The coronavirus scare has gripped the world. However, the social distancing and self-quarantine that have followed can be tempting sometimes. You might only want to curl up on the bed all day and binge-watch or lose yourself in a great novel. Surely, they’re ideal ways to spend a relaxed fortnight.
But remember that regular exercise is essential to maintain a healthy weight level, enhance your state of mind, bring about a generally positive outlook towards life and improve immunity – factors that are crucial to staying both mentally and physically healthy while you are quarantined at home.
With the rest of the world spiralling out of your control, now is the best time to take charge of your health and build an exercise regimen in your routine. For starters, aim for at least 30-45 minutes of exercise, five days a week. Alternate your cardiovascular sessions with strength training for a balanced workout routine that builds endurance and strength simultaneously.
Don’t allow social distancing and quarantine to be a dampener; you can always get a full workout at home even if you don’t have the equipment. Online streaming services and mobile applications have on offer curated home workouts that are comprehensive and don’t require any extra gear.
Note: Aim for a minimum of two sets of 10-12 repetitions each before moving on to the next exercise. You can also throw in 30 seconds of high knees or jumping jacks between each exercise.
How to do
Stand with your head straight, chest facing out, and feet shoulder-width apart. Tighten your core and gluteus muscles (that make up the buttocks) and hold out your hands in front of you to maintain posture and balance. Hinge your hips outward as if you are going to sit on a chair. Lower down gradually so that your thighs are parallel to the ground and knees over your ankle.
While coming up, make sure you are pushing through the heels (the weight of your body should rest firmly on the heels) and keep your core muscles firm.
How to do
Start with a hands-and-knees position; your eyes fixed on the ground and hands placed shoulder-width apart. Make sure your core muscles are tight and feet placed comfortably apart. Lower your elbows to bring your chest (and stomach) closer to the ground and gradually get back to the starting position. Ensure that your body maintains a uniform plank position throughout the exercise.
How to do
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands at the sides. Then, with your right foot, take a step back and land on the ground on the ball (of the right foot) while keeping your heel up. Lower the back leg gently so that it merely touches the ground. Push your weight through the heel and midfoot (of the leg at the front) to get back to standing position. Repeat this process with the other leg.
(If you have knee pain, know your pain-free range and operate slowly. You can also begin with shorter strides and increase gradually with time).
How to do bicep curls
Stand straight with your feet at hip-width distance. Keep your core muscles contracted. Hold a dumbbell in each hand while keeping your arms (and elbows) by the side of your hips. Your palms should face forward. Now gradually bend at your elbows (both hands) to bring the dumbbell closer to your chest. Keep in mind that your arms don’t sway and wrists don’t bend as you do this.
How to do tricep curls
From a countertop or chair, place your palms on the top of the chair and walk out your feet to a roughly 45-degree angle. Keep your core engaged as you slowly bend your elbow backwards while bending your knees at the same time. Slowly get back to the starting position.
To make this exercise more challenging, lift one foot slightly off the ground.
It is also advised to check sedentary habits. Studies corroborate that an additional one hour of sedentary habits is linked to compromised immune functions among males. Besides, a prolonged inactive lifestyle is linked to an increased likelihood of diabetes, heart diseases and other life-threatening conditions.
More importantly, make sure you are following a balanced, nutritious diet that has all the necessary macros in their correct proportions. A dedicated exercise regimen coupled with unhealthy eating habits is as good as not exercising at all.
Make the most of this self-quarantine, and come out of it a healthier individual – both in body and mind.12