Why You Need to Build a Home Workout Routine (Even During the Pandemic)
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With gyms shut and more people than ever working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, engaging in physical workout routines can be difficult. However, finding a way to respond to these new conditions is essential to maintaining your fitness including building a home workout routine.
Why Staying Active is Important Right Now
Many of our everyday activities are now confined and it can be hard to find exercise motivation. With the pressures of working from home and restricted access to workout equipment, a slight amount of activity (e.g. stretching, squats, and yoga) can make a big difference your physical and mental wellness.
In reality, shifting to a home workout routine can be hard with the existing pressures of home life. You may be lacking the gym camaraderie, the enjoyment of swimming laps, or the social bond of biking or hiking with a group of friends. Additionally, you may have been accustomed to attending a fitness class with a motivational coach who worked you harder than if you had been working out on your own.
Maintaining a workout regimen at home may sound more of a ‘should’ than a ‘want to’ at the moment. And with so many people out of jobs and struggling financially, staying engaged can seem to be a low priority. However, it is one of the most important tactics we have at our disposal to keep physically and mentally balanced. Studies have found that working out helps relieve depression, fatigue, and anxiety and helps treat chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
What are the Health Benefits?
While getting fit doesn’t preclude you from contracting the virus, it does have several other protective effects on your health. Physical activity activates endorphins, hormones in your brain that rejuvenate your mind and body and can help improve all facets of your health.
Besides enhancing your mood and improving sleep, a workout can also improve your immune system, which is particularly important at the time of the pandemic, especially for older adults who are more vulnerable to the virus. Just be careful not to overdo your workouts, less you risk an injury!
Also, if you use exercise to keep your energy and psyche up in difficult times during the pandemic, you will be less likely to resort to unhealthful coping mechanisms, such as drinking too much, which can lead to long-term harm your immune system.
Which Home Workout Routines Should You Consider Doing?
You don’t need expensive equipment to keep fit while isolating at home during a pandemic, particularly since gyms and fitness centers are being shut down in many places around the globe. In this post, I will show you 3 options of home-based workouts you can do to keep yourself active. They include:
Yoga, Stretching, and Meditation
Yoga can be practiced everywhere. All you need to get started is a yoga mat, comfortable clothing, and a curriculum to follow. YouTube is an excellent place to start for basic lessons in yoga and stretching. Then yoga mats and other supplies can be easily purchased from various online retailers for home delivery.
Weight and Resistance Training
If you’re like me, you did not have a home gym with the pandemic hit. However, you can readily do weight and/or resistance training at home with a set of dumbbells or resistance bands bought online. If you do not want to spend the extra money, you can try using common household items (e.g. books, water bottles, or chairs) to make your own weights.
Even if you’re sheltering in place, you should still build cardio into your home workout routine by walking or jogging in your neighborhood. One technique is to set a predetermined loop for yourself and if you are in a low-risk category for the pandemic and do not have symptoms, walking or jogging outdoors meets the same rules as most forms of social distancing. This means avoiding crowds, having at least six feet between you and everyone you see when outside and not hitting crosswalk buttons or posts with your paws.
Tips to Stay Active During the Pandemic
Social distances, self-quarantine, and the closing of various gyms have made it more difficult to work out. But these tips will help keep you active and safe during the pandemic. It is vital to wear good shoes, start slowly, and allow your muscles and tendons time to adjust to any new activity. Often seek advice from the doctor whether you have any chronic medical issues, take medicine for heart disease, monitor blood pressure or blood sugar, or have dizziness, balance problems, or joint problems. Whenever you feel discomfort during the workout, then you should stop and take note of the activity that causing the issue.
1. Make the Workouts More interesting
Watch your favorite streaming program, listen to a podcast, or some fast-paced music as you’re working out. When walking, try a different place in your neighborhood or catch up with a friend on the phone. Another idea is to you are in a video game or “exergames” that simulate dancing, skateboarding, baseball, bowling, or tennis. These can be perfect substitutes if you cannot partake in the actual sport due to social distancing requirements. Lastly, you could change things up by increasing your pace, running up hills, hop-scotching across intersections, skipping, or even do jump-jacks every 5 minutes.
While on a walk around the neighborhood, practice intentional mindfulness and take note of your surroundings. Notice the scent of the breeze, the abundance of flowers and plants, and the feeling of the sun or the wind on your skin. Bringing your attention to these things will help your mind break free from your problems and stimulate your imagination.
3. Try a Different Workout
Have you ever considered doing bar workout, line dance, aerobic funk, or HIIT (high intensity resistance training) workout? There are tons of free online videos available. Sign up for one of the many online classes available or download an app to direct you from the comfort of your home.
Time to Get Started With Your Home Workout Routine
Don’t be scared to try something new! Many new and mostly free classes are available online to assist people with their home workout routine during the pandemic. Just remember to continually push yourself out of your comfort zone. Exercise and physical activity are great ways to feel better, boost your health, and have fun. By seeking new ways to get your body moving, you will keep hold of your mood, well-being, and reclaim a sense of balance throughout this period of uncertainty.