Many people who are homebound can’t get to the gym because of the COVID-19 quarantine. And they worry that their fitness levels will decrease. But with a good plan, that doesn’t have to be the case. There is plenty to do at home and around your neighborhood, so you keep up with your exercise goals and keep your healthy lifestyle intact.
Tips to Stay Fit When Sheltering In Place
Here are some approaches for pledging to a homebound healthier lifestyle:
1. Be Flexible
You’ll short-circuit your regimen if you limit yourself to believing you have to do the workout routine you were before being homebound. Go out for a walk or a run in a neighborhood you haven’t gone to before. Try a new genre of exercise that typically isn’t one that you do.
2. Assemble Your Equipment
Exercise bands, a stability ball, medicine ball, kettlebell, TRX, a jump rope, mat, balance device, and a foam roller. All these items can be purchased online if you don’t already own them.
3. Use What Is Already Available at Home
Improvise if you have to. Use a towel or a belt to help stretch. Use a chair as a weight bench. Put a 12 pack box of canned beverage, a large laundry soap container, or cans of food in a backpack and walk the neighborhood. The added weight will add intensity and increase your calorie burn. You don’t need a cardio machine to get a workout.
A cardiovascular workout(1) is as close as stairs: Run up and down as many flights as you can in whatever time is available. Use gallon cans of paint as weights.
And there are plenty of bodyweight exercises you can do at home to keep your muscles strong: squats, planks, burpees, plyometrics, lunges, step-ups, groiners, pistol squats, glute bridges, leg lifts, mountain climbers, donkey kicks, plank jacks, squat jacks, fire hydrants, balance exercises and many more!
Hold a weight or your improvised weight on your chest to add intensity to your leg exercises.
4. Give Incentives
Give yourself something to look forward to. Pick a scenic route for a run or walk. Exercise at your favorite time of day. Try out new online exercise videos, maybe a genre you haven’t tried before. Yoga, dance, aerobics, Zumba(2). Do a relaxing foam roller routine when you’re done.
Promise yourself a soothing bubble bath when you have completed your workout. Treat yourself; this is a stressful time and a good time to take extra good care of yourself.
5. Find Connection, Support, and Guidance
There are many free online workout videos and classes. There are also dietitians and trainers who can’t work because of the social distancing quarantine but who will connect with you on a teleconferencing call for one-on-one guidance and support.
6. Exercise in Little Bits
It’s okay if you don’t have an hour to spare; you don’t need a lot of time to work out effectively. Use small pieces of time, as little as five minutes, to exercise wherever you can in the early morning, evening, or during a break in the day. No one ever said you had to do an entire workout all at once.
A couple of stretches here, some squats and planks there, a few yoga postures, a few balance movements, a quick run up and down the stairs, a fast walk around the block, all help. It all adds up to a healthy fitness lifestyle.
And, remember healthy eating, hydration, a good laugh, getting outside in the fresh air, and restful sleep are all important too in taking care of yourself.
About the Author:
Maria Faires is a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist, Medical Exercise Specialist, Wellness and Lifestyle coach, and a freelance writer based out of Sammamish and Issaquah, WA.