Chances are you are in lock-down because your country has ordered a quarantine due to the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the globe. Getting used to life without the outdoors is not only tough, it can also be a drain our health. We will ensure to motivate you and guide you to stay fit during this time with some easy exercises to do at home.
The World Health Organization recommends every adult to spend around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical exercise every week. You can also follow a variety of both moderate and vigorous intensity, depending on your preferences.
Despite being stuck at home and only allowed outside for essentials (to go to the supermarket or pharmacy, for example), you can still achieve these fitness goals while in lockdown. It does not matter if you have no equipment to exercise or only very limited space in your home. We hope that the following tips help you stay active and assist you in reducing your sedentary behavior while you work at home or are exercising a self-isolation or living in quarantine.
Whatever you do all day, you must take short active breaks during the day. These can be variations of physical activity or even daily domestic chores, dancing with your partner or playing with your kids. Heck, even cleaning or gardening is a form of staying active while stuck at home. So, don’t despair and keep up the positive spirit.
Warming up before exercising
Before you start, an important note: Warm up! Warming up before doing exercise is just as important if not more important than actually exercising. This allows for your body and whole system to prepare and your heart pulsations to gradually increase. An effective warm up routine should take at least five to ten minutes and be gradual, not abrupt.
Easy List of Exercises to do at Home
For those of you who don’t know where to start, here are a few very simple exercises to do at home, even without the need for any gym equipment.
One of the easiest exercises you can do at home, even with limited space is the Plank. The Plank is done by placing your hands directly under shoulders as if you are going to do a push up. The arms should be a bit wider apart than your shoulder width. Your toes should be grounded on the floor and then your squeeze your glutes. Hold your position for around 30 seconds and continuously breath in and breathe out. After this you can rest for 30-60 seconds. This exercise you can repeat 5-10 times and as you get more adjusted, you can increase the time you hold yourself in the plank position. The plank is a great exercise to keep your belly, legs and arms in shape.
Whether you walk on the spot or around the house, walking is ideal to keep your blood circulation going to keep your heart fit. Walking also burns calories so it is a good way to not gain weight. One study also revealed how taking just a 15-minute walk three times a day after your meals, improved the sugar levels in the blood. Walking also eases joint pain and reduces the risk for developing a cold or flu as evidenced by another study. If you are working from home, walking is also a great way to free your mind and enhance your creative thinking.
This is one of my favorites: Squats. Again, an ideal exercise if you are stuck at home and with limited space to exercise. All you have to do is place your feet shoulder-width apart and your head facing forward. Your chest should be help out and your arms and hands extended straight in front of you in order to maintain balance. Now you bring your hips backwards as if you are going to take a seat in a chair. You can go as low as you feel comfortable. Your upper body will slightly bend forward as you do this. Then you press your heels firmly and push to bring yourself up to the starting position. Squats can be done 5-10 or 10-15 times with 30-60 seconds rest in between sessions. A perfect exercise to strengthen your glutes and legs while maintaining a good blood circulation. If you want to up your game, you might want to try the “pro” squats, check them out:
If you are looking at something more advanced, the Bridge is your exercise of choice. Ideally you should use a Yoga or Pilates mat to lay your body on. With your feet firmly on the floor and your knees just over the heels start to lift the hips up and then lower them again. When doing the bridge, be sure to breathe in and out as you go up and down. Perform the Bridge in sets of 5-10 to start and then increase to 10-15, with a 30-60 second rest between. The Bridge is a great exercise to strengthen the muscles of your hips and buttocks. It also helps to open your chest.
While confined in lock down, working from home or not, many people find themselves sitting or lying down on the sofa and stuck in front of their TV. Too much sedentary time is no good for your health. You want to interrupt your sitting or lying down at least every 30 minutes. Recent research even suggests that a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to diabetes, or obesity and even cancer. It is time to get up! If you are sitting in front of your computer or lying on your sofa reading this on your cell phone, take a break. Stand up and move around.
Another important and easy exercise to perform at home is the Chest opener. You do this by interlacing your fingers behind your back. Stretch your arms behind you and open your chest forward. You can hold this position for 15-20 seconds and then repeat. Chest openers are often practiced during Yoga or Pilates and are a great way of opening the space around your heart. This is especially important if you are sitting at a desk working from home all day. Hunched over your computer or not sitting correctly at your desk can cause shoulder and back pain or even bad posture, while compressing the lungs and not taking deep breaths.
Whether you want to strive for a sick-pack or just keep your abdominal muscles in shape, we highly recommend you dedicate a few minutes to your abs. There are dozens of variations with our favorite abs exercise being a light Pilates style move. Lie firmly on your back and place your hands behind your head. Take a deep breath and as you begin to exhale boost your upper body up with your arms stretched out before you. As you come back down, inhale slowly and gently come back down to the floor, while crunching your abs firmly to support your back. Repeat in sets of 5 and then rest for 30-60 seconds.
The burpee exercise is one of those that works your whole body. Named after the American physiologist Royal H. Burpee, this is an exercise that was even used to assess the physical fitness level of military recruits during WWII. Start off with a standing position and gently move down into a sqaut position with your hands to the ground. Then kick back your legs and go into the plank position, then return to a squat position and finish off by returning to a standing position. Easy right? Get these done in sets of 5-10 and rest for 30-60 seconds to see your cardiovascular health improve and gain overall body strength.
Although it is important to stay informed about the current health crisis and the global measures being taken, sitting at the television all day or glued to your cell phone scrolling through one website after the other is not recommended. Try to disconnect several times a day by simply relaxing or take it a step further and get in the rhythm of meditating twice a day. This can help you stay calm and focused.
Tips to Stay in Shape While Doing Exercises at Home
Don’t overdo it and don’t stress about it. Set aside 10-15 minutes a day, perhaps in the morning before you start to work from home. Or just before lunch. If you are at home with a partner or friend, get into the habit and routine of exercising together. Even if you have a family, exercising during this difficult time, can be a great way of bonding and getting rid of built up stress. Most important of all, enjoy it so that you can reap all the benefits of staying in shape. Not everybody needs to become ripped or run a marathon after this.