Sep 30, 2023
Fitness Amidst The Lockdown
OVID-19 is not only the most disturbing but also the most dangerous of all viruses we have seen to date. The kind of fear it has brought is just unimaginable. With the entire nation being on lockdown, it has become impossible for anyone to venture out, let alone follow a fitness regime.
While most of us are just happy that the morning craziness is reduced, you get that little extra sleep and of course, you get to spend time with your family. All said and done, it also brings about laziness which can be difficult to undo. So, here’s your chance to kickstart your fitness regime at home in a simple, yet effective way. Spend 5 minutes for a start and then you can increase your time. These initial exercises are only to help you develop a habit to start working out - for yourself.
Well, let us start with those little exercises which can make us a little more flexible.
Hands - This is for all you people who are always on the computer. These exercises will help you relieve stress and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Start with your palm open, as if you were signaling the number 5.
- Now, make a number 4.
- Continue to move your thumb back and forth between these 2 positions.
- Repeat 5 times
Back - One of the most seen issues is that of the back. Constant sitting in one position can lead to backaches which do not tend to subside or go away so easily. Child’s pose, also known as prayer stretch, is an efficient way to help the lower back muscles along the spine.
- Start on the floor on your hands and knees with hands positioned under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.
- Then, reach out directly in front of you, extend the arms, and place palms face down.
- Slowly sit your hips back toward the heels while dropping your head and chest to extend arms further.
- Hold this position for 20 seconds.
- Repeat 5 times
- Stand straight
- Bend towards your side. Hold till you feel a slight stretch.
- Come back to your initial position.
- Repeat 5 times on each side.
Neck - sitting in the same position does take a toll on your legs too. Here’s a simple exercise that you can try to get immediate relief.
- Sit in an upright position
- Gently bend the head forward while simultaneously moving the chin toward the chest
- Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds
- Repeat 2-3 times
- Sit in an upright position or stand up
- Gently bend the head to your side. You can use your hand to support your bend towards a particular side
- Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. Do not strain yourself. Take it slow.
- Repeat 2 times
All these exercises are simple enough to be performed at home without the need for any equipment. I agree that these exercises are not high-intensity workouts, but for a start, these are worth your time. You can also do these exercises anywhere and at any time, so they tick the “easy” box for you. The next article is going to start off with the easy and fast workouts that will keep your adrenaline kicking and am sure with a little music to support it, they will be a hit in your family.
Fitness amidst the lockdown - Phase 2
Continuing on our journey to find out exercises which can help keep us fit in this junction of lockdown, here are some level 2 exercises, that can be a little fast-paced. But hey, we can do it, without having to rethink too much or strain our body. Let’s all vouch to keep ourselves fit during this lockdown and definitely try to reduce a little flab. Put on some good music and rock your way through these exercises.
Jumping Jacks - The first step is to prepare the body for the exercise. Since we cannot go out, jumping jacks is the next best thing.
- Stand upright with your legs together, arms at your sides
- Bend your knees slightly, and jump into the air.
- As you jump, spread your legs to be about shoulder-width apart. Stretch your arms out and over your head
- Jump back to starting position
- Repeat for 30 seconds
High Knees - This is one of the high-intensity cardiovascular exercises, which can be performed by anyone. You don’t need to fret, as this is something that we have all done in our childhood.
- Stand up straight and place your feet about hip-width apart
- Drive your right knee toward your chest and quickly place it back on the ground
- Follow immediately by driving your left knee toward your chest
- Continue to alternate knees as quickly as you can
- Repeat for 20 seconds
Arm circles - Get those saggy underarm muscles to get in shape. This is a very simple exercise, which I think none of us should have a problem doing.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms parallel to the floor
- Circle your arms forward using small controlled motions, gradually making the circles bigger until you feel a stretch
- Reverse the direction of the circles after about 10 seconds
- Repeat for 20 seconds
Squats - Yet another exercise to help strengthen your legs and improve your lower body mobility. This becomes a challenge for most of us who are glued to our systems(work purposes only).
- Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider
- Sit back and down like you're sitting into an imaginary chair
- Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles.
- Repeat for 30 seconds
Punches - This exercise is again for you to build the strength of your arms and muscles.
- Stand in a staggered position with both fists guarding your face.
- Punch with your front fist while blocking your face with the other hand.
- Punch with your other fist while rotating your hip forward
- Repeat for 15 seconds
Suu-per-manna poses - Oh yes, the most famous series superman is here in your exercises too. This can be done in the last after all your exercises just to relax your body. This is not a strenuous exercise and as such, can be done by anyone.
- Lay face down on a mat or flat surface, with arms outstretched
- Keep your hands and arms straight throughout the exercise
- Raise your hand and legs 4-5 inches off the ground (start with how much ever you can)
- Hold for 5 seconds, then return to starting position
- Repeat 2-3 times, as per your convenience
These would be the basic exercises that can get you started on your way to staying fit - lockdown or no lockdown. Once you are adept with these, you can increase the number of reps from 1 to 3 or even 4. This will help you build your stamina and also give more exercise to those muscles which have not been receiving any.
Please note that as a beginner you can take up to 2 minutes break in between completing each set. This may look like a long break, but you will soon realize that working out continuously for 30 seconds will surely tire you and these 2 minutes would not look sufficient. As you become a pro, the resting time between each set will definitely come down. It is also advisable that you take the exercises slowly, without over-working your muscles. The gradual increase in the exercises will help you better in the long run. So, cheers to you. Healthy living everyone.