Home Gym – Regular exercise linked to lower chance of severe COVID-19: Ways to workout when cooped up at home
With the second wave of Covid-19, all fitness centres and health clubs are temporarily closed. Also, many of us are staying at home in self-quarantine. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), staying at home for prolonged periods can lead to sedentary behaviour that can have negative effects on one’s health, well-being and quality of life. Moreover, self-quarantine can cause additional stress to one’s mental health. During such times, any kind of physical activity can work as a valuable tool to protect yourself and encourage relaxation. “Physical activity increases the exchange of vital white blood cells between peripheral tissues and the bloodstream, which aids the body’s immune response (blood and lymph vessels). This increases the activity of immune cells in the bloodstream. A boost to the immune system helps in fighting infections, prevents bacteria from growing, reduces stress and inflammation, etc,” says fitness trainer Pranit Shilimkar Entrepreneur, Founder of Fitnesstalks and Digital content creator.
We find out ways to stay physically active while confined at home and its benefits
Who says you need a gym to workout?
Perform yogic asanas: Yoga can be performed anywhere with little space. “Yoga asanas calm your mind and boost immunity. They also improve blood circulation. Some specific postures like Sukhasana (Cross-legged Sitting Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Matsya Asana (Fish Pose) and Padma Sarvangasana (Lotus Shoulder Stand) can strengthen the muscles of the chest and improve the health and functioning of the lungs,” says health expert Kanchan Naikawadi.
Walk or brisk walk: Even in small spaces, walking around or walking on the spot, can help you remain active. Ideally, aim to interrupt sitting and reclining time every 30 minutes. If you have a call, stand or walk around your home while you speak, instead of sitting down. Brisk walking can be done in a corridor, balcony, or reachable areas. Around 20-25 mins of brisk walking can improve the metabolism of the body and energise you.
Learn fun workouts online: Whether it’s pilates, dance, kickboxing, HIIT, or ariel yoga, there are ample online classes to choose from. Many of these are free. If you have no experience performing these exercises, be cautious and aware of your own limitations.
Get involved in household chores and hobbies: Household chores can be surprisingly demanding on the body. Engage yourself in household work like dusting, mopping the floor, doing laundry, changing sheets etc. Taking care of plants, watering them from time to time and repotting them also requires you to stay active.
Create a mini gym at home: Invest in a set of dumbells, yoga mat, bench and other necessary equipment like yoga balls and foam rollers. This will help you continue your gym routine at home. If you don’t have any equipment, stick to bodyweight like burpees, squats, lunges, pushups, dips etc. The bottom line is you don’t need a gym membership to get fit. All you need is a pair of shoes and some motivation.
Benefits of staying physically active in the time of COVID-19
– Strengthens the immune function
– Decreases inflammation
– Reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes
– Aids in stress management by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression
– Helps in weight management
– Improves bone and muscle strength, balance and flexibility
How to stay safe while exercising during the pandemic
– Do not exercise if you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing
– Practise social distancing when exercising outdoors
– Practice good hand hygiene before and after your workout
– If you’re new to physical activity, begin with low-intensity activities like walking or low-impact workouts for shorter periods of time and progressively build up over time
– To minimise the risk of injury, choose the right activity; the strength of the exercise should be appropriate for your fitness level and health status
WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. These can be achieved even at home, with no special equipment and with limited space.
Home Gym – Regular exercise linked to lower chance of severe COVID-19: Ways to workout when cooped up at home]
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