Exercise and keep moving whilst stuck at home

Exercise and keep moving whilst stuck at home.

18-03-2020Simon Kenion Shears

Gyms are closed. Playgrounds are off limits. Personal trainers can’t make house calls and cyclists are being pulled over and fined. How the hell are we supposed to stay active during this imposed lock down?

Just because the common prescription of brisk walks and jogging are not an option, there’s still no excuse for behaving like a caged hamster without a wheel.

You only need four things to exercise and you can source them from the confines of your home.

1) Equipment
Even if you’re confined to a cramped apartment, there’s no need to feel restrained. The best bit of exercise kit is just a 2 metres by 1 metre rectangle of open floor. On this stage, bodyweight exercises- like air squats, push-ups, planks, V-ups, burpees and mountain climbers- can be mixed and mashed into full-body cardio and strength workouts. If you’re not familiar with any of these exercises, then Google is your friend.
Make sure to clear the space before motivation arrives. The thought of the extra effort of moving furniture is enough to let that wave of enthusiasm roll by without capitalising on it.
For additional equipment, get resourceful and get creative. Rows can be pulled from under the dining table. Practise dips between two chairs. Wrap a bag of rice (you know you have some) in dirty laundry and pack it into a duffel bag. Voila! You have a substitute medicine ball or sand bag.

2) Guidance
I can’t open social media without being bombarded by friends exercising in their pyjamas. For more formal tutorials find daily home workouts on gym websites, Facebook pages and Instagram accounts like @crossfitmallorca.

In the wider web, YouTube is awash with guided workouts. Search keywords like ‘yoga’, ‘freeletics’ or ‘HIIT workout at home’. In addition, smartphone apps, like the Nike Training App, provide extended guided workouts for all fitness levels and ability.

Your laptops and smart phones are already at hand. Don’t get distracted with another funny quarantine video or coronavirus news update. Now more than ever, technology can be our fitness friend or foe; it can keep you still or it can make you move. You decide.

3) Time
The most cited excuse for not doing enough exercise is lack of time. Under house arrest, that excuse goes out the window like cigarette smoke. Ironically, the problem we have now is that those things that can be done at any time never get done at all.

Set aside an hour a day for exercise. Consider that hour carefully and stick to the routine. I set my alarm for an 11am one-hour workout before going into the kitchen and preparing lunch. Post meal I’m too lethargic. Getting exercise over with in the morning also gives me a sense of accomplishment that helps me tackle the rest of the day- a priceless benefit.

4) Motivation
We’re stuck at home during a pandemic. Moderate exercise boosts the immune system and decreases the chance of catching the common cold, influenza and probably the coronavirus, too. It also works as an antidepressant. Need I say more?

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