The coronavirus disease, abbreviated as COVID-19, has triggered a sense of panic among the global population, more so since it was declared a "pandemic" by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020.
Also Read: COVID-19: Understanding The Difference Between An Outbreak, Epidemic And Pandemic
To curb the spread of this deadly disease, which has infected over 3,35,000 people and claimed more than 14,600 lives, governments all over the world have imposed stringent legislation, restricting the movement and gathering of large groups of people. Since the n-COV strain of the coronavirus is dispersed by air droplets from a person afflicted by the virus, or residues of the microbe in surfaces, it is a basic protective measure to ensure people socially isolate themselves, to avoid encountering any person or object that might be contaminated by the viral vector.
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Alas, this has led to the universal closure of public spaces including beaches, parks, malls, theatres and much to the dismay of fitness enthusiasts - gyms and swimming pools as well. Not only are people being forced to stay indoors for most of the day, work from home as much as possible, besides communicate with relatives, friends, colleagues only by means of emails, messages and calls, they are also left with only the bare minimum of options to stretch their muscles and stay physically active.
The present home quarantine period is indeed a stressful time, filled with uncertainty and negativity, which is currently enforced in most countries until the end of March but could extend further owing to the rapid pace at which the coronavirus is infecting healthy individuals every single day.
It is up to every family to adapt to the "new normal", not give in to despair, laziness and a sedentary lifestyle, but instead go ahead with life as usual, by allotting a few minutes daily for engaging in exercise, to maintain an active body and a sound mind.
And in case you are worried that lack of space or gym equipment might be a hindrance to pursue your fitness goals during the self-isolation phase, fret not. Here are five superb workout ideas, which you can easily do at the convenience of your own home, that will guarantee enhanced physical fitness for you and your family.
Best Workout Routines For The Home Quarantine Period:
This childhood leisure activity of skipping rope is in fact a very effective cardio routine for people of all ages.
All you need is a skipping rope and a little bit of clear space, either in a room with a high ceiling, or the verandah. Beginning your day with 2 - 3 minutes of jumping rope immensely boosts blood circulation and promotes heart muscle activity.
Social distancing can make you feel lonely and gloomy, having to work out all by yourself, that too within the confines of your home. To beat the blues, gather your family members in the evenings, play your favourite songs or any peppy track, and groove to the rhythmic beats in unison.
Aerobics activity comprises simple dance movements that engage all the core muscles of the arms, torso and legs, strengthening them and increasing their flexibility.
Tabata Training is a form of high-intensity interval training, consisting of coordinated movements, lifts and stretches, that vastly builds robustness of muscles in the hips, thighs, glutes and abdominal core.
It is a 4-minute miracle workout that you can easily do at home, with no gym equipment or weights. Simply follow an instructional video on YouTube, or group chat with your gym buddies as you progress through this gruelling workout, to stay on top of your weight loss goals, even while staying indoors and socially distancing yourself.
While engaging the body in regular physical activity is essential for a slim and toned frame, having a clear frame of mind is equally important for enhanced productivity at work and home.
After a nourishing, wholesome breakfast, find a quiet corner in your own abode, lay a comfortable mat on the floor and sit erect, cross-legged. Close your eyes and meditate for 10 - 15 minutes, clearing your mind of all unnecessary thoughts, to help you alleviate stress, anxiety and nervousness.
Also Read: Modern Meditation Techniques For Mental And Emotional Well-Being
While good food and physical exercise are vital for preserving lung function particularly in times of coronavirus disease, the time-tested ancient Indian practice of yoga has umpteen healing benefits not just for respiratory health, but also for overall well-being.
In the morning and the evening, get together with your family for a yoga session. Perform simple asanas, pranayama techniques and flex exercises, to fortify bones and muscles, as well as regulate normal breathing.
Yes, the simple motion of walking, when performed briskly, with swift arm motions is termed as power walking, which is an amazing workout technique to lose weight, besides conferring many other benefits for health.
Take all safety precautions, keep in mind to socially distance yourself from others in your community and go for a power walk for 10 – 15 minutes every day in the morning, within your backyard or parking area. This activity helps you spend some time outdoors, besides significantly boosting cardiac muscle strength, as well as reducing the risk of hip fractures and joint disorders like arthritis in the later years.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
For those above the age of 40, especially those facing bladder issues and painful intercourse, pelvic floor exercises are a great way to remedy those problems.
Doing the motions of Kegels, squats and bridges, lying flat on the floor not only flexes the lower back muscles but also rectifies urinary and faecal incontinence, thus ensuring proper kidney function.
Kneel on the floor and bend the body forward, balancing with the arms placed flat and elbows in a perpendicular angle. With some force, extend both legs completely behind, placing only the toes on the surface and both feet together. Remain in this position for 30 seconds, then slowly come back to the kneeling pose. Perform this exercise daily, gradually increasing the holding time to 1 minute and repeating it 10 times.
The forearm plank is an excellent workout that expands the body core in the shoulders, neck, abdomen, torso and back, besides increasing muscle power in the arms and legs. It also helps improve body stability, alignment and posture.
Stand erect on a flat surface, placing the feet a bit apart. Place the right leg forward, bending the knee and lowering the upper body. At a fast pace, jump up, switch the right leg back and left leg forward, such that the landing pose is also a lunge but with the opposite foot in front. Start doing this basic routine of jumping lunges 5 – 10 times daily, then increase the iterations to 15 – 20 every day.
Jumping lunges are a superb exercise for building strong legs and toning the calf thigh and calf muscles. It also stretches the abdominal and hip muscles, thereby promoting flexibility and aiding in shedding belly fat.