Staying fit, staying indoors

Personal trainers offer their advice on how to maintain active lifestyle

Vancouver personal trainers say everyday household items can be used to supplement exercise while stay-at-home recommendations are in effect | Credit: antoniodiaz/Shutterstock

As public health officials urge British Columbians to stay at home, West Coast residents accustomed to an active lifestyle now find themselves figuring out new fitness plans. Business in Vancouver spoke to three personal trainers based in the city to uncover what options are available for those trying to remain healthy indoors.

 Recommendations for resistance training: 

“People can lose their gains or their progress within 10 days, so resistance training is important. What they can do is engage in body weight exercises such as squats, push-ups, etc., and hopefully find some objects they can use for resistance, or they can maybe consider purchasing items.” 

John Zakharia, Kitsilano Trainers 

“For people not used to relying on mostly body weight for resistance you can load a back pack with books and use it for resistance, slow down the tempo [as] slow negatives make exercises very challenging, or add isometric holds at different points of the exercise. You can do a lot of exercises with your body weight and just vary the tempo for challenge.… Body-weight training is different from weight training in terms of load. My recommendation is to try to increase volume or number of sets performed.”

 — Craig Boyd, Precision Athletics

 “You can do running on the spot, there’s jumping jacks, there’s burpees. It’s going at your level just to get your heart rate up. It’s just about getting your body moving.”

— Ted Loo, Ted Loo Fitness

 Recommendations for cardio:

 “If people do not have access to cardio equipment, they can engage in activities that increase their heart rate, such as activities like jumping jacks — and you can do them high impact or low impact … also activities like burpees where you do a squat and then touch the floor and throw your feet out like a pushup.”

— John Zakharia

 “Cardio is a bit more difficult. The No. 1 recommendation is if your space allows for it: get a skipping rope. Otherwise if outdoor is possible, a run. Or for lower impact, a weighted ruck or walking with a weighted pack is a way to increase cardio. For stay at home: burpees, jumping jacks, jump lunges, jump squats and other old-school calisthenics are effective.”

— Craig Boyd 

Other recommendations:

“Don’t be shy or don’t procrastinate doing workouts at home. Even 30 minutes will have significant benefits or three 10-minute sessions in the day … and don’t hesitate to call someone to give them online training or telephone training.”

— John Zakharia 

“These are stressful times. Make sure your exercise is stress-relieving and not stress-causing. Consider adding in yoga, meditation, Epsom salt baths and contrast showers as ways of reducing the stress cycle.”

— Craig Boyd 

“Given the situation, now I have people inquiring about Zoom consultations, even Zoom workouts. I’ll do a workout with someone and we’ll both have their computers fired up and I’ll walk them through a workout using Zoom or some kind of app like that.”

— Ted Loo