The novel coronavirus crisis has led governments to adopt stringent measures to contain the spread of the disease. This includes temporary shutdown of various businesses and putting their citizens under lockdown for social distancing – the only way to reduce contact between people and prevent spreading of this virus. Gyms are one of the businesses that have been forced to shut down during this pandemic, affecting many people’s fitness regimens.
“With gyms, beaches, and parks temporarily closed and people being encouraged to stay at home, it’s easy to let your exercise routine fall by the wayside. And working from home or lacking a daily routine can make it hard to keep up with any physical activity at all”, notes a Harvard Health article. However, fitness experts say that even if you don’t have a dedicated workout space or fancy machines, all this shouldn’t stop you from getting a good workout in your home.
Physical activity and exercise offer both immediate and long-term health benefits. With social distancing mandated during the COVID-19 outbreak, exercising at home would provide additional benefits:
- It would lift the mood, which is very important when faced with the challenge of staying inside and finding activities to do to substitute for some of your usual ones.
- Exercise lowers risk for heart disease by improving cholesterol profile and lowering blood pressure.
- Staying active is important to sleep better and manage stress efficiently, both of which can be difficult when schedules are disrupted.
Here are some exercises you can do at homes without any equipment or machines:
- Squats: Start by standing straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and your arms at your side. Keep your chest and chin up, push your hips back and bend your knees as if you’re going to sit on a chair. Make sure that your knees don’t bow inward or outward. Drop down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, bringing your arms out in front of you in a comfortable position. Pause for one second, then extend your legs and return to the starting position.
- Push-ups: This is a basic exercise where you start with plank position, keep your body tight, shoulders pulled down and back. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body and when your chest grazes the floor, extend your elbows and return to the starting position. Keep your elbows close to your body during the movement.
- Sit-ups: This is an effective exercise for the abdominal muscles. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Keep your arms behind you head and slowly begin to roll up from your head, engaging your core throughout. Don’t strain your neck during the upward motion. When your chest comes close to your legs, begin the controlled phase back down to the starting position.
- Bent over row: Hinge forward at your hips. Pull a weighted barbell toward your torso while keeping your elbows close to your body and your back straight. Perform sets of six to 12 repetitions, performing each set to muscle failure to improve muscular strength and endurance.
- Burpees: This is an effective exercise for your whole body. Begin by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms on your side. Put your hands on the front and start to squat down and as soon as your hands reach the ground, pop your legs back to a push-up position. Do a push-up and then get back to the starting push-up position and jump your feet up to your palms by hinging at the waist. Your feet must be as close to your hands as possible, landing them outside your hands if necessary.
- Wall Sit: Lean on a wall in the house and sit against it as if it’s a chair with your legs at 90 degrees. Stand still in the position and hold. Back straight, stay in that position for three minutes. Once you get used to it, increase your time. Do it three times in the set of three.
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 may mean unprecedented changes to daily routines, but staying healthy through it all is still a priority. One of the best things about exercising at home is that you can do it in your living room while watching television or listening to your favorite music. However, check with your doctor before you start any new exercise regimen.