Workout at home using household items.

The return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) has meant closure of gyms and fitness studios.

If you find it difficult to exercise properly without equipment, Senior Physiotherapist Chitra D/O Chandran from Sengkang Community Hospital* (SKCH) shares simple solutions.

“Commonly-found household items can easily serve as good alternatives to gym equipment such as dumbbells and weights,” she says. These include:

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1. Filled water bottles

Filled water bottles make great dumbbells! You can start with smaller 500ml bottles before moving on to 1L or 1.5L bottles. You can also reuse soap bottles or juice cartons - make sure to wash them cleanly first!

Suggested exercises: Bicep curls, lunges

 2. Towels

Dry towels are a great addition to helping you stretch out before/after an exercise. To add a challenge, you could use a damp towel too – but remember to wring out all the water first!

Suggested exercises: Loop a towel around your arm or leg when stretching

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3. Rice / flour bags

Coming pre-packed, these heavier sacks are easy to grip on to and work great for overhead weight-lifting exercises, squats, and even planks. Larger rice bags can go up to 5kg and 10kg,  providing a good challenge.

Suggested exercises: Squats, weight-lifting

4. Chairs / boxes

A sturdy chair or weighted storage box can help to provide an incline for planks, push-ups, tricep-dips, and more! Experiment with different heights to challenge yourself. Chairs also provide a good grip for balancing or chair-based exercises.

Suggested exercises: Inclined planks, step up/step down exercises

As a complement, Chitra also recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.

“Break it up into multiple sessions, like 20 to 30 minutes daily. Some physical activity is better than none, and can help offset some of the risks of being sedentary, like high blood pressure (hypertension).”

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* Sengkang Community Hospital (SKCH) is managed by SingHealth Community Hospitals (SCH), a member of the SingHealth group.


Articles on are meant for informational purposes only and cannot replace professional surgical, medical or health advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment. Photo courtesy of iStock.