The Coronavirus has forced the government to close all gyms, parks and fitness centres around the world. People are maintaining social distancing, ensuring that they stay away from public health facilities. This has caused many of us to become couch potatoes, curling up on the sofa with a bag of crisps and a soda – ready to binge watch TV shows to pass time. Although for some people this is a dream come true, but long bouts of laziness and a sedentary lifestyle can adversely affect our health, causing unwanted weight gain and health issues in the long term.
The truth is, we do not need gyms and parks to stay fit. A minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day and strength training twice a week is enough to keep us fit. According to the WHO, 75-150 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise can fight the containment blues better than we can imagine.
Note: If you cannot find time to do an exercise regimen every day or if you find these exercises to be boring, you might want to join an online dance class and ensure that you stick to the rhythm for 20 minutes a day at the minimum. Intensive dancing can help you stay fit and keep you entertained while you are at it.
We at Volumetree take employee health very seriously and our fitness-centric group at work was hard at work long before containment orders were issued by the government to ensure that our employees can ease into the work-from-home rhythm in time. We issued a fitness guide that helped employees stretch, exercise and take breaks throughout the workday, ensuring that they get used to this rhythm when they are at home as it is a part of their daily work regime.
Here’s our specially curated guide that your company or you can use to help yourself stay fit and active during this lockdown.
Note: if you are over 55, please ensure that you consult your physician before following this regimen.
1. Eat light, frequent meals
We know that it is tempting to be at home all the time and not eat those crisps, sodas and chocolates we all hoarded before the quarantine orders came in. Eating a nutritious, well-balanced and low-fat meal is easy to prepare and can be the first step towards ensuring good health during the lockdown. (Click here to get our nutritional guide for those living alone or those who do not know how to cook too well)
2. Take those breaks
Taking short, 5-minute breaks are a perfect way to ensure good health by getting your eyes off the strain of the computer monitor and letting your mind get off work. Here’s what you can do to rejuvenate in these 5 minutes:
Prerequisite: turn off your monitor, put your phone on silent mode or go to another room, if possible.
- Stand up – 1 minute
Getting up from your desk helps you improve your circulation and take your mind off the computer for a bit. Take this opportunity to stretch a bit, helping those tired back muscles get that much-needed break.
- Walk about – 1 minute
Walking about a bit can go a long way in breaking the couch potato rhythm.
- Relax – 2 minutes
Face away from the computer and other light sources if you can. Sit on your bed or on a yoga mat. Close your eyes for two minutes and try to relax.
- Take deep breaths – 1 minute
Deep breathing is the best way to help your body oxygenate and get refreshed for the next session at work.
3. Drink lots of fluids
Drink at least 2 liters of water during the time that you’re working. Staying hydrated has its benefits, including helping your body flush out toxins.
Although a lesser-known phenomenon, housewalking is a very good way to stay fit. During the lockdown, all most people living in high rises have is their own house to work out in. One of our team members managed to clock 10,000 steps a day without fail for two weeks by taking 40-minute walks 3 times a day. This helped her enhance her digestion and complete her body warmup for that high-intensity workout session that followed.
5. Exercise, exercise, exercise
We cannot stress enough that exercising at least 30-60 minutes a day goes a long way in keeping you fit for life. Here is our exercise regimen that you can follow for optimal health:
Note: Our 5-minute warmup session is important to loosen up those muscles and get ready for this workout session.
Sit on the floor or your bed or any other flat surface. Cross your legs, straighten your back and close your eyes. Stretch your arms and put your hands on your knees. Start to breathe, and continue to progressively increase the depth. Stay in this position for a minimum of 5 minutes.
- Stretching your chest and shoulders
Stand straight. Now interlace your fingers behind your back, stretch your arms out as far as you can and open your chest forward. Hold for 30 seconds or more. Now relax and repeat twice.
Squatting is a good way to strengthen the muscles in your legs and glutes. Spread your legs at hip distance, point toes outwards. Bend your knees as much as you can, keeping your heels on the ground and your knees over the feet. Hold for 5 seconds, then stand back up. Repeat 10 times, then rest for 30 seconds. Do 5 repetitions.
- Knee to elbow touch
Stand straight. Now touch one knee with the opposite elbow, then repeat with the other knee. Repeat for a minute, then rest for 30 seconds, do 5 reps in total.
Now that we have warmed up, it is a good time to enhance our core fitness. Lie down on the exercise mat. Now get on your knees, and put your elbows under your shoulders. Now get on your toes instead of your knees and keep your hips at head-level. Hold for 30 seconds or more, rest for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times. This exercise is great for your abs, arms and legs.
- Chair Dips
Get a stable chair on your mat. Place your arms on the base of the chair while holding your feet half a meter away from the chair. Bend your arms and lower your hips towards the ground, then straighten again. Repeat 10-15 times with 60-second breaks.
- Stretching back and shoulders
With your knees on your ground, rest your belly on your thighs, your hips on your heels and stretch your arms forward. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
Lie down on the mat, with your knees over the heels. Lift your hips as much as comfortable and slowly lower them again. Repeat 10-15 times with a 30-second rest.
- Knee Lifts
Stand up on the mat and touch your knee with your elbow by lifting your knee to the side, alternating with both sides. Perform for 2 minutes, then rest 30 seconds, then repeat 5 times.
Lie back on the mat, with your legs slightly stretched and your arms 5-7 inches away from your body. Lie in this position with your eyes closed for up to 1 minute. Now slowly get up.
We hope our 8-point exercise regimen has got you all excited. Repeating this set of exercises daily can help you stay fit, health and relax at the same time, ensuring that you are fit to go out into the world when the lockdown eases. Take care, stay safe, eat well, sleep well and let us know if you need any inputs about this exercise regimen. Good luck!
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