Fitness At Home

June 4, 2021 | Reagan

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Is anyone else feeling unmotivated about doing at-home workouts during the COVID-19 pandemic? Personally, I miss the gym. I miss packing my bag, donning my overpriced workout gear and going to a fitness class where I would have a brutal workout surrounded by other competitive, sweaty humans. My dog Lennon is not a very motivating workout partner, as you can clearly see.

Weightlifting Buddy (sort of)
Lennon my "fitness friend." Photo by author.

In the spirit of National Health and Fitness Day, which is Saturday June 4, 2021, I have decided to stop complaining and pull myself out of my fitness rut. I have made new, pandemic-friendly fitness goals and I encourage you to also make realistic goals!

Here are my 3 fitness goals starting today (not tomorrow):

  1. Exercise for 30-60 minutes, 4 times a week
  2. Cover my fitness bases every week: weight lifting, cardio and yoga
  3. Eat more vegetables, drink less booze, enjoy fewer chips (I call this balance)


What I learned during the pandemic is that shifting to, or starting up, at-home workouts is surprisingly tricky. Not to mention the fact that at-home workouts require more mental preparedness and willpower. Now we can no longer rely on our former routines like using in-person fitness experts or expensive gym equipment to reach our fitness goals.

So I have curated this list of new fitness books for folks looking for at-home workout motivation! I have included titles that are available in multiple formats, including electronic for folks using our digital access card. These books require little-to-no fitness equipment and they cover a wide range of fitness levels to accommodate people at different starting (or restarting) points in their journey.

Okay team, as Barack Obama says, "Fired up! Ready to go!"


Recommended Fitness Books

Move-free your body through stretching movement

Move: Free Your Body Through Stretching Movement by Lexie Williamson

I am a huge advocate for the power of stretching, after a workout but especially before. In pre-COVID times I found my best weightlifting workouts were done after I did a yoga class first. Your body is warm, loose and ready to maximize your lifting! Use this wonderful book to perform stand alone stretches or combine stretches together and enjoy a longer stretching sequence.


The science of strength training

Conbody: The Revolutionary Bodyweight Prison Boot Camp, Born From an Extraordinary Story of Hope by Coss Marte

The ultimate accessible, high intensity workout that requires no gym equipment and you only need the space of a jail cell to get started!  The exercises in the book are "for anyone, anywhere" and so it makes a perfect at-home workout manual. Build resilience with this inspiring story of a drug dealer turned convict turned Shark Tank award winner/fitness expert. 


Walking with Glenn Berkenkamp

Walking with Glenn Berkenkamp: 35 Wellness Walks to Expand Awareness, Increase Vitality, and Reduce Stress by Glenn Berkenkamp

Channeling my previous blog post about forest bathing, this book will help you build mindfulness into what I can only assume is everyone's daily outings to go for walks around the city. Really what else can we do?

Move-free your body through stretching movement

Fitness for Everyone: 50 Exercises for Every Type of Body by Louise Green

This book is amazing because it factors in folks of different shapes, sizes, ages and abilities. Each exercise, a burpee for example, includes modifications to accommodate your current fitness level and help you get more fit. There is also some good advice for how to incorporate fitness exercises into your daily life, motivation here we come!


Get your yoga on

Get Your Yoga On: 30 Days to Build a Practice That Fits Your Body and Your Life by Kino MacGregor

Kino is a well known yogi and I find her books to be accessible and provide good instruction (both text and through pictures) for ensuring proper technique. I also love that this book includes diverse folks with varying ability. Time to start building our practice!


Get your yoga on

Train Like a Fighter: Get MMA Fit Without Taking a Hit by Cat Zingano

This book is a call-to-action for you intense fitness folks! Hard core mixed martial arts exercises that are designed to get your core ripped and your upper and lower body shredded, no sparing necessary. These routines and personal training diet are sure to keep you in fighting shape until gyms reopen!


The City Has You Covered

The City of Toronto website also has great ideas for staying fit during the pandemic. In particular, I liked the Walking Challenge where you compare your progress with popular real and fictional locations. Here's some examples:

  • Toronto Island – Hanlan’s Point to Ward’s Island. 5km, 6463 steps or 47 minutes.
  • High Park Loop Trail. 5km, 7013 steps or 51 minutes.
  • Distance of Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Subway Bloor Line. 26km, 36,025 steps, 262 minutes or 4 hours.
  • Scarborough to Etobicoke. 35km, 48,675 steps, 354 minutes or 6 hours.
  • Yonge Street. 56km, 77,000 steps, 560 minutes or 9 hours.
  • Walk the Toronto border. 120km, 165,000 steps, 1200 minutes or 20 hours.
  • From Winterfell to King's Landing in Game of Thrones. 2,414km, 3,319,250 steps, 24,140 minutes or 402 hours.
  • From the Shire to Mordor in Lord of the Rings. 2,863km, 3,936,625 steps, 28,630 minutes or 477 hours.


Anyone up for a trip to Mordor? Start tracking your daily walks and see how quickly they add up to an adventure!


What Are Your Current Fitness Goals?

Comment below and share some of your favourite at-home workouts. To be honest, the more makeshift the better! For example, is anyone else lifting paint cans and toddlers like me? Let's keep each other motivated by sharing our fitness goals.