Here’s how to take care of your health while not stepping out of home
Are you working out less and eating more unhealthy foods right now? One of the major shifts amid the pandemic and frequent lockdowns is the fear of going out for workouts.
This has not only resulted in people exercising less but also in binge eating, weight gain, and health challenges. How can you take care of overall health at home while not stepping out much for anything?
It does take some discipline, dedication, and logistical basics.
Fitness basics during the pandemic
Your fear of not wanting to go out to a gym or class is definitely warranted. But what matters is that you do find options for your fitness routine irrespective of our situation, as this might go on for some time.
People living in apartments are also scared of going down to walk due to elevators being a big source of infection. All these fears are justified.
If you have the option to walk in your garden, then that is something to be grateful for. If not, don’t fret. You can still do so much for your fitness routine within your own home.
Some options may require that you invest in equipment at home or in an online class. Understandably there is a financial impact, and you may not have the resources to do so. But, I’ve got you covered.
Exercises your body needs
Just like your body does not eat one kind of food every meal or every day, your body also needs variety in terms of movement and exercise.
- Aerobic forms of exercise that are cardiovascular in nature are aimed at slow fat burning. This can include forms like walking, jogging, or even repetitive Surya Namaskars. If you do not have the option of going out, then you may need to invest in a treadmill. These are forms where you warm up slowly for a few minutes, work out for 40 minutes or longer, and then gently cool down. It allows you to raise your heart rate close to your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate may be calculated differently but I would suggest just pushing your body gradually.
- If you cannot go out or buy a treadmill, strength training or resistance training is a great alternative. This includes stressing the large muscles. The subsequent muscle contraction results in better glucose metabolism, reduction in insulin resistance, and also depletes stored blood sugar while strengthening large muscles. You can use your own body’s weight or free weights.
Options include investing in some simple 5 kg weights at home, including body-weight strength workouts like planks and squats, pushups, and guided strength workouts. There are plenty of workout videos on YouTube or you can get a personalised plan from a qualified trainer if you are very new to this. Aim to do this at least 3-4 days a week and put this into your daily schedule to make it a non-negatable part of your life.
- HIIT or burst training involves workouts that push towards 90 percent of your maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds and then involve a short break. HIIT training depletes glycogen stores leading to better blood sugar control. This is an anaerobic form of exercise. Workouts include jumping, squatting, lunges, jumping jacks, running, or repetitive movements that are rapid for 60 seconds. These also have several options now as you can find workout videos by qualified trainers easily.
- Restorative exercise includes yoga, taichi, qigong and other stretching.
Time of the day
I have been asked by many about the ideal time of the day to work out. I want to stress that this really depends on you. Once you decide how much time you want to dedicate to your fitness routine you can decide the best time for you.
I would ask you to commit to 45 minutes per day and trying to include all the different forms I listed above. Decide on when you can dedicate this time for yourself, where you are free from distractions of all kinds. This includes commitments towards your family, your work and everything else.
I like to wake up at 4 am and finish this before I get into my day. For you, it may be at 11 am. It ultimately matters that you are not disturbed, you have not just eaten, and that you manage to stay focused. I urge you to leave your phone outside.
I see a lot of people pausing and messaging or checking social media after every workout. This does not help your body. Just like you would not do this while on a work call, it should be of enough priority that you do not do this when you are helping your body to improve fitness levels.
The benefits of committing to a daily fitness routine are profound. You will find that your sleep improves, your digestion is much better, immune function is great, skin looks amazing, you respond better to stress and your whole life just gets more enriched.
Take time for yourself and see the changes and watch yourself for all that gets better specifically to you.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)