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Earn PAI from your living room

With COVID-19 (the coronavirus), a lot of things have changed, and many of us are "stuck" at home. Getting regular physical activity is still important though, as it can increase your immune system, give you energy and motivation, and of course reduce the risk of mortality from lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular disease. It can be difficult to know how to do physical activity and workouts at home, especially if you don't own weights. We've compiled 9 different exercises you can do right from your living room - no weights required - to help you get started.

1. Sit ups

Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and heels on the ground. To start, tuck your feet under a chair or put a few books on the top of your feet to help you keep them down. Then raise your torso to a sitting position while keeping your feet on the ground. Repeat this 10-20 times. As you work out more often, try doing sit ups without any assistance on your feet to give yourself more of a challenge!

2. Lunges

Lunges can be done in a lot of different variations, so there are a lot of ways to incorporate them into your home workouts. The first type of lunges you can try are by stepping forward. Start by standing with your feet parallel, and then take a big step forward with your left leg. Make sure you step forward enough so that your left knee is bent over your toes. As you step forward, drop your right knee down towards the ground. To finish off the lunge, push off your left leg to return to the standing position. Repeat on the other leg.

If you're looking to do something other than a forward lunge, you could try keeping one foot elevated on a chair while you step forward (this is typically called a Bulgarian split squat). You could also try adding a small hop to your lunge while returning to the standing position.

3. Push-ups

Start off in a plank position - hands directly under your shoulders, arms straight, toes on the ground, and core tightened. Try to lower yourself down with your elbows out, while keeping your stomach tight. If you're finding it difficult to keep your body straight as you lower yourself, try doing push-ups with your knees on the ground. You could also try doing incline push-ups with your hands against a sturdy elevated surface like your couch - learn more about this type of push-up here.

4. Inchworms

Inchworms are a great exercise as they work your entire body. Start off by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge forward with your hips, and place your hands flat on the ground. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible. Next, walk your hands forward until you are in the plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Now walk your hands back to your feet, bending your knees if you need to, and stand straight up. Try doing 5-10 inchworms to start, taking your time and focusing on breathing. As you get better, you can work on keeping your legs straight and doing more repetitions.

5. Chair dips

Start by sitting in a sturdy chair with your hands holding the front of the seat. Walk your legs and hips forward so they are suspended in front of the seat, and you are supporting your weight with your arms. Bend your elbows and drop your hips towards the floor, and then straighten your arms to complete one repetition. You should feel this exercise in the backs of your arms. To make the exercise more difficult, try moving your legs further away from the chair so that your arms are lifting more of your weight.

You can also try this exercise using a sturdy table - just be extra cautious!

6. Squats

Just like a lunge, start with your legs hip width apart. Turn your toes out slightly as well. Then while keeping your chest and head up, drop your hips like you're sitting in a chair until the tops of your legs are parallel with the ground. Then stand back up while flexing your glute muscles. Don't worry if you cannot go too low to start - the more you squat and stretch, the better your mobility will become.

7. Bear crawls

You'll need more room for this exercise! A bear crawl is similar to how a baby would typically crawl, except that you keep your knees off the ground. Start on all fours and lift your knees so they're parallel to the ground, keeping your back as flat as possible. Then try "crawling" forward, backward, and side to side while keeping your form in tact. It can be a lot harder than it sounds!

8. Bridges

Bridges work your core, you glutes, and your hamstrings. Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, just like with a sit-up. Push through your heels to bring your hips towards the ceiling. The goal is to try and make a straight diagonal line from your head and shoulders up to your knees. To modify this exercise, move your feet closer to you (difficult) or further away (easier). You could also try adding a weight on top of your hips, or even keeping one leg in the air as you go up and down.

9. Wall sits

This last workout is a simple and quick way to really work your leg muscles! Start by standing straight against a wall, with your feed shoulder width apart. Keeping your back against the wall, push your feet away from the wall as you lower yourself into a 'seated' position. It should look like you're sitting in an invisible chair, with the wall as your back support. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then come back up to standing. Try to do this 2-3 times. Try not to rest your hands or arms on your legs as you do wall sits; instead keep them in front of you for balance.

Take each exercise slowly as you familiarize yourself with the movements, listening to your body as you go. As you get better, do more repetitions or look up variations of each move. At any level, doing these exercises will get your heart rate up, earning you some PAI even from home.

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