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New phrases like ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ are entering our everyday vernacular – but that shouldn’t prevent us from holding onto some valuable words like ‘keeping fit’ and ‘staying active’.
If you’re working from home at the moment, it’s important to keep your health in great shape. And we’ve got some original ideas to help you out.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the following amount of physical exercise each week:
On the face of it, your home environment has fewer opportunities to keep physically active – and more opportunities to be inactive. Yet our bodies (and minds) need exercise to perform at their best so we need to think outside the square.
It’s underrated – but stretching is just as important as exercising. Many top sportspeople begin and end their days by going through their stretching regimes.
Now’s an ideal time to create your own routine, making valuable use of the extra time not spent commuting. Start by:
You don’t really need a gym at home to stay fit and strong. When was the last time you looked at stairs in a positive light? Whether your home has a flight of stairs or just a few steps up to your deck, look at them as a tool for improving your cardiovascular fitness.
Try some of these stair-based exercises:
Decide on a number of reps that work for you and aim to get through a 15 minute workout.
Working from home can sometimes become a bit too comfortable. It’s good for your health to avoid sitting for long periods of time, but how can you mix up your home workday to achieve this? A few strategies you could try include:
If you do have a standing desk (or similar like a kitchen bench), switch between sitting and standing during the day.
Home-based bodyweight strength exercises can be as vital for your health as aerobic exercise. If you’re new to this kind of workout, it’s important not to begin trying to do too much, too soon.
Perhaps start with a few easy ‘no equipment required’ exercises.
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your fingertips behind your ears with your elbows bent and pointing sideways. Lift your torso up close to your thighs then slowly lower it down to the floor.
Place your forearms on the floor and your arms parallel to your body at shoulder width. Raise your ankles so your toes touch the ground. Then hold this position over a time that suits your ability.
Lie face down with your toes and palms touching the ground and your weight on your chest. Then raise and lower yourself using your arms while keeping a straight back.
Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Bend your hips and knees to lower into a squat and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into the plank position.
Lower your body all the way down to the floor with your hands still flat and elbows up. Push up with your arms and jump your feet forward. Finally, ‘frog jump’ up into your original starting position.
A few circuits of these exercises should have you getting through your workout in roughly 20 minutes. Find your optimum number of reps while taking quick breaks between each rep and exercise.
Don’t let boredom set into your home workout routine. Keep it fresh and innovative by:
Bags of flour, bottled water and even young kids! If you don’t have a pair of dumbbells around the house or some machine weights in the garage, improvise.
Your backyard might have some bricks, logs of wood or buckets of dirt lying around that may be ideal as substitute weights. Perhaps you could even create your own backyard circuit consisting of makeshift weights and bodyweight exercises.
It’s become an ideal time to spruce up the house and get some early spring cleaning done. In the process, you’re likely to reacquaint yourself with some old fitness equipment that may have been misplaced years ago.
Take a look around your garage or spare room and see if there’s an old skipping rope, a long-forgotten fitness video or your previous life’s martial arts gear.
An enormity of content is out there on the web and particularly YouTube promoting physical activity. If you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be sure to find it.
A plethora of apps are also readily available, such as:
At the end of the day, any physical activity that raises your heart rate is super for your cardiovascular health.
Whether that’s running around your home’s yard, cycling in your apartment’s forecourt, walking around your neighbourhood or getting struck into the garden, any amount of movement you can squeeze in will help you stay active.
Planning to stay active and fit is all very well, but some of your hard yakka will be undone if you don’t also have a nutritional plan and aren’t able to get sufficient quality sleep. A few focus points to help you achieve these goals include:
Eating well and getting enough sleep is vital for many aspects of our health, like managing stress and anxiety. But it also helps contribute to living a fit and active lifestyle when self-isolating at home.