Exercise at home: staying fit and healthy during coronavirus
We all adjust to coping with Coronavirus and a different way of life. You may be wondering how you can keep up healthy levels of exercise at home without your access to your usual workout, the gym equipment, pool or running track.
We asked Matt Lawson, a respected health expert who has used Tanita scales in his work for over 10 years, to share some ways to exercise at home to keep fit, healthy and motivated.
Exercise at home to lose weight and for cardio fitness
When you are confined to a smaller space it is easy to become sedentary and you will be doing fewer steps moving from the sitting room to the kitchen than you do on your normal commute.
So, if you are looking to keep your activity levels up and to exercise at home to lose weight, don’t dismiss everyday things around your house and garden.
Household jobs – these can burn off a surprisingly high number of calories. For someone weighing 10st 10lbs, 30 minutes of mopping the floor and 30 minutes of cleaning windows could burn 340 calories. Try monitoring your household cleaning activity via phone or tracker and see for yourself that an hour of hoovering and mopping the floor never did you so much good!
Gardening - the time of year is coming when its back to mowing lawns, removing moss from the driveway or digging over the boarders. You might not have taken much interest in gardening before but this is the perfect time to consider growing your own nutrient-rich herbs and vegetables. To get you started, what about planting some mint and basil leaves to pep up a healthy pasta dish or salad?
Exercise at home for legs
If you were trying to build strength and stamina in your legs, don’t forget that government advice allows for people walking or running in the fresh air each day, as long as you stay at least 2 metres from other people. If you have been used to 3 runs per week, now could be the time to up your training to 5 or 6 and build your stamina with intervals, fartleks and hill training.
Also don’t underestimate the value of seated exercise - for many people, this is a time of watching the news or other programmes. This does not have to be sedentary, and your own bodyweight adds to the power of an activity. Try some sit to stand moves while watching the television; cross your arms and using just your leg strength push yourself to standing. Complete 8 reps and 3 sets with a 30 second rest in between sets.
Exercise at home for abs
For your abs, it has to be the nation’s favourite sit up! Sit Up crunches. Lie on your back with your knees bent, and curl up so that your hands reach to touch the top of your knees. If you are a beginner, do 8 reps and 3 sets. Build up to 6 sets as you feel your stomach muscles strengthen and develop over the weeks.
Mindfulness - our brains need working. Engaging the mind in a good book or yoga session can help relax us while working our brains. Remembering to stay calm and live in the present is good for our mental health.
We still need to refuel if you expect your body to rejuvenate, repair tissues and be ready for the next day, keep a structure based around three meals a day.
Optimal sleep is essential, during sleep your body produces growth hormones which are largely responsible for tissue repair. What you eat and drink before bed can affect this, so avoid late night consumption of high sugar foods.
Vitamins and minerals are vital to boost our immune system and they are best gained through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A top tip is to add at least one extra veggie item to each meal, like my recent chicken curry with extra mushrooms, spinach and celery.
Enjoy cooking - this is a great time to try new things, give something a go! Perhaps batch cooking some healthy lunches is a good start. Healthy body fat levels improve immune function, particularly HDL fats from oily fish and dark green veggies which promote good immune responses, so keep monitoring your bodyfat levels, with a Tanita body composition scale, to keep an eye on any changes. We would love to share the things that are working for you so let us know at @tanita.uk