By Samantha Clayton, OLY, ISSA-CPT,Vice President, Sports Performance and Global Fitness
Gyms and training studios are taking all possible measures to slow the further spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 (corona virus). 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 gym surfaces – popular free weights, cable machines and treadmills and mats – for up to three days, so a sweat towel, even if it’s yours, won’t do the trick enough work. We rely on cleaning by the gym staff.
And between all the over-the-top hand sanitizers and antibacterial purchases, the fear of contracting the virus has many people on edge — the combination of news and misinformation on social media is enough to send someone into a state of panic, stress and or depression. Fortunately, many are taking governments’ recommendations for social isolation very seriously, and while the unknown and drastic lifestyle change can be quite stressful, I suggest this: while we continue to be vigilant not to spread this 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 increases during bouts of physical activity, and this influx of happy hormones can boost your mood, boost your 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 triggers 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 make everyday activities easier.
It’s about the balance
“Manage stress. When managed well, it’s a healthy stress that, over time, pushes your body to adapt and become stronger and more efficient. Some studies suggest that regular exercise is good for immune health, as it can have a positive effect on your body’s ability to keep itself healthy and fight off common diseases. Other studies have found that during flu season, a temporary increase in body temperature can inhibit the growth of some bacteria, and de-stressing after exercise helps you feel your best.
If you choose to exercise when you’re sick, your immune system needs to be at full strength, so you need to carefully manage the duration, intensity level, and total volume of your workouts. Managing an exercise routine, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough rest are just a few great ways you can aim for your best physical and emotional results and avoid overexerting yourself while you’re sick.
Training at home
The good news – just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to stop working out – in fact, working out will likely help you maintain a sense of normalcy and protect your psyche while you’re cooped up at home. Exercise will help you stay focused and think more rationally. You can train anywhere, no matter how much space you have. All you need is your own weight and 5 Social Isolation Exercises that require minimal equipment.
You can do a quick full-body workout routine anytime to stretch and strengthen your body. Here are five exercises to do at home. If you’re interested in finding a few more routines to do in the comfort of your home, you can access free workouts, just look us up.
Repetitions: Do 10-12 of each exercise. Repeat the exercises 4 times for a complete workout.
Running time: About 20 minutes.
- Tricep buckets with touch
This exercise targets the back of the arms and shoulders.
- Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent.
- Place your hands behind you with your fingers towards your body.
- Raise your seat off the floor so that you are only supporting yourself on your hands and feet.
- Bend your arms at the elbow until your butt touches the floor, then push back to starting position.
- If you want an extra challenge when pushing up, lift your left leg and reach forward with your right arm.
This is a full body exercise as it requires the use of many muscle groups.
- Lie face down on the floor and place your hands, palms down, on the floor, approximately shoulder-width apart and close to your shoulders.
- The pads of your feet should touch the ground and your feet only slightly apart.
- Get up on your hands.
- Make a straight line from head to toe and tighten your abs to keep your hips from sagging. This position is the start and end position of one face stop. Lower your chest to the floor, bending your elbows for a second, then return to the starting position.
- Balance on hands and knees with touch
This exercise challenges your balance and works your abs.
- Stand on the floor on all fours. Hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips. Keep your back straight. Raise your right arm forward and your left leg back behind you. Bend your knee toward your chest and at the same time bend your elbow to touch your knee.
- Do this 10 times then switch legs.
This is a functional exercise that works the largest muscle group in the body – your butt and legs.
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, hips over knees, and knees over ankles. Extend your arms straight so that they are parallel to the ground, palms facing down. Begin by assuming a position as if you were going to sit in a chair. As the butt starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay straight and the back stays straight. Keep head forward, gaze straight ahead for a neutral spine.
- The best squats are the deepest your mobility allows. Optimal squat depth would be for your hips to sink below your knees.
- Tighten your pelvis and with your body weight on your heels, push back to standing position starting from your heels.
- Reverse attack with knee lift.
This exercise targets the front and back of your legs.
- With chest straight, chin up and abs 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 the left foot. Front foot firmly planted on the floor as you press back to starting position, lift your knee up in front of you, hold for a second, then repeat and switch legs.
In short, use staying at home to take time for yourself and take care of your body. Don’t let yourself miss out on all the wonderful health benefits associated with exercise. But remember, if you’re sick and decide to exercise, listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard with your exerci 5 Social Isolation Exercises se routine, or you could risk temporarily weakening your immune system function.
Good luck with these easy 5 Social Isolation Exercises! Consistency will produce results.