Are you going stir crazy at home during this COVID-19 pandemic? We recommend these tips and measures to keep you going strong, and to prepare your body for other, more strenuous physical activities. Consult with your physical therapist or physician prior to beginning any new training program. Use common sense and do not exercise if you are feeling ill or experiencing pain.
1. Warm up: Get the blood flowing through some gentle cardio exercise like jumping jacks or walking, followed by some dynamic stretching exercises to stimulate your neuromuscular system.
2. Resistance Training: Strengthen your muscles with a combination of body-weight exercises for the arms, legs and trunk. Examples include calf raises, tabletop push-ups, planks, side-lying bridges, and lunges. Maintain proper form and avoid pain. A physical therapist or fitness professional can help design a tailored program just for you. Check out our telehealth services to gain access to a qualified provider from the convenience of your home.
3. Stretching: With a series of stretches, combined with breathing strategies, you can prepare the muscles for greater ranges of motion demanded by a sport or other physical activity. Some important areas to stretch are the calves, hamstrings, hip flexors/quads, back, chest, shoulders and neck. Online yoga and Pilates mat classes offer many great ways to safely and effectively stretch.
4. Water: Drink plenty of water during and after your workout. Always have a bottle handy to avoid dehydration. Electrolyte drinks may be necessary on especially warm days.
5. Breaks: Pace your workouts and take rest breaks when needed. Use this time to stretch and stay hydrated.
6. Diet: Do NOT eat anything heavy just before your workout. Eat small pieces of fruit, smoothie, or raw vegetables to get energized.
7. Time and place: Pick a time and location that will remain consistent and uninterrupted for your fitness routine.
8. No phone: Avoid picking up your phone to check texts and emails. You must stay focused on the workout.
9. Rest: If there is much soreness after a workout, then take a day off to rest. Your body and muscles need to get accustomed to a new routine.
10. Rewards: Be good to yourself for all your hard work. Take an online Pilates mat class or do something fun that will benefit your road to a healthy and pain-free lifestyle.
11. Tracking: Record your daily activities to not only hold you accountable, but as a reminder of your accomplishments.
12. Support: Exercise with a family member to help keep you motivated through an ongoing support system.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are based on the opinion of the author, unless otherwise noted, and should not be taken as personal medical advice. The information provided is intended to help readers make their own informed health and wellness decisions.