As the world around us comes to a standstill with the virtually global lockdown, physical activity gets restricted, taking a toll on your fitness. However, you can continue being fit and focus your pent-up energy with a productive fitness routine. The coronavirus shutdown doesn’t necessarily have to translate to bulging waistlines just because gyms and health institutions have downed their shutters, especially with global health services like the NHS recommending that one should get in at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Being trapped at home doesn’t have to mean being stuck on the sofa, watching endlessly and senselessly bingeing on TV with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, etc. You have to and need to keep moving! There’s a number of exercises which can be done from your home.
Here’s how to stay active without breaking the rules:
1. Yoga or Pilates: Yoga and Pilates are both great for the body and the mind, and you hardly need any space to practise. It is especially perfect for those feeling anxious, during these telling times, as the need to focus on your breathing will help pacify the mind, and the poses add to your core-strength, flexibility and balance. You could use a mat or do it on the ground. Total beginners could check out innumerable websites or Apps to get started, via a virtual Yoga / Pilates class. And it’s excellent for people of all ages – from children to seniors.
2. The Sofa Work-Out: Don’t become a couch potato during the lockdown! The call of the sofa is strong, but try to resist Netflix for 20 minutes and get in a quick workout instead. It might sound simple, but even just sitting down and standing up 10 times in a row will work out your thighs, or placing two hands on the sofa while extending one leg behind you will get your muscles burning. Search ‘Sofa Workout’ online for hundreds of videos promising to get you fit from the comfort of your living room!
3. Clean Up Your Home / Your Space: During the outbreak, it’s important that we keep everything at home squeaky clean despite the absence of our cherished domestic-help. Roll up your sleeves and get on with cleaning up your home and reap the fitness benefits! Cleaning home is a great workout – you can burn loads of calories sweeping and swapping the floor, dusting furniture, sanitizing your home, making the beds, doing laundry, doing the dishes, et al! And while you’re at it, why not add some squats, lunges or heel raises to add to a good workout?
4. For Cardiovascular Workouts – Try Skipping; Climbing Stairs; Dancing; Online Exercise Classes: You don’t need to miss your cardio workouts because you’re home. Skipping conjures up memories of playground rhymes but it’s as effective as it is simple and gets the heart rate up in no time! All non-essential shops are now shut so you may need to rely on a younger member of the household for a skipping rope if you don’t already have one. If you’re short on equipment, then you can always make use of a set of stairs, within your building. In addition to simply walking up and down the stairs a number of times, which will get your heartrate pumping, you could try various stair exercises including Stair Push-ups, Reverse Lunges and Tricep Dips. (Ensure you have sanitized yourself before stepping out and as soon as you have stepped back in your home). For those who don’t much enjoy forced work-outs, dancing is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn some calories. Create a thumping playlist and boogie away to your favourite songs! If you’re a particularly smooth mover with experience, why not watch some music videos and try to learn the routines? You can easily find a number of Online Exercise videos of exercising with a number of fitness experts sharing daily fitness and exercise routines digitally, to motivate into staying active.
5. For Mental Fitness – Try Meditation; Hobbies – Singing, Painting, etc: Aimed at slowing the heart rate rather than raising it, meditation helps keep you sane and saves your relationships, when you’re cooped up with your nearest and dearest – with parents having to play teacher, breadwinner and live-in entertainer – all at once! There are a good number of Apps that help you get started to breathe your way into peace of mind – all you need is a quiet corner of your home to focus. Remember how for years you’ve been wishing you’d have some time to yourself so you could pick up or re-start a hobby? Well – here it is! The time is now!! Choose from a range of great hobbies that give you mental satisfaction – Singing doesn’t burn off calories but does wonders for the mood and morale – something we all need a good dose of during the pandemic lockdown! Painting/Crafts is another excellent form of expression which helps vent any negative feelings inside while polishing your creative skills. You could learn a new language or take up (or restart practice) playing your favourite musical instrument!
6. Play Active Video Games: Video games like the X-Box can also help you involve physical activity to your routine. Play games that involve physical activity. Many will enjoy this physical activity the most. You will burn lots of calories this way!
So, make good use of the 21 days lockdown in India to achieve your fitness goals! Preplan your meals so that you can stay organized with balanced meals containing the necessary calories and nutrients which are an essential part of a healthy meal. Ensure to drink adequate water – consuming the appropriate amount of water will help you stay hydrated, keep your skin healthy and build immunity for fighting the virus! Stay home! Stay Safe! Stay Fit!!
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