In many ways, both large and small, COVID-19 have turned our lives around. For the very first time since post-cold war history, major countries have locked their borders, and many companies have implemented work-from-home schemes in unison. It is a historical moment with various types of stay-home measures put in place to contain further spread of the virus.
Whether you are under the temporary enforcement of the Infectious Disease Act or staying on the conservative end to reduce social interactions externally, with our home or room as our world for the next 14 days or more, it can get hugely suffocating. Even if you are a self-proclaimed recluse or homebody, a sedentary lifestyle creates more fatigue—mentally and physically.
Most of us stay active with the help and motivation of our gyms but with higher risk of cross infection—due to the blatant sharing of communal bathrooms and weights—we stay far away from our favourite workout classes now.
Regardless of which category you affiliate, working from home is here to stay. With no gym option and in a confined space, here are six simple tips from us to you to keep clean, stay connected, and stay COVID-free.
1. Your body weight is sufficient
Even without any fancy gym equipment, there are still a plethora of bodyweight exercises you can utilise to maintain a fit and lean frame.
High impact exercises—like jumping jacks, butt kickers, and high knees—are great ways to bring up that heart rate. They are cardio-intensive and static, which means you do not need a yard or a huge space to conduct them. Otherwise, lower-impact cardio options—like squats, lunges—have a similar heart-pumping effect.
Other bodyweight activities—such as push-ups and plank variations—with varying levels of difficulties, puts a greater focus on your arms and core muscles. Work out within your physical capabilities and challenge yourself as these options get more manageable over time. Otherwise, increasing the repetitions can build your muscle endurance.
2. A wall is all you need—Wall Exercises
Not having sufficient space is no excuse because a wall is all you need to spring into an active regime.
A wall sit works your lower body—quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Take around 1.5 steps away from a wall and place your back on a vertical wall with your thighs perpendicular to your shins. It is as though you are sitting on an imaginary chair with the wall as your backrest.
This isometric exercise might look harmless, but holding at this position for 30 to 60 seconds can increase muscular endurance at your legs. For my more athletic friends, you can consider lifting your heels off the ground to activate your calves or extending one leg away the ground in an alternating fashion. You might find your leg shaking after a moment!
To strengthen your upper body, you can perform wall push-ups by standing away from the wall and flattening your palms on the walls. Increasing your ‘social distance’ from the wall increases the load on your shoulders and arms, which then alleviates the intensity.
3. A broom is all you need
Regular gym-goers would have heard of a PVC pipe, which is commonly used in warm-up routines to increase shoulder and upper-back mobility. In place of a PVC pipe, we can use a good ole broomstick.
Like any workouts which dabbles on flexibility and mobility, remember the golden words of all workout gurus “Listen to your body”. While releasing that tension, let’s be careful and not overstretch ourselves.
Broomstick shoulder rotation helps to stretch your chest and increase the range of motion of your shoulders. With the stick placed in front of you, start from an overgrip at wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly and intentionally, bring the stick above your head and lower it behind your back. To ease into that stretch, begin with a wider grip and gradually decrease the width of the grip to intensify the stretch.
4. I must carry weights!
If you insist on loading some weights to gain some muscle mass, filling up your bottle and using them as a temporary dumbbell is your quick fix. Based on the measurement of 1 litre to 1 kg, we can create weights of approximately 500 to 600 grams with our regular bottles. They also double up as hydration fuel after our workout!
If this sounds too light, consider lifting your rice bags as regular sandbag substitutes. Otherwise, stick to your bodyweight workout, they will not fail you!
5. I want to take things easy—Yoga Mat Substitute
You can stay active without getting your heart rate sky-high as some of your more active friends want to do. From yoga workouts to stretching, you can tune in to some famous yogi channels to get your daily dose of activity. Here are the 13 basic yoga stretches you can learn via imitation technique.
There are some home products you can use as a replacement for yoga mats, such as thick towels, carpeted areas, or even bath mats. Most importantly, adding a soft layer provides extra cushioning for your knees and lower back from the hard floor. These alternatives might be slippery, so stay alert and get off the mat if you feel unbalanced!
6. Gym Live on Instagram
Some fitness studios have adapted into the age of social media and technology to deliver their classes on social media platforms. With your favourite instructors, a curated playlist, and well-thought-out exercises, you can get an energy-boosting full-body workout from the comfort of your home!
Boom Singapore and WeBarre have customised their signature workouts to be home-friendly and launched them as a convenient virtual alternative for their regulars or anyone who desires to keep fit during this pandemic season. Check out their Instagram to get the latest updates on their subsequent workouts and schedules.
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