First of all, I would like to extend my condolences to all who are struggling with this new situation. I imagine that is everyone, for all sorts of reasons.
At the same time, it is a chance for us all to step up to the plate and think of those around us who may be struggling more than we are. We also need to take seriously the recommendations to stay at home as much as possible. Not to mention perfecting our hand-washing technique, and wiping down surfaces.
It was a good move to close all “non-essential” businesses for now, including gyms, rec centers, and even some parks. Gyms are notorious for being germy places at the best of times (Aside: once we get through this, perhaps people using gyms will start to take wiping down the equipment after they use it more seriously).
Your Exercise Habit
What is left for us to do in order to keep up with our exercise habit OR start a trend of moving around the house more?
There are a bunch of people trying to help with this. Instead of charging for on-line workouts, many places are now offering workouts for free, at least for the time being. For a few examples, check out this link from USA today.
Meanwhile, I have heard of suggestions to take up jumping rope or doing flights of stairs at home. With all due respect, I am pretty sure that jumping rope or taking the stairs is not something that a person is likely to do for more than a few minutes. Better than nothing, yes, but an actual workout session would be better.
There are plenty of You Tube options that include walking in place, with music, and doing some other moves as well, often with no equipment required. For those who would like to invest in a few dvd’s, there is a site called Collagevideo.com, which is replete with all sorts of dvd options running the gamut from stretching, circuit training, walking workouts, strength training, and cardio at all levels.
For those who like to use weights and want to use them at home, it may be difficult these days to find weights in the stores that remain open. Buying them on line may be prohibitively expensive because of the weight and the shipping.
Instead of that, I would like to throw this out there: TUBING!
I am always surprised by the number of people that have never used this handy way to stay strong, or even raise the heart rate for some cardio benefits. For the uninitiated, tubing is skinny elastic tubes with handles on each end. If you want even more options, you can get an attachment that slips into a door that you close. You can then place the tubing at different levels…high, low, waist high, etc.
Just to give you the idea, see the graphics below for three simple exercises you can do at home.
These three exercises touch many areas: back (high to low row), upper body (bicep curls), and lower body (squats). Just these three exercises show how versatile tubing is.
Suggestion: You can purchase tubing from Walmart. An example of this would be TheraBand Professional Resistance Tubing. The bands (tubing) come in different resistances, from light to heavy. You can match the resistance to your level of fitness and experience. If you have been doing some working out, you can get the medium version. Try light if you are just getting started. Heavy if you are missing your barbells at the gym. Price varies depending on the resistance you choose. Be sure to also get a door anchor, currently also available at Walmart.
You can also get a poster showing many, many, ways to use the tube, from Amazon, called QuickFit Resistance Workout Exercise Poster, $15.95. Again, however, it may be better for find a workout that uses tubing. Go to You Tube, search for “workouts with bands with handles” and go from there. That way, you can just follow along instead of trying to figure out what to do.
On the other hand, if you can get out for a walk, and then come in and do the three exercises presented, you will have had a pretty good workout!
The point: Look around! There may be more options than you realize. OR, if you have been putting off getting some exercise, now is a good time to explore the many options that are out there that are more convenient (and available) than going to the gym.
Keep moving, and be well,
P.S. The items mentioned here with the links are currently available as of this week. However, stocks were getting depleted even as I wrote this. If the items are unavailable, feel free to try to find similar items from other vendors. I apologize for this, but it appears that COVID-19 is showing its effects in this area as well.
© 2020 Kristen Carter, MS. All rights reserved.