The unprecedented lockdown around the world due to the pandemic is a challenge for gym-goers and fitness lovers since gyms are closed and movement outside is limited. Well, we at HealthifyMe say “We can overcome this challenge!”. Here are a set of 5 exercises (we call them “The Lockdown Exercises”) that can be easily done at home (even if you are not a fitness lover), which will keep you fit, at par with your progress, and lastly make you feel motivated, driven, and grateful for doing them!
5 Simple “Lockdown Exercises”
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes facing straight ahead or angled slightly outward.
- Slowly bend your knees and squat, sending the hips back behind you, while keeping your torso straight and your abs pulled in tight.
- Keep your knees behind your toes. Make sure everything’s pointing in the same direction.
- Squat as low as you can, and push into your heels to stand up.
If you have a set of dumbbells (or not) at home, you can try out these effective variations too:
- Squat with one dumbbell
- Squat with dumbbells
- Barbell squat
- Wide leg squat
- Front squat
- Wall sit
- One-leg squat
Benefit: Squats can help build muscle, burn fat, increase strength and protect against disease.
#2. Elbow Plank
- Lie face down on the mat with your elbows resting on the floor next to your chest.
- Push your body off the floor in a push-up position with your body resting on your elbows or hands.
- Contract the abs and keep the body in a straight line from head to toes. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat as many times as you can.
- For beginners, do this move on your knees and gradually work your way up to balancing on your toes.
Benefit: Plank exercises have several benefits, the most important one being core conditioning. Planks help develop strength in the shoulders, arms, and glutes. It’s one exercise that can help tone your belly, strengthen your lower back and improve your balance and posture. Also, planks are a great way to stretch and relax muscle groups that often become stiff from prolonged sitting.
#3. Forward Lunges
- Stand with your feet flat on the floor. Step your right foot forward, as far as you can, while dropping your left knee toward the ground.
- Be sure to lower yourself toward the ground, and not towards your toes. You should see the front of your toes throughout the entire circuit, so be sure you don’t extend forward.
Other variations include front lunges, back lunges, and side lunges.
Benefit: Forward lunges work your glutes, thigh adductors, quadriceps and hamstrings, strengthening these muscles, and in turn improving your metabolism. This is a highly beneficial exercise. Doing the forward lunge also has an added advantage – it helps in improving your core strength since it engages your core muscles as well.
#4. Push Ups (Inclined) for Beginners
- If you’re a beginner or don’t have as much upper body strength, this is a good move to start with.
- Start on all fours with hands a bit wider than the shoulders.
- Walk the knees back a bit in order to lean your weight on the hands and flatten the back from the head down to the back of the knees.
- Pull the abs in and, keeping your back straight, bend the elbows and lower body toward the floor until elbows are at 90-degree angles.
- Push back up and repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 reps.
Benefit: Push up is excellent as an at-home workout. Various muscle groups are used for this move, which allows for maximum growth, while also strengthening your shoulder joints. If you’re unable to do this exercise, you can try wall push-ups instead.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body into a squatting position and place your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Kick your feet back and get in a push-up position.
- Lower your chest and do a push-up.
- Kick your feet back to the original squat position.
- Stand up, jump and clap your hand overhead.
Benefit: Burpees are a great cardio exercise, this is a full-body strength training exercise, working out the arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs.
Why is it important that you exercise during Lockdown?
Sedentary lifestyle, where you are constantly snacking and binge-watching your favorite web series is quite nice, but it can have a serious effect on your health. So, staying active during this period is important for each and every one of us. According to health experts, being physically active helps lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and also significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Besides that, it helps maintain muscle mass and bone Staying active also helps to keep your immune system functioning effectively as it flushes out bacteria from the lungs and airways and increases white blood cell circulation, all of which help the body fight any sort of infections.
Furthermore, regularly exercising during lockdown is a great way to ward off psychological issues, thereby lowering stress levels and promoting the release of feel-good hormones.
These times of lockdown and the prospect of serious illnesses truly reminds us to be grateful for our health and other blessings. Seeing the state of some struggle with illnesses can most definitely inspire us to care for our bodies for better. Also, this way we not only keep ourselves and others safe, but we also make a small contribution by lessening the burden of the many nurses and other health workers at the forefront of COVID-19 response providing treatment and care on this World Health Day and every other day. So, stay safe, stay indoors, and stay fit for we shall overcome this!