Can An Hour Of Exercise Make Up For Sitting Down 23 Hours A Day?

Georgia Aspinall spoke to fitness experts about how much exercise we should be doing to make up for our pre-coronavirus step count...

Home workout

by Georgia Aspinall |

I wake up. I sit at my desk. I get up for lunch. I sit at my desk. I make dinner. I sit on the couch. Maybe, just maybe, I get out the house for a walk or run in the evening – and then I come home and get in bed. That is my life now.

Of course, there’s no excuse – I could actually do a home workout if I wanted to. But, as someone who typically only ever lifts weights in the gym, using flour bags instead of a barbell has proven quite demotivating. Plus, when all I do for the rest of the day is sit around, it begs the question – can exercising for an hour actually make up for being prone the other 23-hours of the day?

Well, according to our favourite fitness experts, it definitely can. In fact, for all of us worried about how much exercise we should be doing to off-set all the steps we’re no longer wracking up by getting out the house, apparently even 30 minutes is great.

’30 minutes to one hour is perfect,’ fitness influencer Krissy Cela tells Grazia. ‘I'd also recommend to go out for a 30 minute walk for fresh air as well as your workout. If you can workout outside that’s even better.’

Divan Kombrink, head trainer in the Khera-Griggs Cleanse Clinic at Urban Retreat, agrees. ‘Going for a 30 minute walk to get some fresh air is a really good option, obviously in isolation,’ he says. ‘At home, aim to get the heart rate up over 120 BPM for 30 minutes - this would be very beneficial for overall health & fitness.’

When it comes to getting cardio up, Krissy says a full body circuit and any type of HIIT training will be your best friend during this strange time, with Divan adding that ‘exercises like squat jumps, mountain climbers, shadow boxing, running up and down stairs and side shuffles are all great.’

You can maintain your fitness and muscle gains

But how about for those who – like me – are more used to weights than spin classes? Can you really achieve mass muscle growth by lifting a few household items?

‘Generally, you can maintain your fitness and muscle gains if you continue to do strength, cardio and conditioning workouts, even at home,’ Divan says. ‘Using this time indoors is a good opportunity to look at soft tissue and possible mobility restrictions. You can very easily work on increasing stability and core strength at home, as you don’t need equipment or much space.’

So what can you do? Well, Divan advises getting some resistance bands if possible.

‘The best way to do weightlifting or “hypertrophy training” is using resistance bands, this is very easy and gives great results,’ he says. ‘Use pre-fatigue methods with small muscle groups before you move into isolation of a specific muscle group. Using this method means that when you are training a muscle that is already a bit fatigued, you can get good muscle pump by just using body weight.’

And for Krissy, now is the perfect time to focus on nutrition, trying out new things and making the best of what you have round the house for exercise.

‘Keep your protein up and make sure you are staying consistent with your nutrition,’ she advises. ‘Use it as the time to get things done which you never really had the time to do before. If you never had the time to workout use this as an excuse to finally start. If you never had time to cook your own food now you're forced to try new recipes to find what works for you! Look at things with a positive twist.’

‘In regards to training, focus on tempo, rep ranges and using weights around the house,’ she adds. ‘But don't be upset, you will not lose all your progress - use this as a time to rest as well!’

If you want to try out Krissy’s app - The Tone & Sculp app – it is available from £13.99 at The App Store and on Google Play.

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