Is your positive energy tank running on empty? Your news feed may be filled with panic-provoking coronavirus updates, making it challenging to channel those feel-good emotions. Meditation and exercise are two powerful ways to help energize and recharge the mind and body. But right now, the thought of going to a germ-filled gym can feel far from a healthy decision.

If you’re thinking of taking time off from your fitness club, it’s important to find alternative ways to exercise. Get your daily dose of physical activity while maintaining a safe distance from the contagious coughs and sweat-soaked equipment at the gym by temporarily shifting your workout to your home. All you need are 20 minutes, a small space, a mat or carpeted surface, and a set of light weights (or filled water bottles).

We’ll start with a physical workout, then flow into a stress-reducing meditation session.

Core work. It’s tempting to save core exercises for the end of your workout because this tends to be the most tedious toning task. But because proper form is necessary to safely mold this group of muscles, it’s best to attack these activities first, before the body tires and form fades.

Tabletop lifts:

  • Using a mat or carpeted surface, lower your body into a tabletop position with shoulders stacked over hands and hips stacked above knees. Curl your toes under, keep your back flat, and your head and neck in line with your spine.
  • Push through your palms and toes to lift your knees a few inches off the floor. Hold for five counts then lower your knees. Continue 10 times. For extra support, place a towel under your knees.
Tabletop lifts
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Tabletop lifts

Spiced-up side plank:

  • Turn on your side and prop your weight up on your forearms and feet. Your feet should be stacked and shoulder positioned above the elbow.
  • With your upper leg straight and foot flexed, elevate your top leg. Feel your hips work to hold this stance.
  • Now, without bending at your knee, lower this leg in front of your body. Keep tension on these muscles by not touching that foot to the floor. Hold for two counts then bring your leg behind your body. Continue this two-way sequence eight times, then switch sides.
Spiced-up side plank
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Spiced-up side plank

Total body tone-up. Let’s move on to resistance and cardio exercises that amp up heart health, lung capacity, balance, and coordination. Allow for 30 seconds of rest between each exercise. Once you’ve completed one set, rest for 60 seconds and repeat the full set two more times.

Assisted squat press:

  • With a weight in each hand and palms facing each other, sit on the edge of a sturdy seat with your legs shoulder-width apart and feet parallel.
  • Press through your heels and stand up straight as you simultaneously push the weights toward the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
  • Then lower back down to the seat while bringing the weights down to the shoulders. With each rep, sit just briefly before popping back up.
Assisted squat press
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Assisted squat press

Curtsy lunge lat lift:

  • Stand tall with a weight in each hand and arms resting your by your sides.
  • Take a large, diagonal step back with your right foot. As you do, raise your arms to shoulder height. Your front knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle with your body weight in your front heel.
  • Pressing your weight into your front heel, return to the starting stance and lower the weights to your sides. Repeat on the opposite leg. Continue this back-and-forth sequence 20 times (10 per leg).
Curtsy lunge lat lift
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Curtsy lunge lat lift

Mindful moment. Think of this time as a restart button that creates clarity and control.

  • Find a quiet space without the threat of interruption. Close the door, lower the blinds, sit in a comfortable position, and set your alarm for five minutes.
  • Softly shut your eyes and think of a peaceful memory. Perhaps you were on a beautiful beach or were enjoying a stunning sunset.
  • Take a slow, deep breath that fills your lungs. Recall the smells, sights, and sounds of that memory — how you felt at that moment. Continue to breathe naturally and evenly. When your alarm sounds, gradually open your eyes and readjust to your current state.

Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more about her virtual training program, go to ashleyblakefitness.com.