HIIT, yoga, dance: Your go-to self-isolation fitness guide

Whether you're self-isolating for two weeks or just avoiding the gym in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be going a little stir crazy right about now. 

But while you're binging Netflix and catching up on all those books you meant to read last year, it's important to incorporate a little exercise into your day as well. It not only helps pass the time, it boosts your mood and immune response, and comes recommended by the Ministry of Health.

The 2020 MoveMeant Challenge with Fitbit and Diabetes NZ aims to get people racking up steps and educate Kiwis about living with diabetes, emphasising the importance of regular activity. 

Auckland trainer and founder of Playground Fitness Rhys Jolly says it's important to keep moving, whether that be taking a walk in the sunshine (staying away from others, of course) or working out at home. 

"Workouts can be done if you are self-isolating at home and going a little stir crazy. The main thing is looking at working out as something that is going to make you feel good not only physically but mentally too," Jolly told Newshub.

"Staying away from person-to-person contact can start affecting you mentally. The best thing is getting out in your garden or at a park when no one is around and get your body moving."

If you're feeling frustrated:

  • Resistance training (body weight or with weighted exercises)
  • Skipping (get yourself a skipping rope!)
  • Sprints or shuttles 
  • On the flip side: Try some meditation or deep breathing

Jolly's top bodyweight workout that can be done anywhere and everywhere:

Three sets of each of the following exercises, 45 seconds on each set with a 15 second rest:

  • Body weight squats 
  • Press-ups 
  • Mountain climbers 
  • Seat step-ups 
  • Seat dips 
  • Star jumps 
  • Plank 
  • Prone shoulder taps 
  • Squat jumps
  • Lunge Jumps

Working out in self-isolation is also, of course, made easier by the age of social media. If you have access to a phone, computer or television, you have access to a trainer. 

Here are a couple of our favourites: 

Yoga with Adriene

Amidst the hundreds of thousands of free yoga classes on YouTube, I'm most partial to the teachings of Adriene - and occasionally, her Blue Heeler Benji. She has hundreds of videos catering to different needs, whether you're looking for relaxing yin to stretch tight muscles, or a sweatier flow if you're going a bit stir crazy indoors. She also has an incredibly soothing voice - great for this time of uncertainty and anxiety. 

Kirsty Godso

Kiwi fitness star and Nike master trainer Godso shares heaps of workouts on her Instagram page, many of which can be easily adjusted for at-home movement. Check at her kitchen glute workout - all you need is a pair of socks and a couple of metres of space.


The wellness and lifestyle site has a YouTube channel where they share various fitness classes, most of which are based around body weight exercises. They often have celebrity trainers, meaning from the comfort of your living room you can workout with some of the world's best fitness professionals. 

My favourite is this very intense 30 minute HIIT workout with New York trainer Kit Rich. Warning: you will need a sweat towel so you're not dripping all over your living room carpet.

The Fitness Marshall

This sassy dance instructor posts easy to follow dance routines to popular pop songs. They're fun, sometimes a bit sexy, but will always leave you dripping with sweat. It's cardio that puts a smile on your face. 

If you need any more inspiration, Harvard lecturer Alice Evans has reviewed many of the at-home fitness apps, to help others trying to stay fit during self isolaion.