Monu Khanna MD, ABIM, ABOM
April 9, 2020
In these strange times of COVID-19 when we are experiencing an ongoing and rapid change in our lifestyle, workplace, and daily routines, it is important to make the best of what we have. Being confined, whether you are working from home, or practicing self-isolation, is a good time to be creative and think outside the box to maintain our daily exercise.
Here are a few tips for working out at home:
- Look around - Make use of what you already have at home — your strengthening bands, jump rope, or the hula hoop sitting unused in the garage. You don’t always have to invest in new equipment, if you take a look around your home you may find new uses for some items. Use heavy hardcover books or encyclopedias as weights. Fill the used gallon jugs with water and use them for lifting . If nothing else, use your own body weight or your little ones/furry babies to continue with resistance training.
- Start slow – If you’re a newbie, don’t try to start an overly ambitious at-home exercise routine. Instead, take time to build yourself up and make your routine more advanced as you make progress. Take care to exercise caution and not overexert yourself. Look online for a routine that suits your fitness level, so you can exercise safely.
- Keep it simple - You don’t necessarily have to do something elaborate. Even walking daily (outdoors or on your treadmill) for thirty minutes at a moderate pace helps you meet your guideline for daily exercise. That is enough and may suffice in these trying times. Try to keep an eye on the step counter on your smartphone, chances are you are doing good if you are reaching that 10,000 mark on a daily basis.
- When in doubt - DART - Use the stairs to dart up and down, whether they lead you to your basement or the upper level, that’s quite a workout in itself, believe me.
- Old is gold - Do you ever think about how people older than us kept fit without gyms? They participated in regular housework and cleaning which can be an aerobic activity if you include the mopping. Think outside the box, try one of the many variations of a lunge or just indulge in a wall sit and feel the burn in your thigh muscles. To keep the monotony away you can also try some bunny hops or use your dining chairs or edge of the bed for tricep dips.
- Google it - If you are interested in a certain kind of regimen that you want to follow, use Google or browse through YouTube, TikTok, or even your gym website, which may have links for easy to do exercises, that you can use from the comfort of your own home. There are a variety of exercise regimens already tailored to fit different needs.
- Go low - If nothing else works, spread out that yoga mat or lay down on the carpet and do some stretching. Any movement is better than none.