By Samantha Clayton, OLY, ISSA-CPT,
Vice President, Sports Performance and Fitness Worldwide
Gyms and training studios are taking all possible measures to slow the further spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 (coronavirus). The gym is a well-known and populated place where germs can easily spread. A new study has shown that the corona virus can live on many surfaces in the gym – popular free weights, corded appliances and treadmills and pads – for up to three days, so the sweat towel, even if it’s yours, won’t run out enough work. We rely on cleaning by the gym staff.
And among all the excessive hand sanitizers and antibacterial purchases, fears of being infected with the virus put many people on the brink – the combination of news and misinformation on social media is enough to put someone in a state of panic, stress and / or depression. Fortunately, many take government recommendations for social exclusion very seriously, and while the uncertainty and drastic change in lifestyle can be quite stressful, I suggest this: as long as we remain vigilant not to spread the disease further, use this time. at home for more self-care and focusing on (or building) a fitness habit.
Benefits of exercise
The body’s natural release of endorphins is enhanced during bouts of physical activity, and this influx of happy hormones can boost your mood, confidence, and help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Along with what we eat, where we live, how much we sleep, and even who we live with, exercise causes chemical reactions that can change our health. Regular exercise is associated with improved heart health, improved bone density, improved joint mobility, improved cognition, improved mood, improved metabolic function, increased muscle mass, tone and strength. The list goes on, but in stressful times, one of the biggest benefits of regular exercise is its ability to facilitate daily activities.
It’s about balance
“Manage stress. When well-managed, it is a healthy stress that over time pushes your body to adapt and become stronger and more efficient. Some studies suggest that exercise on a regular basis is good for immune health, as it can have a positive effect on your body’s ability to maintain itself well and fight common diseases. Other studies have found that during the flu season, a temporary rise in body temperature can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, and relieving stress after exercise helps you feel your best.
If you decide to exercise when you are sick, your immune system needs to work at full strength, so you need to carefully manage the duration, intensity level and overall amount of exercise. Managing exercise routines, eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest are just a few great ways you can strive for the best physical and emotional results and avoid overexertion while you’re sick.
Workout at home
The good news is that just because you stay home doesn’t mean you have to stop training – in fact, training will probably help you maintain a sense of normalcy and protect your psyche while you’re locked up at home. Exercise will help you maintain focused and more rational thinking. You can train anywhere, no matter how much space you have. All you need is your own weight and exercises that require minimal equipment.
You can do a quick whole-body workout routine at any time to stretch and strengthen your body. Here are five exercises to do at home. If you are interested in finding a few more routines to do in the comfort of your home, you can access free workouts, just call us.
Repetitions: Perform 10-12 of each exercise. Repeat the exercises 4 times for a complete workout.
Execution time: About 20 minutes.
- Triceps buckets with touch
- This exercise is aimed at the back of the arms and shoulders.
- Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent.
- Place your hands behind you with your fingers facing your body.
- Lift your seat off the floor so that you are only leaning on your arms and legs.
- Bend your arms at the elbows until your seat touches the floor, then push back to the starting position.
- If you want an extra challenge when pushing up, lift your left leg and extend your right arm forward.
- This is a whole-body exercise as it requires the use of many muscle groups.
- Lie face down on the floor and position your hands palms down on the floor, approximately shoulder width apart and close to your shoulders.
- The pads of your feet should only touch the ground and your feet slightly apart.
- Get up on your hands.
- Make a straight line from head to toe and tighten your abdomen to keep your thighs from sagging. This position is the start and end position of a push-up. Lower your chest to the floor, bending your elbows for a second, then return to the starting position.
- Balance the arms and knees with a touch
This exercise challenges your balance and works for your abdominal muscles.
- Stand on the floor on all fours. Hands just below the shoulders, knees below the thighs. Keep your back straight. Raise your right arm forward and your left leg back behind you. Bend your knee towards your chest and at the same time bend your elbow to touch your knee.
- Do this 10 times and then change legs.
- This is a functional exercise that works for the largest muscle group in the body – your buttocks and legs.
- Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart, your thighs above your knees, and your knees above your ankles. Stretch your arms straight so that they are parallel to the ground, palms facing down. Start by taking a position as if you were sitting in a chair. Until the buttocks start to protrude, make sure that the chest and shoulders remain straight and the back is straight. Keep your head forward, looking straight ahead for a neutral spine.
- The best squats are the deepest ones that your mobility allows. The optimal squat depth would be for your thighs to sink below your knees.
- Tighten the pelvis and with your body weight on the heels, push back to an upright position, starting from the heels.
- Reverse attack with raising the knee.
This exercise is aimed at the front and back of your legs.
- With your chest straight, chin up, and your abdominal muscles tight, take a big step back with your left leg. Sink straight down so that the back knee points down to the floor. Back you are, on the toes of your left foot. The front leg is firmly on the floor as you push back to the starting position, lift your knee up in front of you, hold for a second, then repeat and change legs.
In short, use your stay at home to take time for yourself and take care of your body. Don’t miss out on all the wonderful health benefits of exercise. But remember that if you are sick and decide to exercise, listen to your body and do not strain too much with your exercise routine, or you may risk a temporary weakening of the immune system.
Good luck with these easy 5 exercises in social isolation! The sequence will produce results.
Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. Journal of sport and health science, 8(3), 201–217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2018.09.009
Campbell, J. P., & Turner, J. E. (2018). Debunking the Myth of Exercise-Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 648. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00648