We all know that lockdown is essential to flatten the curve of COVID-19. But it has forced us to change our daily routine. We are not going outside for work, to meet with our loved ones or go to the movies and restaurants.
Do you miss going to the gym or jogging in a park? We can’t do a lot of activities that we liked, like going for a swim, walk or cycling around the neighbourhood. And if these are your modes of exercising, then you’ve been forced to give them up.
Does that mean you should forgo exercise?
Not exercising for the whole duration can have an adverse effect on your health.
Luckily, there are plenty of exercises that can be done from the safety of your home and you don’t even need gym equipment. Even if you don’t exercise, now is a good time to acquire this life-saving habit because we have so much time on our hands.
The importance of exercise during COVID-19
WHO has advised us all to stay physically active during lockdown and isolation. Exercise and health are linked. The more active you are, the less likely you are to fall ill.
In fact, it is believed that exercise reduces the possibility of contracting communicable diseases (like COVID-19, flu) and even non-communicable diseases (like cancer, heart diseases, hypertension or diabetes).
Does exercise make our immunity stronger? Yes. Blood supply to all parts of the body increases. Cells get more oxygen and nutrients, which make them stronger and more capable of handling pathogens. And through exercise, you can also ward off illnesses like heart diseases or diabetes, which make COVID-19 fatal.
Exercise also releases endorphins or happy hormones that make us feel relaxed and calm. These hormones also help us cope with stress and anxiety- something we desperately need during this global health crisis.
What exercises will keep you healthy?
We are going to discuss a few whole-body exercises that will put different parts of your body to use to keep them strong and flexible. Do as many repetitions as you are comfortable with.
Your strength and endurance will increase gradually and you will be able to work out for longer. Pushing yourself too hard right from the start may cause cramps and injuries.
Lunges are an all-time favourite. There are many versions of it and you can pack them all into your work-out session. Here are a few you must try-
- Forward lunges
- Lateral lunges
- Walking lunges
Benefits of lunges
- Strengthen the legs and hips.
- Improve bone density.
- Increase the ability to balance.
- Enhance overall flexibility.
- Keep the spine strong and straight.
- Improve muscle coordination of the whole body
Planks may look simple but they are truly challenging. It works your entire body. Try both the regular plank and the side plank. Once you get used to planks, incorporate leg lifts in your plank routine. Here are a few benefits of the plank-
- Boosts your core strength.
- Helps to lose weight from your middle.
- Improves posture and balance and relieves back pain.
- Makes bones stronger.
Mix up your lunges with squats as they work really well together. Like lunges, there are different types of squats and you can pick the ones your body is comfortable with. Beginners should opt for the conventional two-leg squats.
- Strengthen your joints.
- Make the spine and shoulders more resilient.
- Increase leg strength.
- Improve your posture and eliminate back pain.
- Speed up metabolism.
4. Jump rope
You can base your whole exercise routine on a jumping rope or skipping because this cardio exercise is simply amazing.
- Helps you lose weight fast and stay in shape.
- Improves blood supply.
- Increases lung capacity.
- Strengthens the heart.
The goodness of burpees extends to all parts of the body. Burpees are difficult. So start with a simple non-pushup variation of burpees and do just a few.
- Burn calories quickly.
- Tone your arms, chest, tummy and legs.
- Strengthen the lungs.
- Increase endurance.
For good luck, we’ll throw in just one more exercise into the mix. This one is called power walking. Yes, good old walking can be one of the best exercises for strength and power. If done in a brisk manner accompanied by swift arm movements, this exercise can help you lose some weight amongst other great benefits.
Since we all are stuck in this Covid-19 world, make sure you take all safety precautions before venturing out. Keep a safe distance from others while walking. Otherwise, a 10-15 minute walk in your terrace or garden can do the trick just as well. Partaking in this short workout will better the strength of cardiac muscles, and also prevent severe joint pain in later years of your life.
Tips to keep yourself motivated
In the current situation, it can be tough to keep yourself motivated to do anything, let alone exercise! Hence, here are some simple tips you can follow to bring out the workout clothes which have been collecting dust for quite some time now:
- It is best to choose a space that doesn’t remind you of emails and zoom meetings. Hence, you can take your exercise to the living room, or even at a nearby quiet park outside.
- Even if you are not the kind of person who creates a routine for everything, doing so for exercising can significantly help you keep fit during these morbid times.
- Before you dive into your workout, decide on a model of training. It can be with a personal trainer, sweating it out with a group of people, or just following a pre-recorded workout video.
- A little patience goes a long way. Since the exercise isn’t happening in a physical gym, you might face some aberrations during the first few days. The key is to keep going at it.
- You can set some goals. Start slow, perhaps 10 minutes of exercise for the first few days. Gradually, increase your capacity and in this way, you will constantly be invested in it as well.
Try different forms of exercise every day and allow yourself one rest day to let your body heal. Stay home at all times, eat healthily and exercise. We will emerge from the crisis as stronger individuals.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.