Fitness centers and gyms are closed, spinning and Pilates studios shuttered, and your personal trainer is practicing social distancing. What’s the best way to maintain your exercise routine and reduce stress along the way?
Even though your brick and mortar sanctuaries are temporarily unavailable, you can get an effective, safe, and fun strengthening workout using the equipment you carry with you every day: Your own body weight. Bodyweight training obviously isn’t new, but it’s still a top fitness trend, according to an annual report from the American College of Sports Medicine.
It’s recommended that adults perform two muscle-strengthening sessions per week, in addition to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic movement. Here are a few options to consider adding to your routine:
Lie on your stomach with your legs extended behind you and your arms stretched in front of you. Exhale, tighten your abs and core muscles, and then raise your arms and legs a few inches off the ground. Hold briefly, then inhale and slowly lower.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your weight in your heels. Inhale, push your hips back, and lower yourself down toward the ground until your thighs are parallel to the floor or until your heels lift off the ground. Exhale and return to standing.
Start standing, a little more than arm’s-length distance from a wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward and place your palms flat on the wall. Lower your upper body toward the wall by slowly bending your elbows. Hold for one second, then straighten your arms to return to the start.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abs, exhale, and squeeze your butt muscles to lift your hips up off of the ground. Inhale and slowly lower.
Choose a sturdy chair and sit with your feet flat on the floor. Inhale, lean forward, and grasp the arms or seat of the chair. Exhale and use your arms to push upward and out of the chair. Hold for about one second, then inhale and slowly lower.
Other bodyweight options
Other standard bodyweight moves include lunges, planks, heel raises, jumping jacks, and pull-ups. As always, if you have a chronic health condition or haven’t had a checkup in a while, talk with your health care provider before starting a new exercise program.
Go outside for a walk or run
Getting those minutes of moderate to brisk activity can boost your immune system and keep viruses at bay. Sunshine and fresh air can do the same. Running or walking outdoors is also a touch-free activity. Just be careful when pushing a crosswalk button and maintain proper social distance when walking with another person.
Check out online fitness resources
Fitness centers are embracing technology even more given how COVID-19 has impacted the industry. Check your favorite gym’s website or social media channels to see if they have training sessions available for streaming (or note when live sessions take place). Instructors themselves are also offering online classes, including Pamela Rief Online workouts, Melissa Wood Health, and Blogilates.
Now would also be a good time to download an exercise app if you haven’t already. Fitness apps offer hundreds of on-demand classes, and there’s even some that are family friendly to get your kids moving, too. Nike Run Club, Fitbit, and many others have the ability to track exercise activity and offer workouts for users.
Whatever your fitness level, it’s important to keep moving during this unprecedented time. Do what you can, and you may just start a new routine when COVID-19 is a distant memory.
This article was originally posted on https://www.staywell.com/coronavirus
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