Burton: How to stay healthy while you stay at home
In times of uncertainty, it can be difficult to keep up with all our normal non-essential habits. When things get tough, it can be tempting to grab food at the drive through, or to skip your morning workout, or to not do the dishes. But it can be even harder to stay healthy and fit when your normal gyms close, but luckily, just because it's different than what you're used to doesn't mean it's impossible to workout from home.
Some people have workout equipment at home like a treadmill or some dumbbells, and those are great options to stay fit without going out. A jog on the treadmill and some simple movements with dumbbells or your bodyweight can be more than enough to keep you fit while you wait for the gym to re-open. I would recommend following your normal routine as closely as possible if you can, in order to maintain your level of fitness. Try not to use the gyms closing as an excuse.
You can absolutely work up a sweat from your house without equipment too, you just have to get creative. I normally recommend having as much space as possible, but all you really need is a space that fits your body with your arms outstretched while lying on the floor. This should provide more than enough room for most body weight exercises.
The simpler body weight exercises can be used to create a great workout if you manipulate your time spent resting. For example, a great body weight workout can be made by combining a lower body exercise, an upper body exercise, and a core exercise. For more advanced fitness levels, it's a good idea to throw in a full body exercise too. But once you've picked your exercises, you can pick a number, and do that many of each exercise before taking a 60-second rest. So, for example, if you picked 20, and you chose lunges, pushups, and sit-ups, you would do 20 lunges, then 20 pushups, and finish with 20 sit-ups. After your sit-ups, take a 60 second break, and do another round.
As everyone is different, it's up to you how many rounds you do, and how many repetitions of each exercise you do. If you want to make it even harder, you can use your 60 second rest to practice your planking skills. Also, if you need more than 60 seconds to rest, use more than 60 seconds. Safety is more important than having 60 seconds of rest time.
If you want to get creative, you can find household objects and use those in your workouts. When the gym closes, anything goes. You can use your couch as a makeshift leg press. You can use a heavy object as dumbbells, or you could use stairs to provide added difficulty to push-ups. Realistically, there's no reason not to get creative and workout at home, it can be fun, and it doesn't have to be complex. Staying fit for some people could mean holding a squat during the commercials of a television show or doing push-ups before you go to bed. If you've got kids, this can be a great opportunity to teach them about exercise too. Remember that exercise boosts your immune system, so give it the boost it needs right now, and get moving.
Will Burton is a personal trainer and the owner of Mobile Training Systems in Sherwood.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.