How to Keep Fit During a Pandemic
Keeping Fit During a Pandemic
As sad as it is to see, we're in very unprecedented times. COVID-19 has unexpectantly struck the world and has left us very vulnerable. Many people are sadly losing their lives and getting sick. Others are left at home alone. In times like this, it's easy to fall down a slippery slope and get into bad habits. For some though, we're coming to a realization that we can use this time to build better habits and achieve goals we couldn't before. Some goals might be to stay fit or get fit during this pandemic.
Take Advantage of These Times
While COVID-19 is striking us, a good amount of people are thankfully healthy and under stay at home orders. It's easy to use this time to not do much and sit around. Maybe play some animal crossing or create a new Tik Tok? However, there is no other time like it to start accomplishing goals you couldn't have before. You'll see a lot of people write off "getting fit" due to gyms being shut down. (I can't lie, I'm MISSING being able to deadlift and squat) The thing is, you don't need a gym to get into shape. Realistically, all you need is your body and the floor you're on.
No Gym, No Problem
Gyms are great due to the amount of cardio equipment they have how many different actives you're able to do. Unless you have a home gym, you probably can't do much besides some calisthenics and resistance band training. Guess what though? That's more than enough! We're going to go through some quick exercises that can end up being a good 30-minute workout and burn about 250-300 calories.
Home Gym Equipment for You
Let's go through a comprehensive list of items we can get that can help you achieve your fitness goals at home.
Pull Up Bar
The pull-up bar is one of the most essential home items you can have. Pull-ups target your back and can target your biceps depending on which variation you do. It will also provide a bit of a core workout for you. You have a pull-up bar and you can have an amazing tough workout in front of you. Pulls ups for me was one of the essential movements to growing a bigger back. It's a great foundational exercise that can lead to many benefits.
What happens if you can't do a pull-up? Well, you can always modify it. You can either put a chair underneath you can do the pull up that way or you can attach a resistance band around the pull bar and around your foot to do it.
Great thing is, most pull-up bars now in days can also be used as a push-up bar. Some of them you may be able to do dips on! It's a win-win situation. Just before buying one, consider the havoc you might put on your door frame.
Resistance Bands / Dumbbells
I remember when I first got into training, and I use to do at home workouts like P90X and all I had was a resistance band. I didn't put on a ton of muscle, but it got the job done. Granted, mine had a resistance of max 30lbs and it was the only one I had. What does make resistance bands so great is how easy it is to add resistance and the fact they're fairly affordable. Most exercises you do with dumbbells you can do with resistance bands too. You can easily do curls, shoulder presses, tricep kickbacks, an alternative to pull-ups, rows, and more exercises with resistance bands. Just be careful with them, it's easy to not tie them well and then have them smash you in the face.
Now in my opinion, if I have the option I'll usually choose dumbbells. Unless I'm doing an exercise for tension or some type of physical therapy, I would usually choose dumbbells. So if they're accessible to you, I would suggest getting them. If money is a factor then resistance bands is the way to go! You can find many sources online that give you different resistance band training which I will link a couple of here.
A mat is always good to have in your house if you're exercising. One option to pick up is to do some yoga. Many people are doing online yoga classes via Instagram live and you can always join one. Besides a mat, the only other option you may need is some yoga blocks but they're not needed. Yoga is a good way to increase your flexibility and core strength. It will definitely burn a good amount of calories and can help you relax. Here is a good source of a beginner's yoga video.
Well if you're missing your body, you got yourself a bigger issue... I also don't know how you would be reading this. Anyways, if for some reason you don't have access to any of the following resources your body is the ultimate provider of resistance and can be used at your main tool to stay fit. You can easily configure a HIT workout with no weights and easily burn 200-300 calories in 20 minutes. Here' a quick example of a total body HIT workout:
- Squats - 1 min
- Alternate Leg Lunges - 1 min
- Push-ups - 1 min
- Burpees - 1 min
- Jumping Jacks - 1 min
Repeat this in a "Ladder" fashion. After you do a minute of each exercise. Take a 20 - 30-second break and then do all the same exercises for 50 seconds, then 40 seconds, and so on until you finish 10-second increments. You should work your way up to about 15-20 minutes and you'll get a quick total body workout in.
Quick Workout with Equipment
So let's say you do have some equipment at home. You have a pull-up bar, you have some resistance bands, etc. Now what?
Let's go through a quick total body circuit you can go through.
First, do a warm-up for 10-15 minutes.
Now let's try doing the following:
Repeat for 5 rounds. 1-minute rest between rounds.
For those looking for a little bit more, you can try the following:
- Pull-Ups - 10-15 reps (assisted if needed)
- Push-Ups - 20 reps (assisted if needed)
- Shoulder Press - 15 reps
- Bicep Curls - 15 reps
- 30-second rest
- Tricep Kickbacks - 15 reps
- Rows - 15 reps
- Lunges - 20 reps
- Squats - 30 reps
- Burpees - 1 minute
Repeat for 5 rounds. 1-minute rest between rounds.
Work on Your Weaknesses
One of the things I struggle with the most is mobility and flexibility. Ever since I was a kid, I always lacked any form of flexibility. I figured since I can't stick to my normal gym routine, I'm going to start focusing on things I lack. In this case, it's my flexibility and mobility. One of the additional things I'm trying to do is also fix my posture since I'm on my computer all day. Additionally, I'm also trying to do more core exercises. I don't do as much core as I use to when I was younger so it's something that I'm trying to get back into.
What are your weaknesses? Figure them out and try making a plan to fix those issues if it doesn't require a gym.
I hope that you're not experiencing the rough side of this pandemic. If you're not and you're safely home, this is a good time to start getting better. You probably have more time to work on yourself. Come out of this pandemic mentally and physically stronger than before. Stay fit and stick with your goals. Don't let the pandemic win and debilitate you.