How to Exercise at Home: and Why It’s So Important

How to Exercise at Home: and Why It’s So Important

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How to Exercise at Home: It is so Important During this Time

We all know that exercise is vital for our mental and physical health. During this time of COVID-19 outbreak and Stay at Home Order, exercise may be even more important. This is because exercise can combat feelings of depression and anxiety during this period of uncertainty and social isolation, and it can help improve your immune system’s ability to fight off illness.

With gyms and fitness centers closed, the need to do at home workouts is higher than ever. Don’t let the state-mandated quarantine cost you your health. With a bit of creativity, knowledge, and motivation, it’s possible to use this time to get fitter and stronger than ever. Here are some tips to keep your fitness levels up during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Be efficient with your space and choice of exercise
    • If you can’t leave your house, one of the most effective and efficient types of exercises to perform are body weight training and high intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of training takes up little space, does not require equipment, and is short in duration.
    • Body weight exercises are a simple, effective way to improve balance, flexibility, and strength without gym machines or equipment. Examples include squats, lunges, push ups, step ups, and calf raises.
    • High intensity interval training (HITT) involves performing exercises (often body weight) in short bursts of intensity using little space and little equipment. It typically involves performing 15-60 second intervals of high intensity work. For example, you might rotate between 45 seconds of jumping jacks, 45 seconds of push ups, 45 seconds of squats, etc. for a 10 minute high intensity session.
    • Note: high intensity interval training may not be right for you if you have an underlying illness such as heart disease. You would likely benefit from a more low impact type of routine such as regular body weight exercises at a lower frequency and intensity than HITT training.
  • Utilize technology 
    • Fortunately, there are lots of apps and websites that are available for at home exercise sessions that create easy to follow training routines. Here are a couple that I have personally enjoyed:
      • An app called “Body Weight” that includes over 100 body weight exercises with instructions, videos, along with variations to change difficulty level. Every single exercise can be performed at home.
      • A website called “Fitness Blender” that includes custom workouts, videos, and a wide variety of intensity levels: from stretching/yoga to high intensity interval training.
  • Bring it outdoors, but be safe
    • Currently, during the Stay at Home order, it is okay to leave the house to exercise including walking, running, bicycling, etc.
    • However, it is important to be mindful of your space and continue to practice social distancing. Continue to stay more than 6 feet from others while using free space such as sidewalks and parks.

As always, when starting a new exercise routine, listen to your body. Although muscle soreness is expected to build strength, you should not experience significant increases in pain. Exercising can become a healthy habit when you find a form that you enjoy and it is something that you can perform as part of a regular routine.

If you would like more information about this topic or have questions about physical therapy and how that can help, please feel free to contact Holly at hhuso@osipt.com

Written by:
Holly Huso, PT, DPT

OSI Physical Therapy

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