Keeping Fit in the Age of Social Distancing
Now that most of us have settled into this “new normal” of working from home, social distancing, and adjusted to the inconveniences of social distancing, we realize we miss our gym and workout times. Many of us have worked very hard to regain our fitness level, and this potentially extended period of self-isolation, could undo many of our hard earned gains.
We can’t go to the fitness center because of the current restrictions, and since we are spending way more time at home, the temptation to snack or eat more creates a two-fold problem.
What can we do at home to try to maintain our fitness regimen, without the luxury of all the equipment we normally use at the gym?
First, the easy ones. If you normally used the treadmill for cardio, now is a great opportunity to reintroduce yourself to the neighborhood by jogging (keeping social distancing at the forefront of course), or take advantage of local landmarks such as the “Rails to Trails” path or similar. If you have a bicycle, it can substitute for the stationary bike you rode at the gym.
These next suggestions take a little creativity, but with a little imagination, they will easily work for your resistance training. While many of us haven’t done a pushup since gym class in high school, they truly are the go-to for upper body personal fitness. The standard pushup works the chest muscles/pectorals, the shoulders/deltoids, the back of your arms/triceps, and even the abdominals.
If you are not familiar with the setup for the pushup, there are many great videos online that can show you the proper form and give some good recommendations of the number based on your current fitness level. Once you determine how many, three sets are the ideal regimen.
The next one is going to make you sore until you get used to it. Especially if you are like most people who avoid leg day. Come on, you know who you are. You aren’t fooling us. 😊 The dreaded squat is the gold standard of leg exercises, and it does not take a lot of weight to make it super effective. In fact, a gallon jug of water (approximately 8 pounds) in each hand, will provide an effective leg workout. Instead of using the standard squat (with the weight resting on the shoulders), do sumo squats where you hold one jug of water in each hand in front of your body. Then, just do the normal squat motion, and you will be exercising the front of the thigh (sartorius and quadriceps), the buttocks, and the back of the leg/hamstring. Within 24 hours, you will feel the results, trust me…… You can add some calf raises just to get a full leg workout if you like. Again, three sets are the ideal.
By implementing the above suggestions and adding in some stretching exercises before and after exercising, we can easily maintain our fitness level until the gym opens back up, or whenever life gets in the way of your workout.