Gyms Closed? How To Stay Fit During Lockdown
For many, going to their regular gym is currently not an option.
And with the entire world on lockdown, it can be hard to maintain your regular workout schedule and practice social distancing. During these unprecedented times, perhaps more than ever, it is important to find new and creative ways to stay fit at home.
Keep reading to learn five ways that you can stay active during a pandemic.
Why Is It Important To Stay Fit During A Lockdown?
Staying active and fit during a lockdown can be difficult. However, exercise is necessary to help your body and mind in the fight against disease.
Boosts Immune System
Did you know that working out can actually boost your immune system? According to a study published by The University of Waterloo, exercise can positively influence your natural immunity and effect changes in your B-cell and T-cell counts. (1)
Exercise may also help to flush bacteria from the lungs and airways, which may be effective in preventing respiratory illnesses.(2)
Increases Activity Levels
Now that you’re staying indoors a lot, working out for 30 to 60 minutes for a few days a week is more essential than ever as it helps increase your activity level.
For those who work out on a regular basis, you know that staying fit can also increase your energy and in turn, increase the amount of activity in your life in general. Exercising forces your body to deliver higher amounts of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and tissues that you're using.
The more that you exercise, the more efficient this process becomes, allowing you to feel more energised throughout the day.(3)
Improves Mood and Mental Health
There have been hundreds of studies conducted that conclusively show exercising can improve mood and your overall mental health. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that can help you to lower your risk of depression, reduce stress, and improve your mood.
James Blumenthal, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Duke University gave an interview with the American Psychological Association in which he stated, "There's good epidemiological data to suggest that [physically] active people are less depressed than inactive people."
In a study conducted by Blumenthal, it was found that exercise can even generally be compared to antidepressants for patients suffering from a major depressive disorder.(4, 5)
5 Ways To Stay Active At Home During A Lockdown
Now that you know about some of the many benefits of staying active, let's explore 5 ways that you can stay active while practicing social distancing.
1. Download Workout Plans on Pinterest
One of the coolest aspects of Pinterest is that you don't need an account to see or download posts on the site. If you do have a Pinterest account, you can download their mobile app directly to your phone and save workouts that you want to try to your account on a pinboard.
Here's a Pinterest workout plan that doesn't require any gym equipment and anyone can do right from the comfort of their home.
2. Look For Workout Videos on YouTube
You can find a video for virtually anything on YouTube, and home workouts are certainly no exception.
There are tons of high-quality videos from respected trainers and fitness companies that you can use to help guide your workout as you go. YouTube videos are a fantastic way to find new and interesting ways to workout from home and challenge your workout routine.
We found this awesome month-long video series from Ashley Conrad that takes you through 30 different 30-minute routines so that you can mix-up your workout while effectively hitting all of your muscle groups.
3. Try Out HIIT Fitness Apps
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is currently one of the most popular trends in fitness.
If you're interested in trying your hand at high-intensity interval training or looking for an exciting way to change your current HIIT, then there is no better solution than a HIIT app.
There are some apps like 12-Minute Athlete that cost money when you download them. But there are also many free apps available, like Nike Training Club, that are just as good and even offer virtual trainers to boot!
4. Take A Stroll Outside (While Keeping Your Distance)
Social distancing is still a relatively new concept and it can be confusing to navigate, especially if you don't know where to find information.
The UK government guidelines, as of today at least, say that you can exercise outdoors once a day while maintaining a 2-metre distance from others.
It's recommended that you avoid physical contact, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
5. Stretch and Destress with Yoga
It's no secret that yoga is one of the best ways to stretch, destress, and improve flexibility.
What you may not know is that people who regularly do yoga report feeling better emotionally, exercising more, and eating better than those who don't. In addition, yoga can help to improve mindfulness, body image, and cardiovascular health!
If you want to practice yoga in a group while maintaining social distance, you can use apps like Skype, FaceTime, and Facebook Messenger to video conference your friends.
This way, you can fight anxiety, depression, and reduce stress without missing out on the socialization that you would get from attending your regular gym or yoga group. (8, 9, 10)
We know that it can be easy to get overwhelmed and anxious about everything currently going on in the world.
However, one of the best ways to stay healthy and keep your peace of mind is to continue with daily activities as normally as possible and to integrate activity and exercise into your day. We hope this article gives you some ideas for doing just that.