Mandatory gym closures and self quarantine mandates are forcing people to make big changes in their workout routines. But that doesn’t mean they should become instant couch potatoes. It’s easy to be sedentary right now and fall into a habit of grazing and watching Netflix.
Creating a daily at-home routine that involves exercise can be therapeutic and bring a sense of normalcy to your day. Older adults and people with heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease face a heightened risk of serious complications from the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people in those groups should make sure they keep their distance from other people and stay home as much as possible.
One thing that hasn’t changed: good nutrition, enough sleep and regular exercise – to boost the immune system. The people who have strong immune systems have a far better chance of fighting off any type of disease or virus than someone who does not follow those principles.
Exercise, and proper nutrition, won’t prevent you from catching the coronavirus if you touch your face after being exposed to an infected person’s droplets. But exercise’s ability to boost overall health and our immune systems — in combination with a smart eating plan — is well documented. Here are some workout suggestions to help you put your new dumbbells to good use.
There are tons of things you can do from your chair or sofa — squats, tricep dips, crunches, body work exercises, and so on. If you have kids at home, you can get them involved. Make activities fun, like running around or playing hide and seek. Just keep moving.
Exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time — like squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and dips — can give you a quick workout without equipment. Try to do these exercises three or four days a week, 15 to 20 minutes per session. As always, aim for 30 minutes daily of some form of exercise.
Alternate upper and lower body workouts, experts suggest. Stomach, or abs, exercises can be done daily because these muscles don’t need as long a recovery time, says fitness guru Jane Fonda on her “5 Minute Abs” workout, which you can watch on YouTube. There are thousands of exercise videos available online on YouTube. Since so many of us have smart TVs these days, one great way to build a library is to save a number of workouts into playlists you can easily stream onto the sets around your house. Make sure to gather workout clips that cover the whole body: upper body workouts, lower body, abs, butt, cardio, strength, yoga, balance, flexibility and stretching.