Level 4 Cancer Rehabilitation instructor Teresa Waite shares her tips on how to get the most out of your at-home workouts so you can stay active even if you are in self-isolation.

Having guided over 50 participants through Trestock’s RENEW Programme in the past two years, Teresa draws from her extensive knowledge of training with and after cancer to set your minds at rest and provide us all with simple and accessible tips to make the most of our at-home workouts.  

How to set up your exercise space: No gym? No weights? No worries! All you really need to exercise from home is a safe, well-lit and ventilated space – it doesn’t need to be more than a few feet. Make sure it’s clear of trip hazards or anything to bump into or knock over. A solid, stable chair is useful, as is a mat, carpet or towel to lie on to do some floor exercises and stretches.

How to get ready to exercise: Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and trainers, and have a water bottle handy to stay hydrated.

Do I need any special equipment? No, lots of cardio and strength exercises can be performed just with your own body weight: marching, jogging on the spot, leg lifts, squats and presses. Resistance bands are handy, but you can be creative with things you are likely to have around the house to add some resistance for strength exercises.

How to use household objects in your workout:

  • Tins or water bottles can be used instead of dumbbells.
  • Backpacks filled with books or potatoes can be used to weight a squat or press.
  • Heavy suitcases, handbags, shopping bags, vacuum cleaners or plastic jugs with handles like those with milk or laundry liquid) can be used for deadlifts and rows.
  • Stairs can be used for step ups, and also for triceps dips, incline or decline press ups and mountain climbers.
  • For an easier press up, you could use a kitchen worktop, railing or wall.

Look around at what you’ve got. You’re only limited by your own creativity. 

Thank you so much for talking to us Teresa, and for providing us with such encouraging advice on exercising at home. 

It is always recommended that you seek the advice of a qualified exercise professional when undertaking an exercise programme as there are many individual factors that need to be considered to ensure that you are training safely and effectively for your condition.

Want help to get active and help improve your symptoms and chronic fatigue levels? We're here to help you do just that. Head to our page on physical activity to check out our online exercise and yoga classes to do in the comfort of your own home. Or check out RENEW, our eight week small group exercise programme, which is now happening digitally.