Being stuck at home is painful. Not being able to go out and enjoy outdoor sports is even more painful. With schools, sports grounds and swimming pools closed amid the coronavirus outbreak, getting regular exercise is proving to be a real challenge.
Still, in these tough times, students have been coming up with creative ways to get moving in their own homes. Yes, Hong Kong flats are cramped, but that hasn’t stopped my friends or I from getting in our daily workouts. Here are seven indoor-friendly sports we’ve tried and tested. Why not try them for yourself?
This relaxing pastime is a popular choice among housebound Hongkongers, as it only requires a small amount of space (and sometimes a yoga mat). It’s a great way to clear your mind and connect with your body. If you’re a beginner, no worries: start with some easy stretches like the Mountain Pose (standing up straight with your arms stretched upwards) and work your way to more challenging ones like the Handstand Scorpion (a handstand with your feet balanced above your head).
Sit-ups and push-ups
Given that these moves tend to come up regularly in PE lessons, you’ve probably been grateful to escape them for a while. But what if you used this time to perfect your sit-ups and push-ups? You’d never have to dread doing them at school again. In addition to helping you boost your grade in PE, sit-ups are a great way to tone your stomach muscles. Push-ups, meanwhile, will help you build your arm muscles and overall upper body strength. As long as you have enough space to lie your body on the ground (preferably on a mat) you can practise away.
Shuttlecock kicking (Ti Jian Zi)
This traditional folk game dates back to the Han dynasty, and remains popular here and on the mainland to this day. After all, what’s more fun that being able to kick stuff around the house without the fear of breaking anything? If you have a sibling, you can rope them into a friendly match. It’ll help to train your leg muscles and improve your concentration. What’s more, the shuttlecock is easy to make yourself, and you only need a small amount of space to play. Its the perfect indoor sport.
As its name suggests, this sport can be played around a table and involves very little set-up. Both simple and highly addictive to play, table tennis can provide hours of fun while you’re stuck at home. Round up your family members for team tournament. You’ll all feel a lot less stressed afterwards, and your arms will get a workout in the process.
Twirling a hula hoop around your hips is a great way to boost your cardiovascular fitness and build your core strength. According to the American Council on Exercise, any type of physical activity that involves maintaining a certain posture, like hula hooping, can help improve your balance. And if you blast some dance music while you’re spinning, it won’t feel like exercise at all. You may want to move fragile items like vases or photo frames out of your way before you begin – just in case. Hoops come in various sizes, so you can always opt for a smaller one if you’re hard-pressed for space.
You might be questioning the feasibility of running at home without a treadmill – but it is possible. Simply find a spot in your flat with a non-slippery surface, and jog on the spot. You can trying mixing various running techniques, such as raising your knees or kicking the backs of your legs, to make this exercise a little more challenging (and a little less mundane).
If you ask your parents about this, you might find they did this sport at home when they were kids. All you need is a skipping rope, and if you don’t have one, you can always make one out of rubber bands. Tie each end of the rope around the legs of two chairs, then jump across the rope continuously. Not only will it get your heart beating, but its a sure-fire method to make yourself taller – if you believe the myths, that is. Just remember to jump lightly, for the sake of your downstairs neighbours.