Online Exercise Routines

This page was set up March 2020. There is an updated version with a few extras on my new website:

While we are on lockdown, one of the important things we can do for ourselves is keep our bodies moving. Many of us will be able to get out into the fresh air and walk, but not all. I’m aiming for a walk each day plus some other exercises indoors. Or maybe out on the deck if the weather stays warm enough.

Another important thing is to keep having fun! So I’m collecting up Youtube links to fun or relaxing exercise routines. Keep checking back to see what’s new. And please send me your favourites so I can add them for everybody to enjoy.

Starting with the easier exercises and ending with the more strenuous, but first something specifically for kids…

Kids exercise routines

PE with Joe – Joe Wicks will be running online PE sessions for kids. 5 days a week he will add a new video to his channel.

There are loads of other  exercises suitable for children on YouTube.

Seated Exercises

This was the first lockdown page I started writing, as I wanted to put up some resources for my Arthritis class ladies. So it is still quite heavily weighted towards seniors.

The Wellington Arthritis class instructors are holding live classes through Zoom. The timetable is:

  • Mon, 2pm NZT, seated mobilisation exercises to music, with optional 5-10 mins standing strength & balance work at the end (about 50 mins, with a 2 min break halfway through)
  • Wed, 2pm, shorter session of SpinPoi, seated or standing. This is harder than it sounds and benefits grip strength, balance, coordination and attention (about 30 mins). If you don’t have any poi and would like to join, and you are in Wellington, we may be able to get a set to you.
  • Fri, 10am  – seated mobilisation exercises with more of a Pilates flavour (about 50 mins, with a 2 min break halfway through)

We’d like to invite other seniors, people with arthritis or recovering from illness, and any others who can’t exercise standing up to join us. If you’d like an invite, or would like to source a set of poi, email me.

For a bit of variety in between, or if you don’t want to try Zoom, here are some suitable classes to try any time.

Arthritis NZ joint mobilisation (25 mins) – Official Arthritis NZ  exercise video with Kathy Johnson

Seated Exercises for Arthritis with Mary (about 8 mins intro, 20 mins exercise) – first time watch all the way through, after that, start at about 8 mins

Sit and Be Fit with Mary Ann Wilson (26 mins ) – a gentle workout, suitable for seniors or anyone who can’t exercise standing up, not specifically for arthritis

Seated Chair Exercise for Seniors (20 mins) – has standing and seated variations, strength components, not specifically for arthritis

Sit & be Fit (with different instructor) (31 mins) – a bit more vigorous and mostly not aimed at arthritis

Balance exercises

Anybody who already takes one of my classes knows we always add in a few minutes of standing and balance work. So you might want to finish with one or more of these.

The Wellington Live Stronger for Longer team have put together a series of strength and balance exercises here, along with guidelines for using them safely.

Fall Prevention Exercises with Physical Therapist Lora Durkin (video is 4 mins, but allow extra time for your own reps) – Lora demonstrates two of our balance exercises.

  • The first is the sitting to standing exercise. The demo is good, but remember to make sure your toes point straight ahead, and your knees point over your toes. Use your hands to steady your knees in place if you need to.
  • The second is our balance exercise. Lora demonstrates (1) the most basic form (feet shoulder width apart), (2) the next one up (feet together) and (6) the most advanced (one foot, with the other foot lifted up behind). We have 3 other versions in between – (3) feet next to each other but with one foot slightly further forward, with the heel nestled into the instep of the other, (4) one foot in front of the other (see tandem stance in video below) and (5) on one foot, but with the other foot just by the ankle, in case you need to put it down quickly. Remember, too, that we sometimes do a more advanced level than we can actually do with no hands, but do it holding on and for longer. This still gives the muscles a work out.

10 Standing Exercises for Older Adults (16 mins) – this is quite similar to the variety of standing exercises we would do in class, so if you want to choose just one routine, choose this one.:

  • (1) sit to stand exercise – remember the precautions already noted above, and maybe watch Lora’s first to make sure you’re using good technique
  • (2) legs to the side (hip abduction)
  • (3) lifting leg to the back (leg extension)
  • (4) raising the toes
  • (5) up on toes, raising the heels
  • (6) an upper back exercise (if you don’t have a theraband or similar, just focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together)
  • (7) standing on one leg – note that this is the most advanced version of this exercise, but she has a chair available on both sides for support if needed
  • (8) tandem stance – balance exercise with one foot in front of the other
  • (9) calf stretch
  • (10) hamstring stretch

Best Balance Exercise for Seniors & Fall Prevention (8 mins) – this is another, more advanced, version of our standing up and sitting down exercise. We usually do it a bit slower, taking a second to get our balance with our weight over our knees before standing all the way up. The exercise stars at 2 mins 40.

Improve your Balance in 5 minutes! (5 mins) – these are more advanced than some of our standing exercises, so you need to decide for yourself if you are at that level.

Lung Exercises

While we’re sitting down, this lung exercises video demonstrates good exercises for those with lung cancer, COPD and other breathing problems. Since CoVid19 affects the lungs, this could be a good preventative routine.

Tai Chi & Qi Gong

Tai Chi for Beginners 01 “Tai Chi Fundamentals” (28 mins)

Tai Chi for Arthritis with Dr Paul Lam (49 mins)

Lee Holden – morning Qi Gong (10 mins) – he has a variety of other routines that you can check out as well


Gentle chair yoga routine (25 mins) – with standing variations

Face Yoga ~ Best 5 face exercises

Hand Mudras

Bhakti Lounge in Wellington are offering two free/koha classes a day, live on Zoom.

Aerobic Exercise

We can go outdoors to walk, run or bike. In Dubai, My brother and sis in law live on floor 19 of an apartment block where nobody uses the stairs. So as part of their isolation, they are walking up and down the stairs every day and making their walking aerobic. In Wellington, many of us have stairs or hills in our local communities where we could do the same.

Some people like to run, I like my aerobic exercise to be to music. Put your favourite music on and boogie down in your lounge, kitchen or even the back lawn. Maybe the neighbours will be moved to join in… Or if you like something a bit more structured, try these out for size.

Live classes

There are probably lots of others doing classes online, but to start here:

Swan de Avio, from ZaZaZumba, Wellington will be doing several classes a week. Check them out here.

Another Wellington studio, Never Stop Dancing, have 6 classes a week that you can attend live, or watch any time within the following 48 hours. Visit their website to book, $18 per class.

Or have a go at JitterBlast, live from California twice every week. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 5pm PST = Wednesday & Friday at noon NZ time. Looks like a lot of fun, Find out more here.

Recorded classes

Now some videos that you can do any time. Starting with something for the seniors…

Zumba Gold with Marite (23 mins) – gentle and with the original latin flavour

Zumba Senior with Cindy (30 mins) – a more intermediate level

Zumba Gold with Vicky Martyn (34 mins) – still aimed at 60 years or over, but more energetic and advanced

Line dances for Seniors and Beginners (37 mins) – if you always wanted to try line dancing but were too embarrassed…

And these are more dance based, with recent music:

Misty Trivoli’s Body Groove – a collection of dance videos, each about 4 mins long. Get your funk on.

Dance Tracks with the Fitness Marshall – another collection of dance based exercise routines

Toning & Strengthening

Jane Fonda: Total Body Workout (27 mins) – yep, she can still put most of the rest of us to shame…

I’m sure I can find heaps more for this category, but not today…

Other lockdown resources: Lockdown 2020 overviewBuilding good immunity ~ Resources for kids & familiesExercise routinesKeep your mind activeKeeping our spirits up and finding joy ~ Finding Purpose ~ Questioning the Mainstream Narrative ~ Sessions with Deb ~ Nature Foods