Exercise During Coronavirus: Tips for Staying Active: The callous Coronavirus has affected each corner of the world, and we are very conscious of that.
Ever since we started following self-quarantining, social-distancing, we have experienced the closure of so many gyms.
It has definitely negatively impacted our exercise, but with our tips in this article, you will be up and running in no time!
The importance of staying active during COVID-19
This pandemic has changed our daily routine and has brought so many restrictions, along with the lack of motivation to exercise.
Every day seems like a challenge – working from home, less access to the gym, following your usual workout routine.
We know you miss going to the gym – socializing with your friends, relaxing with swimming laps, the atmosphere and whatnot.
You may find it difficult to concentrate on workout sessions on your own if you have previously worked with a fitness trainer.
At this moment, the necessity of continuing to exercise is evident, since we are not able to go out.
Some so many people are jobless and are struggling to feed themselves in this pandemic, and staying fit can’t be a priority for them.
But, just a small 5-minute workout session can boost our morale and can actually keep us fit both mentally and physically.
Exercise is known to have some benefits – from relieving stress, depression and anxiety to getting those rock-hard abs.
Diabetes and high blood pressure can be kept in control with exercise as well.
During this time of uncertainty, why not regain control over yourself and boost your mood by finding new ways to stay motivated?
Exercise and your immune system
Fitness can’t really prevent Coronavirus, but it has several protective effects.
Physical activity greatly releases endorphins, a chemical associated with revitalizing your body and mind; this helps to improve so many aspects of your health!
Exercise immensely strengthens our immune system, and this is selectively important at this time, especially for older people who are more prone to catching COVID-19.
Overdoing anything is a bad idea. If you aren’t used to intense physical activity, don’t go on and do it.
Moderate exercise can boost the functionality of your immune system, but intense exercise, if you aren’t habituated to it, can have a negative impact.
Exercise is also a great way to feel energetic and mentally strong in such times, and you are also less prone to seek other unhealthy ways of coping up (Drinking, smoking etc.).
Making an exercise plan that’ll keep you motivated
A fitness plan that is challenging enough is not suitable for you, if you are worried about getting a new job, or teaching your kids, or perhaps working from home.
Consider any health conditions, leisure, and your energy level before setting a plan.
There’s absolutely no need to make an exhausting exercise plan, rather set small goals and celebrate every success. Building up gradually is the key.
Make workout sessions a priority. Have a separate time for working out, when you don’t have any appointments and other work.
Prioritizing workouts is the first step of successfully achieving your desired results.
You don’t have to follow timings that other people follow.
Getting done with your fitness routine early in the morning can keep you energized for the rest of the day.
On the other hand, an afternoon workout session can stimulate your brain, which gets you going through the remaining tasks on your hand. It’s completely up to you, selecting a convenient time.
Set your goals, and be specific about it. Tracking your workouts can be a start.
Aiming big at the start, such as “get in better shape”, can eventually result in less motivation.
However, a small goal such as “a 30 minute walk today/tomorrow” is far more effective.
Try downloading a fitness tracker app on your smartphone to track your progress. Recording your progress can encourage you a great deal, and gives you the taste of accomplishment.
Record the distance you’ve been walking, or the time period you have been working out, or the level of effort you have been putting.
It’s that easy. Let others know you are working out.
Posting your routines and goals on social media can actually help you stay on track because you know that your friends are going to ask whether you have been at it.
Getting positive feedback from them is a plus! It gives you a major boost for your upcoming session.
Working out with a friend can also be effective. At such times, the best you can do is schedule a video call.
Both of you will be offering each other encouragement and support, which is much needed.
Tips for getting the activity you need during COVID-19
It’s vital to ensure safety while exercising at this time.
Begin slowly, wear comfortable footwear, give enough time to your tendons and muscles to adapt to new activities.
If there is an underlying medical condition, make sure you consult with a physician.
Also, if you feel pain while exercising, immediately stop.
Don’t miss a chance to go outside, unless the area you live in is under a lockdown.
Otherwise, exercising outside is a good idea. You can ride a bike, or take a walk, or jog for a while.
But remember to wear a mask, and follow social-distancing.
The sunshine and the fresh air outside will boost your mental health!
Make your workout sessions interesting. Remember to listen to your favourite music, or watch your favourite show during those sessions.
Why not discover a completely new area in your neighbourhood? Or perhaps talk to a friend over the phone while walking?
How about trying video games where physical activity is related? (exergames).
These are excellent alternatives for the real thing – soccer skateboarding, dancing, tennis etc.
Introduce variety in your walking. Lose yourself in your surroundings; be mindful of what’s happening around you.
Is there a beautiful smell coming from somewhere? Or do you notice a lovely flower? Is there an abandoned building insight?
Divert your attention to various things as you walk, this can free you from your worries.
Who knows when you may find solutions for a problem you have been working on for weeks?
If you want to raise the intensity of your walking sessions, step-ups are a good choice. Also, look for nearby hills.
If you see a curb, why not jump up and down it? Do consider your joints and fitness level before upping your intensity level.
It’s high time you should try something new. If you are a fan of line dancing, HIIT, barre exercise or cardio funk, you can definitely subscribe to one of those online classes, or you can watch videos online about it.
There are also apps available that you can use to get going.
Don’t hesitate to try out something new, who knows if you find a new passion!
Try out yoga, boxing or pilates.
Find yourself a secluded place if you aren’t comfortable with people watching you.
You can search specifically according to your needs, such as – “Pilates for beginners”, “yoga for people over 50” and so on.
Look out for free videos or classes that are being uploaded daily, follow fitness trainers on social media to keep your focus!
Remember; don’t do anything that’s causing pain.
Go out with your kids. Play soccer, cricket, baseball, basketball and what not!
Go cycling together or take a walk in the nearby park with your child.
A bit of recreation isn’t that bad! This would take your child’s mind off schoolwork, as well as relieve you from your chores a bit.
Needless to say, it can even help repair a weak bonding between both of you.
Area to exercise, use water bottles, resistance bands, or even your own bodyweight for resistance exercises.
Start performing push-ups against a wall, then level up to the kitchen counter, then the coffee table, and eventually, the floor.
If there are stairs in your house, why not use it?
Climbing stairs is an essential strength training exercise.
Step up and down the stairs; you can even try stepping up and down two stairs at a time to increase the intensity!
Build more movement into your day
Sitting at home means nothing more than a bunch of Zoom meetings, watching TV or working at your laptop.
But you can still add more movement into such days.
Adopt a lifestyle which is more into physical activity; you can take a walk every 30 minutes instead of sitting for hours.
This could boost your productivity a great deal.
Try doing some household chores while you are just sitting around – clean a ceiling fan, clean the backyard, vacuum a room, wipe some appliances or scrub a sink.
Moving around while you are on the phone or in an online meeting is a good idea.
If you are waiting for the meeting to start, do some lunges or squats. During commercial breaks on the TV, do some jumping jacks.
Try short bursts of exercise while waiting for something, like push-ups when you are waiting for the water to boil, or your computer to start.
How much exercise is enough?
At this time of fear and uncertainty, it is important to keep in mind that something is, of course, better than nothing, if we are talking about exercise.
Taking a walk around the block can help you clear your head, as much as it would help stretch your muscles a bit.
This can even work as an inspiration for you to have a lengthier walk the next day.
Adults are recommended to practice intense activity for 150 minutes a week, or even vigorously intense activity for 75 minutes, along with two sessions of activities that build strength. That is roughly 30 minutes of activity, 5 times a week.
You can, of course, break it up further according to your needs (three 10-minute workouts or two 15 minute workouts).
Don’t forget to include cool down and warm-up time in your routine!
Moderate intensity vs vigorous intensity
Moderate intensity means that you are starting to sweat as you are working, as well as breathing faster.
You can still talk normally, but unable to sing.
Some examples include – hiking, skateboarding, brisk walking, weight training, cycling etc.
Vigorous-intensity is when you are working really hard, sweating hard and breathing hard.
You can’t talk properly due to breathlessness.
Some examples include – cycling very fast, circuit training, aerobics, skipping rope, jogging etc.
We know that the current situation has ruined your chances of partaking in your favourite types of exercises, and this can get a little annoying.
Until things return to normal, keep trying out new forms of workouts, and find something you enjoy.
Just in case you are feeling less motivated, remember the feeling of accomplishment after an exercise session!
Giving yourself a treat is also important, as you have been strictly following your workout routine.
Call your friends over, or spend time with your family, or make yourself a fruit smoothie.
Always remember, the healthy habits that you develop now will help you in future, even after this pandemic, you’ll feel happier and healthier than ever before!