During the Coronavirus lockdown, you may find yourself in one of the following categories:
You've been doing your best with home workouts, but it's not the same as your regular workout plan
You're getting bored
You feel like you are not making any progress, or that your fitness level is slipping
You're completely lost as to what you should do and where to start!
You're spending all day watching Netflix and eating chocolate...
Don't despair, our friendly Exercise Physiologists at Foot Ankle Lower Limb have some advice for you.
How much exercise do I need to do?
The recommended physical activity guidelines give us some pointers here:
You need to use more energy than you consume (i.e. move enough to burn off what you ate)
Exercise helps to maintain our bodies and keep strong and healthy
Exercise is good for your mental health and wellbeing
Any exercise you do right now deserves a pat on the back, but you can do a few simple things to help maximise the benefit you get from your workouts.
When should I do it?
One good thing about lockdown is that your schedule is probably fairly flexible. You don't need to work out for 30 minutes straight if that doesn't suit you. You can break it up between other things that you are doing. For example, regular breaks from your time in front of the screen will clear your mind and keep you fresh.
No Equipment? No Problem!
If you don't have a home gym, it doesn't matter (in fact, that is one less thing for you to sanitise!). You can use your own bodyweight, as well as a few things you have already at home, such as a chair, and maybe a yoga mat.
Plan your daily exercise. You might do it all in one go, or decide to do several mini-sessions a day, each devoted to a different activity or body part.
Here are a few concepts to help you exercise more efficiently, and get the same cardiovascular and strength benefits, but without the gym equipment.
Time under tension. It's pretty easy for most of us to do 10 squats at a regular pace, but what if you slowed it down a bit? Try taking 5 seconds to get to the bottom of the squat, and another 5 to get back up again. Don't pause when you get back to the top: start the next one straight away. Harder isn't it! You can apply this to many of the exercises that you do.
Holds and pulses can be added to the time under tension concept. Using the squat again as an example, when you get to the bottom of the squat, throw in a 10-second pause, or small pulses before you come back up. A great whole-body exercise that uses a hold is the dreaded plank, which makes just about everything work hard.
Tempo shifts. You can change your regular exercises to make them more challenging by changing the tempo (speed) of them. For example, instead of doing 10 lunges, try and see how many you can do in 20 seconds (but don't compromise on your technique). You can combine a few exercises like this, with short breaks in between, to turn your workout into a high-intensity interval training (HITT) routine. This will really help with your cardiovascular fitness if things like running or cycling are not for you.
You can use these principles in any of your exercise programs, including things like pilates and yoga. Just think of tension, holds and tempo.
Mix it up
Variety is the spice of life! You don't have to do the same thing the same way every day. Try something new, and use the tips we've given here to give your current workout a new lease of life. Now is a great time to try new things and keep your body and mind strong and resilient.
Still need advice?
Why not have an online consultation with one of our Exercise Physiologists? We can assess your current health and fitness levels, find out your goals, and work out a custom program which exactly fits your needs, and using the things you have around you at home. We use Physitrack, so we can demonstrate stretches and exercises to you in real-time during the consultation, and then send your customised program right to your phone. You can even get it to send you daily reminders! We can follow you up, track your progress and change your plan as you get fitter.
Use the Book Now button on this page, or get in touch via email or give us a call on 9316 3010.
Also, keep an eye out on our video channel for a few example home routines that we have filmed for you!