Has self-isolation and lockdown got you down? You couldn’t be blamed for it. Not only has the new normal completely changed our regular routines, it’s made it harder, if not impossible, to enjoy the recreational activities we’d taken for granted for so long. But even though we’ve been told to stay at home as much as possible, exercise is still important. In this article, we discuss COVID-19: Why we need exercise now more than ever.
The Benefits of Exercise
We’re all well aware that exercise is an important part of staying healthy – whether we personally partake in enough of it or not. But now, more than ever, we should make the effort to raise our heart rate, work up a sweat, and get breathing heavily. And although exercise is known to benefit your health in general, more importantly for these strange times, it will also improve your immune system, ward off depression, reduce anxiety and scale down levels of stress. These mental and emotional benefits are incredibly important when we’re forced into unfamiliar territory that could have possibly fatal effects.
Take Advantage of The Outdoors
Unfortunately, the gym rats and the team sport players no longer have access to their exercise venues of choice. But that doesn’t mean the outdoors are completely off-limits. Getting outside and allowing your body to create some vitamin D is important for your health and wellbeing – especially after a long winter. Whether you’re going for a walk, a jog, a bike ride or just getting out into the garden, it’s important to get outside, breathe some fresh air and soak up some sunlight.
Take Advantage of Online Offerings
Now more than ever there are free (and paid) exercise routines available through the internet. If exercise routines such as Zumba, yoga, or aerobics are your bag, search them out on popular platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Google. There’s going to be something out there that works for your fitness level. Most of the trainers and instructors whose livelihoods depend on teaching exercise programs have made the transition. And so, should you.
Create an Exercise Space
If you’ve found a routine that works for you, set aside some dedicated space to allow you to easily get into your workout without too much preparation and use your home fitness equipment. If you’re following an online instructor, figure out the best set up for you and make it easily replicated so you’re not having to figure out the right angles or best layout every time. You may need to rearrange things a bit but making it so you encounter the least amount of resistance to begin your workout is what you should be striving for.
You probably don’t have as elaborate a set up as you would at your local gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t approximate it with household items. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Paint cans full of sand hung on a broomstick can simulate a barbell. Large tins of tomatoes can act as small dumbbells. Use plastic milk jugs or pop bottles filled with water or sand for heavier dumbbells. Flipping or dragging old tires can replicate even the most contemporary hipster gym.
Establish A Routine
Ideally, you don’t want your workout to be a one off. You want to establish a routine, so your body gets regular exercise. As you probably already know, consistent, regular exercise is going to help you much more than going all out once in a while. Just like your visit to the gym or your weekly soccer game, create a schedule, and stick to it. You may not have a bunch of teammates or a gym buddy depending on your appearance but keeping that type of mind frame will help you stay on track.
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