. Treadmills are just a tool that allows you to run powerfully in one place, and stair masters imitate real stairs. Take the time to walk around your house, take the stairs, and go outside so you can run and jog when the weather is nice.

Skipping rope

A jump rope isn’t just a kid’s toy – the jump rope can be the core of a really intense workout. Popular Science has published a guide on how to get started on a skipping rope routine, and the Men’s Journal also has a nice breakdown of some of the exercises you can do. If you don’t have one, there are DIY alternatives. Check out this article on for some instructions on how to assemble your own weighted jump rope.


Weights are one of the easiest and most versatile tools in your workout, and there are many ways you can make replacements at home. The most common use of water bottles and frizz in hand or put in a bag to lift. However, you can confuse your workout even more with other options. has a full article on different types of DIY weights. Some of the most memorable are sandbag weights (with sugar bags or stuffed duffel bags), barbell with gallons of water on either end, milk jug dumbbells, and filled PVC pipes.

Balance board

If you or someone you know can handle a saw and drill, there are many projects you can take on. One of the simpler ones is a homemade balance plate made of wood and PVC pipes. If you go this route, be careful – mistakes can be dangerous. Only use a balance board when you have plenty of space and are not near potential obstacles or hard objects that you could fall into. When using power tools, be sure to work carefully and use the correct safety equipment.

Smart TV or tablet

Recorded videos can’t completely replace the personalized guidance of a live trainer, but you can currently find a variety of exercise routines online – and many of them are free on YouTube. Some respected channels are FitnessBlender, The Body Coach TV, and POPSUGAR Fitness. There are even special channels like Cosmic Kids Yoga and Little Sports to keep kids active and interested in exercise. If you have a Samsung TV, you can find free premium content from brands like Jillian Michaels, Calm, Fitplan, and Echelon as part of the Samsung Health app.

Bonus: your cell phone

Most smartphones have at least one built-in fitness app that you can use to track your goals and exercise routines. The name varies by platform and device: Google Fit is available on most Android phones, Samsung Health is included in Galaxy devices, and Apple’s Health app can be found on iPhone.

The take away

When the gym is closed, you can get creative to replace your usual workouts. It might not be quite the same as having professional gear, but DIY options should do it in a pinch. Hopefully these ideas will help you stay in shape at home.


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