Stay in Shape During COVID-19

By Jay Herrera, DPT
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sport, fitness and healthy lifestyle concept - man with tablet computer doing running plank exercise at home

Corona Virus, COVID-19: Restricted to shelter at home:

What can you do to stay in shape?

With the shelter in place happening all over the world, you may be asking yourself what you can do to stay in shape or at least continue to manage your health, fitness and in some cases, your rehab while you are not allowed out of your home.

If you have been under recent rehabilitation care, you can consider performing your guided home program that your provider may have given you.

Staying in shape while at home can be easier than you think and doesn’t have to cost much at all.

Bodyweight!

Yes, it is that easy. Positioning your body, safely, to make use of gravity to challenge your muscles is an excellent option to stimulate the body’s muscles, heart, lungs, bones etc.

What are some exercise options?

Stick to compound movements, such as pushing/Pulling exercises:

  1. Push Ups – if you are able, position yourself face-down on the floor. Placing your hands on the floor beside your body with elbows bent, push your upper body away from the floor straightening your arms. Hold 5 seconds then return to the starting position.
  2. Squats – in a standing position, pretend as though you are going to sit down but don’t actually sit. Position your feet comfortably about shoulder width apart. You can perform this in front of a chair for support and safety. Hinge at your hips keeping your back straight with a tight stomach. Bend the knees and proceed in a sitting down motion.
  3. Planks – positioned facing down on the floor, proceed to hold your trunk up onto your elbows. Then, lift your hips off the floor coming to a balance point where your forearms and your toes are contacting the floor allowing to form a straight line with your body. Hold for 5 seconds if you can and then lower yourself back to the starting position. Remember to tighten your stomach during the hold. Continue to breath in and out.
  4. Dips – while sitting in a chair, place your palms on the edge of the seat and bring your hips away from the seat. Your elbows should be bent slightly with your arms resting behind your body somewhat. Your feet are together. Proceed to bend your elbows to lower your bodyweight down to a comfortable position. Pause for 5 seconds and return to the starting position.

You can also use resistance bands to perform of variety of pushing, pulling and lifting movements. amazon.com will have several package options for around $20.

Set Goals!

Some people may feel they need to set goals to ensure they have a sense of progression. You can certainly do this. You can have a goal to exercise at home at least 3 times per week. You can start with performing 2 sets of each exercise for 1-2 weeks then progress to 3 sets of each exercise. There are many ways to progress yourself. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Simply engaging in exercise at least 2-3 times a week in the home and allowing your heart rate to elevate for a period of 20-30 minutes will be a big help to your physical and mental health.

There are a variety of sources online to choose from for free and easy exercise outlines. Videos are especially helpful and you can find free exercise videos on You-tube. Just type in this phrase in the YouTube search: “ free online home exercise videos” and you will have plenty of options. If it looks too difficult or you are not comfortable with the content, then simply choose to disregard that particular video.

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