No gym required: Here’s how to stay fit at home during the COVID-19 lockdown

By Deepa Kannan|17th Apr 2020
If you are looking for simple ways to stay fit during the coronavirus pandemic, here are some tips from our nutritionist
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It’s wonderful to see all the positive changes during these challenging times of the COVID-19 lockdown. The world is coming together in many ways. People are realising how resilient they can be during these deeply stressful times.


Everyone is becoming more creative with how they eat, based on what is available. Some people are becoming more creative with how they work. What has changed for you? Have you found ways to stay healthy with what you have?


Has your workout changed to keep you fit when you are suddenly cooped up and more sedentary during the coronavirus pandemic?

Here are some ways to keep fit at home...

Surya namaskar

fitness at home

The surya namaskar asanas can keep you fit and agile


With sun salutations taking over the world globally, and so many things driving yoga forward, I still recall telling people twenty years ago that the best workout they could carry around the world with them was good old surya namaskar.


The Surya Namaskar or Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation in yoga is an exercise that incorporates a sequence of twelve gracefully linked asanas. The asana sequence originated in the Hatha Yoga tradition in the 9th century in India. The basic sequence involves moving from a standing position into Downward and Upward Dog poses and then back to the standing position, but many variations are possible.


With India spearheading the International Yoga Day, the surya namaskar is the best fitness regime for you today. The potential to vary the moves makes it super interesting.


There is no need for you to do all the asanas. If your body tells you to do a few of them slowly on one day and 54 rounds on the following day, that’s inner intelligence and this is the time for you to tune into that!


Skipping rope

Skipping rope

Skipping rope can strengthen your hips and legs


It’s time to bring back all those childhood ways of staying healthy now. Even if you do not have a jump rope, you can find something similar at home.


Jumping in tandem with the rope’s movement is deeply focusing and works on your lymphatic system, your circulatory system and strengthens your hips and your leg muscles. The caveat here is that it might not be the best form of exercise for you if you have hormonal challenges and high levels of stress.


High intensity exercise can stress your adrenal function, which can also be hyperactive if you show high levels of stress. Your adrenals also play a big role in hormonal balance, so this can actually make it worse.


If you have challenges with poor circulation, then it might be a good form of exercise for you to bring in. Remember to go slow and to respect your body’s limits.




Weight training, Zumba and Yoga online


weights

Weight training at home is gaining popularity during the lockdown


If you have simple weights at home, and these can be as low as 2-3 kg, there is so much you can do in your own home. If you feel confused, you could sign up for a virtual coaching session with a trainer or explore some sites with video trainings which seem credible.


Many trainers have quickly risen to the occasion and invested in excellent virtual platforms, bringing their clients the best of their knowledge and experience, even if they are situated miles away. The caveat to be concerned about with any virtual model is to first ascertain the credibility and longstanding experience of your coach, and secondly to know that you have to rely a lot on how well you listen to instructions.


There is a big difference between an experienced coach correcting your form in person versus you needing to pay more attention to keep yourself safe. This can be done well, provided your coach has the knowledge to guide you well and coach you through any adjustments that might be required simply through instructions.





Badminton

badminton

Badminton can get your heart pumping and keep you in good health


With kids staying home and needing to be entertained, and doing their very best to keep parents away from their work, get back to another childhood activity which is badminton.


Most people do have rackets lying around somewhere in their home. If you do recall where, bring them out and devote an hour each evening to playing with your kids. It works all your body muscles, gets you moving while you enjoy yourself and it is a sport that gets your heart pumping too.


The only caveat here that I must mention, since all the other activities I mentioned can be down inside your home safely, is that badminton requires you to be outdoors. If you stay in a house which has a garden and you are fairly safe from exposure and are still social distancing, that’s great.


I live in a remote farm so this works well. If you live in an apartment community with risk of exposure, this one is not for you. Stay indoors and stay safe, while you choose something else to stay fit!


Edited by Asha Chowdary

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