While the government is busy flattening the curve, you might be working and looking for ways to flatten your belly. These wasted hours maybe getting you bored and wanted to use them instead to improve your health and figure. Or you might be a gym buff, dying to get that extra sweat since walking does not give it to you.
Since the coronavirus limits our physical and outdoor activities, health experts believe we should exercise at home. It is to keep us healthy, especially during these stressful days.
But before even getting on the treadmill or started to lift some weights, think again. Is your exercise regimen safe in this lockdown?
Why Do You Need to Stay Active?
Exercise is proven to be an excellent way to fight the coronavirus anxiety. Exercise indeed helps us in our physical, mental, and emotional state, but it varies from people to people.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is limiting our activities outdoor. There are many things that we do on regular days that we can’t do at this time. Such limiting conditions have negative impacts on our health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an adult aged 18 – 64 need to have 150 minutes of moderate to intense workout a week. It is easy to achieve when you can go out. You can briskly walk, run, hike, swim — but not right now.
Having a healthy body and a sound mind will give you tons of benefits. You do this by keeping yourself busy and physically active.
When you are physically active at home, your screen time is less.
Doctors are worried about the screen time we spent especially during this quarantine. According to psychologists, the USA has an adult population that spent 9 ½ hours a day for screen time. Take note, its pre-coronavirus. There is a possibility that the number doubled as of today. Too much screen time gives stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
The more physically active you are, the less stress you can get.
Stress can be the culprit of all diseases. You name it: hypertension, diabetes, cancer — all these can are trigger by stress. However, by being physically active, it helps your mind at ease and not worry about the situation we are in right now.
When you are active today, you are less susceptible to the COVID-19.
Being physically active is being healthy. Your immune system gives you the armor you need against it. It doesn’t mean you’ll not get the virus, being physically active reduces your chance of getting the risk of viral infection, and even the chances of severe COVID-19 complications.
Is your quarantine exercise regimen safe?
You may not be aware but you are already experiencing the tell-tale signs that your quarantine exercise is unsafe. Your exercise regimen might be:
- Too hard or too fast for you.
- Beyond your individual condition.
- Not goal-oriented (meaning, you don’t know the reason why you exercise or you don’t have any target muscles or part of your body)
- Exhausting you instead of energizing you.
- Injured you (worse).
If you feel or see any of these signs, doctors always advise us to STOP IMMEDIATELY.
What you should consider before exercising is:
- Your health and medical condition. Make sure you don’t have any illness or undetected pregnancy.
- Your age. As you grow older, you take a different approach and adjust to your need. Older people can’t always do high-impact exercise like running. They can go for low impact exercises like yoga or Pilates.
- Your objective. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to build muscle? Or do you want to decompress your mind? These are just a few exercise goals.
You must not do it all – especially during lockdown!
Exercise can’t keep you away from catching coronavirus. Breaking quarantine rules like social distancing does. As we seek shelter at home, it is not appropriate to act as if nothing’s happening. Please be considerate: continuing all your physical activities outdoor can put you and others in peril.
Besides, breaking the federal quarantine law can put you in jail, with a fine of $100,000 in some states.
Exercise can be compulsive for others, it is similar to shopping, eating, and drinking, There are symptoms that exercising becomes a compulsion and the signs don’t lie about it.
- Feeling guilty whenever you skip a day to train
- Continuously exercising despite having injuries
- Not enjoying it anymore
- Skipping things you supposed to do just to exercise
- When your period stops (for women)
Signs that you are overdoing your exercise
Just like the stress brought by the pandemic, over-exercise can bring changes that are bad for you.
Observe yourself if you are doing tasks below your normal. Fatigue or burn out can spell bad performance. Mental or physical grogginess due to overtraining is fatal in many ways.
An intense workout can make your mind awake for long hours. It’s very hard to shut it when it continues to work in an intense manner.
Yes, over-exercise can make you grumpy and irritable.
Decrease in appetite
Of course, when you are exhausted, your metabolism slows down.
Weakened Immune System
If you push the button too far, it will make your immune system to slide down. In this wary time, your immune system will be the last defender you can lean on.
Feeling sore muscles or heavy limbs
At first, you will feel soreness which is normal for beginners. But if you keep feeling it, then absolutely you are over-exercising.
Losing motivation/interest in exercise
When you realize it’s not “fun” anymore, you are over-exercised.
What is the right exercise for you during the pandemic
Experts recommend low impact exercises. The reasoning behind it is it won’t strain your body too much. You can do these tasks with ten repetitions up to 30.
- Jumping Jacks
Other like Yoga and meditation are the other two exercises that can are categorically low impact exercises. Since we are in quarantine, we recommended you strictly follow these recommendations.
There are lots of exercises that you can do at home. Aerobics, cardio, and muscle strengthening are the three main exercise routine you need to make a schedule..
Doing household chores is exercise!
They say you do not confuse work with exercise. It is maybe right. There is a counter to that now. You don’t have a job now, right? Therefore, the household chores are exercise!
Chores like cleaning your room, mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, detailing your car, and doing the laundry, are burning calories. Any movement that burns calories, according to Science, is exercise.
Former world chess champion and legend Robert Fischer once said: “You cannot separate the body from the mind.” During his preparation against Russian Boris Spassky, Fischer combined physical exercise and meditation in his training.
Furthermore, staying fit must be as a whole. Your mind should be ‘tone’ to keep you sane in these dull days. The secret is meditation.
Meditation is a broad term. And It doesn’t seem necessary you do to visit a monk to learn. Meditation is focusing your attention on one thing. One excellent suggestion of yoga instructors for beginners is concentrating on the breath.
When was the last time you hear yourself breathing? During your everyday routine, are you breathing correctly? Meditation is the best chance to take a timeout and refocus your breathing. There are tons of benefits when you breathe properly, and you add meditation to it.
- Reduce the stress level
- Lower heart rate
- Reduce burn out and fatigue
- Reduce depression
- Gives you good, deep sleep
After you take a walk (inside your house or backyard), sit down and listen to your breathing. Inhale for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. Then inhale with your nose, exhale with your mouth. You can start for a 10-minute meditation. Find a quiet place and sit.
There is no excuse not to stay fit these days. Whether we’re lockdown in our own home, it doesn’t matter, but don’t overdo it.
Low Impact Exercises Using Exercise Ball
Since we are in lockdown, our access to gym equipment is short. It is very impractical (or impossible in some state) to have one. However, one exercise support you can have at home is an exercise ball.
An exercise ball can help you perform the recommended low impact exercise. These can vary from a big medicine ball to a small stability ball. The advantage of having an exercise ball is it’s a space-saver.
Luckily, there is a trick that can do it all. Using an Exercise Ball (Pregnancy Ball or Medicine Ball) is highly recommended. When you have an exercise ball, you don’t have to think of any other gym equipment you need.
Here are some exercises you can do with the exercise ball.
Yoga Ball Wall Squats
- Put the ball between you and the wall
- Lean on the ball. When you’re comfortable, raise your hands forward
- Slowly put weight in your knees
- Rise and down with ten reps
Medicine Ball Push Up
- Put into the standard push up position
- Get the medicine ball under your palm
- When you’re into sturdy place, lower your body until the ball touches your chess
- Start to push up slowly. (5 – 10 reps)
- You’ll probably need an exercise mat for this one. You can use a yoga mat or a tumbling mat.
- Place a yoga mat or a tumbling mat
- Lie down and put the exercise ball under your feet
- Slowly lift your hip as high as you can
- Keep the position for 5 seconds (5 -10 reps)
- Get into a planking position
- Put the exercise ball under your forearm and elbow
- Lift your chest off the ball
- Contract your abdomens like a standard plank
- Hold your position (5-10 seconds or as long as you can)
There are other exercises you can do with an exercise ball. But always remember to buy a quality ball. Beware some imitations in the market that might burst.
Also, be cautious in choosing the right ball for you. Your height and weight must be complementary to the size of the ball. The thing is there are some untrusted brands out there that are bursting.
Even if you are virus-free, COVID-19 is affecting your health.
Lastly, at this point, you need to be kind to yourself. This unscheduled holiday we have is for you to take a rest. You don’t have to feel guilty if you missed your workout program. Experts say it’s better to have at least one exercise than nothing at all.