Maintaining cardio health while locked indoors
March 22, 2020 5:40 PM   Subscribe

I an a small time runner. I run for mental health reasons & insomnia prevention and run about 3-4 miles almost every day. I have been doing at-home Pilates (also a pre-quar activity) just to have something to do but not doing at least 30 min of cardio a day is messing with my sleep. What should I do?

I could run outside (I usually run on a treadmill in my apartment gym which is of course closed). I’m in California and it’s allowed. But I live in a city and everyone has the same brilliant idea so it’s more crowded than usual and definitely not very socially distanced. I might try running early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

BUT, let’s say I want to avoid that issue altogether. What can I do indoors to 1) wear myself out 2) maybe maintain the ability to run about a 5k for awhile that isn’t literally running? Is it futile? I’ve done a cardio Pilates routine that wasn’t bad but I found it less efficacious than actually running.

Yea obviously low on the list of quarantine priorities but as long as my job expects me to be working from home productively I have to kick my brain’s ass in some way. Any suggestions?
posted by stoneandstar to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
What about something like 30 Day Shred which is a high intensity interval training program. I'm pretty sure the whole thing is free on YouTube at this point. It really works you out.
posted by bleep at 5:51 PM on March 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

I was going to say 30 Day Shred too. I’m also a runner and that thing kicks my ass every time
I try it. Zuzka Light also has a bunch of videos on YouTube that are similarly intense.
posted by something something at 6:32 PM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am also trying HIIT. Emi Wong is the Youtube channel I've been using so far. Be advised, there is some weight loss talk, but overall she has a lot of beginner-friendly workouts that don't require equipment, and her tone is gentle and upbeat.
posted by capricorn at 7:22 PM on March 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Assuming your building has a stairwell you could start to climb stairs as cardio as well. No need to leave the house and likely empty enough for social distancing.
posted by koahiatamadl at 8:36 PM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fab website, has other cardio and HIIT programs too.
posted by runincircles at 8:39 PM on March 22, 2020

You can get a lot of cardio in a small room with a liberal mix of jumping jacks, burpees, medicine ball, and shovelglove. See if you can do 7-8 minutes of each, but I'd cut it into 2-3 minute chunks.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:42 PM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Before my knees were terrible (which I assume yours aren't, since you run every day) I did 90 seconds of high knees a couple of times a day. I read some stats on an online running magazine about how effective this is for maintaining cardio and was impressed enough to try it, and I did notice an improvement in my cardiovascular capacity.
posted by unstrungharp at 8:54 PM on March 22, 2020

HIIT app from Down Dog.
posted by medusa at 9:32 PM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Two words: Jump rope.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:53 PM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd say put on music and dance but it depends on how your apartment is built. If you're not on the ground level and you think neighbors will be able to hear or feel stomping from above, you should probably avoid high floor-impact activities.

Any chance you could get something like a rowing machine? Different muscles than running but good aerobic exercise.
posted by trig at 1:16 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Second vote for jump rope, or just running on the spot. Make sure you find a space in your house/apartment with a solid floor or you will make a lot of noise!
posted by EllaEm at 4:46 AM on March 23, 2020

Step aerobics is a great way to get a cardio workout indoors, and as a runner, you could add more high-impact jump elements and arm movements to increase the intensity. All you need is a stable stepping platform at least a bit wider than your shoes and some YouTube step routine videos to follow along with.
posted by datarose at 9:00 AM on March 23, 2020

Jump rope is what I'm doing. So far no complaints from the neighbors, but I guess we'll see!
posted by praemunire at 9:43 AM on March 23, 2020

Hello, fellow Californian. Thanks for the question--I'm intently watching the answers come rolling in--but this weekend I tested out getting up for a 5 am run through my neighborhood and a couple surrounding neighborhoods in San Francisco. I saw *maybe* three other people out running at that hour, and there's essentially no other traffic, human or vehicular. As long as it's allowed I'll be doing it whenever I can get myself up that early.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 12:51 PM on March 23, 2020

Late to the party, but Fitness Blender! They offer a huge amount of free video workouts at lots of different levels.

Pick HIIT or Cardiovascular and a Difficulty level of 3 or above and I guarantee you will wear yourself out.
posted by purple_bird at 10:47 AM on March 25, 2020

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