With the COVID-19 pandemic surging forward and the limited opportunities for getting out of the house, it’s easy to just become a couch potato and mourn our social lives. If you’ve been laid off or if you’ve transitioned to a fully remote workspace, then you’re especially prone to getting a little too comfortable on the couch. No social gatherings means no reason to look or feel our best, and if you’re single…forget about shaving!
Because COVID-19 is especially harmful to individuals whose lifestyles are generally unhealthy, it’s important to remain active and keep your immune system in check. Doing so involves exercising regularly and consuming a hearty amount of the essential nutrients your body needs to fight against disease. If you’re anything like me, then you know how difficult it is to motivate yourself to exercise from home. With gyms and community centers closed, we’re forced to get creative with our attempts to stay in shape during lockdown.
To help you keep your body strong and ready to fight against COVID-19 should it cross your path, here are 10 easy and practical ways to stay in shape during lockdown.
1. Get up and move every hour
For those of you who are either working from home or collecting unemployment, you’re likely no stranger to the soreness that accompanies laying on your couch or bed for hours on end. To avoid transitioning into a fully vegetative state, get up and move around for a few minutes at least once every hour. Doing so will keep your blood flowing, burn more calories, and prevent your muscles and limbs from sinking into a state of severe atrophy!
2. Take a daily walk or jog
In addition to getting up and moving around every hour, you should dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to walking or jogging outside. The ideal stroll to stay in shape will include variations in incline and speed, so if your neighborhood isn’t hilly, consider driving somewhere close by that offers a more consistently strenuous experience. Be sure to bring water to avoid from overheating as well as a mask to be courteous to other walkers!
3. Go hiking once a week
To avoid getting bored or too comfortable with your daily walk, hiking is a great way to stay in shape and step outside your comfort zone. And since everything else is closed, hiking has become an ideal weekend activity. While some trails are temporarily closed due to the pandemic, many others are still open to hikers who wear masks and practice social distancing. This is a great opportunity to gather with a friend or two and catch up while remaining productive!
4. Do at-home exercises
If you have no gym equipment at home, there are thousands of at-home resources available at your fingertips. YouTube is an excellent platform for searching free exercise videos published by fitness instructors and influencers around the world, and many of these exercises can be executed with nothing more than the clothes on your back!
5. Try new types of exercise
Instead of working out to the same videos over and over, incorporate new types of exercise into your routine. If you’re a noob to yoga, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or crossfit and vice versa. Swim laps if you have a pool, or jump rope if you don’t; but no matter what you do, keep changing it up!
6. Experiment in the kitchen
Quarantine offers the perfect opportunity to try new recipes and do some research on what foods are best for supporting the immune system. Eating the right foods not only helps you stay in shape but also also prevents diseases from having severe effects on your body. Incorporate new vegetables and spices into your cooking that you’ve never considered before, and treat all your family members or roommates to some exotic and exciting new eats!
7. Drink water all day long
Drinking water helps you stay in shape because it keeps you full and helps regulate your digestive system. If you actively choose to drink water, then you’re also less likely to drink sugary beverages that add inches to your waistline and subtract strength from your immune system!
8. Practice meditation and mindfulness
Lockdown can be a stressful time for those who have lost their jobs as well as those who just want to see their friends and families. YouTube offers some wonderful meditation resources, whereas you can download apps that teach and enforce mindfulness for reducing stress and anxiety. It isn’t important to just stay in shape physically during lockdown; we must also do our best to maintain our mental, spiritual, and emotional health!
9. Work on home projects
Now is the perfect time to de-clutter and return to any half-finished projects you might have. Use this downtime to deep clean and organize your room, rearrange or refurnish your room, and put some serious work into your yard space. Start a vegetable garden or tidy up and optimize your current garden!
10. Learn a new skill
Pick up a new hobby that involves mental and physical exertion. If you’re artistically inclined, search videos that will help you fine tune your skills and expose you to new types of art making. If you’re musically inclined, find free resources online that will help you teach yourself how to sing or play that instrument that’s been lying around your house for years. If you have access to a bunch of wood piled up in your backyard like I do, take a crash YouTube course on carpentry. If you’re quarantined with a friend or family member, join TikTok and learn complex dance routines to share with and impress your followers. The possibilities for learning a new skill are truly endless.
While staying in shape during lockdown might seem like an impediment to your Netflix binge watching routine, you’ll find yourself less bored and more fulfilled if you follow these 10 measures that are targeted at keeping your body moving and your immune system strong.
Give us your feedback on how these 10 ways to stay in shape during lockdown have benefited you in the comments below!
Featured image source: https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/quarantine-diaries-la-pop-luminary-katelyn-tarver-quarantining-siblings-n-out-burger
Jamie graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is an aspiring writer, professional editor/proofreader, and piano player. In her free time, Jamie enjoys reading classic literary works, composing music, and playing Xbox with her husband!