The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people to stay at home, away from the office, most unable to go back to business, or even to have outdoor recreation. This situation not only impacted the economies of entire nations and threatened the safety of the public; this lockdown is now seen by many to be a challenge to personal health and wellness.
How do we remain physically active and healthy if we seem to be locked up inside our homes? While some sectors are allowed to go back to work and a few outdoor activities are allowed, it is generally required for all persons to stay put and avoid going to public places. These restrictions have hit many businesses, including gyms and fitness centers. Until such time that restrictions are fully lifted, what can we do to stay fit and healthy?
Overall Physical Fitness and Holistic Wellness
The first thing to realize is that health and fitness need to be holistic. A person who builds muscles yet underestimates the importance of cardio-vascular endurance will miss the mark. Clocking-in fast road runs without taking good care of hydration, and nutritional needs will eventually lag in performance. Overall physical fitness also needs to consider the mental and emotional health of a person to achieve a good health and wellness goal.
Indeed, health and fitness are more like a quest that takes time and needs to involve the entire being from head to foot. From the top, a person needs to value hair health by using a revitalizing hair vitamin, getting professional hair treatments that minimize the use of harmful chemicals, and the practice of good grooming is essential.
Protecting one’s eyes, ears, and nose are also vital since there are primary organs that enable us to make the best use of our sense of sight, hearing, and smell. Skincare is another crucial need, it being the largest organ in our body and the first defense we have against harmful bacteria, harsh ultraviolet rays, and other potentially dangerous elements in the environment.
Having time to be with family and friends, enjoying humor, reading, music, other forms of recreation, and being involved in religious or spiritual pursuits are all good ingredients to build good mental and emotional health. Our mind, body, spirit, and emotions need to be integrated and cared for us to attain holistic health.
Use Everyday Items for Resistance Training
Even if the gym is closed and the curfew prevents you from maximizing time for exercise at the park, one’s own home can be a complete fitness center. It only takes a little imagination, a bit of preparation, and consistency to follow-through on your resistance training and other workout methods using your body weight and simple items at home.
For the arms, stack two columns of books and tie them up with a strong cord. Leave enough cord length to serve as handles. Wrap handkerchiefs or a small rag on the cord handle and use these two tied stacks as dumbbell replacements. For beginners, three sets of ten repetitions at least two times a week is a good start.
For the triceps, just put two stable chairs aligned but apart by about 20 to 24 inches. Stand in between the chairs, bend your knees, and rest your palms on the flat seat part of the chair. Carefully stretch out your legs forward and keep them straight. Slowly pump your arms up and down in a way that you can feel a slight burn in your triceps. Do at least three sets of six to seven repetitions at least two times a week.
To exercise your calf, go to the stairway inside your house and plant your toes. Cover around four to five inches from the edge of one flight of the stairs. Then, while standing upright, workout the calf muscles by tip-toeing up and down for three sets of seven to ten repetitions.
For sit-ups, do it the usual way on a carpeted floor or use a yoga mat for back comfort. If this is too difficult, you can try sitting on the edge of the bed and keep your knees and legs pinned together. At a very slight angle with your head and back tilted towards the direction of the mattress, bend your knees. Pump your legs up and down to give the abdominal an easy stretch and resistance workout.
Free Fitness Instructor on YouTube
To get more workout motivation, browse YouTube for free exercise tutorials. There are many free-to-the-public videos to choose from, and almost all have workout soundtracks that are sure to get you fired up. Make sure to do slow warm-ups and end your home sessions with a cool-down exercise. If you have enough funds, you may also consider joining a paid exercise group class or individual coaching via Zoom.
Whatever you do, keep fit and make health your top priority during this extraordinary time. If there is anything that the pandemic has taught us, it is that health is truly the only thing we have together with our family and friends. Let us all lead strong, happy, and healthy lives.