Updated: Jan 24, 2021
Here lately we are all doing something none of us ever saw coming: nothing. Well, not nothing, but definitely not leaving home. Restaurants are pick-up and delivery only, non-essential businesses are closed, and everyday life has been warped into a seemingly endless cycle of never leaving home.
With all the gym doors closed, it seems impossible to keep up the healthy lifestyle we have worked so hard to maintain. With no access to the fancy equipment and weights, self-quarantining can feel like a slippery slope into bad habits. How can we keep fit and stay healthy with only the square footage of our own living rooms? Here are some workouts you can add to your routine to keep you sane and strong while also staying safe.
Before you workout, make sure that you do a warm-up! Give your body 3 to 5 minutes to stretch and prepare for your workout so that you do not cause any injury to yourself.
1. High Knees
Or Knee Highs! No matter how you say it, they're an easy way for you to get your cardio in while staying home. Cardio is important. It helps to maintain a healthy heart and help it pump blood efficiently throughout your body. To do High Knees, hold your hand out in front of you with your palms facing down. Quickly kick your right knee up to your right hand, then your left knee to your left hand. Keep this going for 45 seconds to a minute, then rest. Repeat once or twice, depending on your skill level and necessity.
2. Push Ups
Most people know what a push-up is, even if they can't do one. They're a great way to work your upper body muscles, such as your arms, shoulders, and back. To start, get on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are positions slightly further apart than your shoulders. Straighten your legs and hold yourself in the air. Slowly lower your body until you barely touch the ground, then push back up. Try to do 3 reps (repetitions) of 10. If those are too easy for you, add more push-ups to your reps. If doing push-ups with your whole body is too challenging, do them while resting your knees on the ground.
Planks are an excellent way to strengthen and maintain a strong core. They work the major abdominal muscles, shoulder muscles, and back muscles. To do a plank, lay down on your stomach. Next, prop yourself up on your elbows. Then, prop your feet up on your toes. Straighten your back by elevating your hips into the air using your already positioned feet and elbows. Hold this position for 1 minute, if you can. If 1 minute is too easy for you, kick things up a notch by holding it for 2 minutes.
If you're looking to get booty gains, leg gains, or just want to maintain your physique, squats are necessary for your workout. This workout strengthens nearly every muscle in your lower body from your glutes down to your calves. To do a squat, start by spreading your feet hip length apart, toes facing forward. Then begin to move your body in a sitting motion without actually taking a seat. Keep your knees over your ankles, your back straight, and your feet flat on the floor. Once your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, hold the position for a few seconds, then stand back up. Do 2 reps of 15. If you're able, add a third rep to maximize your workout. For a more advanced workout, hold something heavy while you squat to add some resistance to your muscles, like a box, or gallon of water.
Lunges are another great lower body workout to fire up those legs and glutes. Start by standing up straight with your feet facing forward. Step forward with your right leg and lower your body until both legs are bent at 90 degree angles. Go back to a standing position and repeat with the left leg. Again, do 2 reps of 15, and add more to intensify your workout.
Finally, wind down. Give yourself another 3 to 5 minutes to even your breathing and slow your heartbeat back to normal. For example, walk to and from your mailbox or from room to room of your apartment until your heartbeat is closer to your resting heart rate.
We are in a challenging time right now and as disruptive as it is, we can still come up with creative routines to maintain our physical health. We can also use this time to start up new routines for new health goals. Remember to stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy.
By: Better Me by Dr. B
Editor: Ariel Thompson
Medical Reviewer: Dr. Tiffany Bell D.O.