With 40% of the population of the United States restricted by some kind of lockdown, people are having to learn how to live this way. That’s 130 million people who need help with their wellbeing. Even where people can go out more, they may find that their usual gym routine is disrupted.
If you normally go to the gym every day, it’s tough to find ways to stay active when stuck at home. You need some suggestions for ways you can still exercise. Read on for some tips that will keep you fit and well.
Why Continue to Exercise?
The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed many things in your life. You may have to stay home more. Perhaps your social and employment situation has changed too.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that you have physical and psychological needs. Your wellbeing is important and perhaps more so in times of stress. Taking exercise is an essential aspect of maintaining both your physical and psychological wellbeing.
1. Stay Active
If you are not able to go to the gym, you can take exercise in other ways. What you may notice is that being confined to your home means you are likely to be less active than you normally are. You will walk less, move less, and be less likely to use up calories.
Finding ways to move more while at home takes some creativity. There are ways you can make your home life more active with some simple adjustments.
Are you working from home? Does this involve long periods in front of a computer screen? Even if you had a sedentary working life previously, you may have had some physical activity going to and from work and on breaks.
Set up a standing workstation. Working on a computer screen and keyboard from a standing position keeps you moving more. You exercise your core muscles just staying upright.
Take breaks during the day and use them to do physical activity or exercise rather than sitting. Do some energetic cleaning or gardening to get your heart pumping and your breathing rate up.
2. Involve Others
Motivation is a key problem for home exercisers. Involving others is a great way to overcome your resistance to taking exercise. The others you involve could be people you live with or people you don’t.
Agree an exercise time and routine with other members of your household. Hold each other to it. Have some fun together and perhaps make it competitive too.
3. Keep Hydrated
When you go to the gym you know to take your water bottle and stay hydrated. Don’t forget that you need to do this just as much when you exercise at home. Drink during and after exercise.
Drinking water helps you regulate your body temperature. It also helps transport nutrients around your body. It will help you get the full benefit of the exercise you are taking.
4. Good Habits
Making a habit of taking exercise will help you keep doing it even if you don’t feel like it. A plan or routine is much easier to maintain than a vague idea that you hope to exercise sometime or other.
Build exercise into your daily routine just like you plan mealtimes. For some people exercising before work is best. For others, it’s a great way to take a break from their mental activity so doing it in the middle of the day works for them.
Whatever is your preference, make it a routine activity and you’re more likely to stick to it.
5. Outside Exercises
If you can get outside, there are many excellent outside exercises. They don’t need special gym equipment. There’s also the bonus that if you have some sunshine, you’ll be getting vitamin D too.
Running, walking, or riding a bike are all great aerobic exercises. They are good for your general heart and lung health. They also help use up excess calories and prevent obesity.
If you have access to the outdoors but only to a restricted space you can do the same exercises you might do inside but with the bonus of fresh air and a change of scene.
6. Inside Exercises
If you have exercise equipment at home you can get a gym-style workout despite the lockdown. You may wish to buy some equipment online and have it delivered. Check out the best mini exercise bikes or a running machine.
A simple home exercise plan can include pushups, squats, calf raises, lunges, and sit-ups. Do sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of each exercise and then repeat the whole routine several times.
Incorporate some stretches before and after the exercises to help warm up, prevent injury, and promote recovery.
Workout videos can be a great source of inspiration. There are many videos for aerobic exercises, step classes, and yoga available on the internet. Choose one that is appropriate for your fitness level.
You may need to introduce additional weight to make some of your exercises more demanding. As you get fitter increasing the resistance helps stretch you further still. You may not have weights available like the ones you find in a gym.
Use heavy books, cans of soup, or bottles of water as improvised weights. Fill a backpack with heavy objects. Wear it while exercising for even more resistance.
8. Use Technology
Use technology to do exercise with others remotely. Facetime or Zoom exercise classes are a great way to keep to your exercise routine. Do this informally with friends or family and enjoy the social contact as well as the physical benefits.
9. Maintain Balance
A balance between the calories you consume and those you expend is crucial if you don’t want to put on weight. Watch your diet as well as exercise regularly and you’ll feel the benefit of your exercise routine.
Similarly, regular sleep and rest are important when you are spending more time at home. Have a balance between exercise, work, and rest to maintain your wellbeing.
Self-Care at Home
Keeping fit is important even if you can’t get out much or the gym is closed. You need to stay active for your wellbeing. It’s part of self-care.
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