How to Stay Strong at Home When You Can’t Get to the Gym

Just because you can't get to your regular workout spot doesn't mean you can't work out effectively

Body-weight exercises can be very effective, especially with slower movement and higher repetitions. (antoniodiaz/Shutterstock)

If you’re used to hitting the gym a few times a week for a workout, you might be feeling cooped up. Even worse, you might be starting to feel weak.

For the past two weeks, most people have stayed away from the gym—whether because of their reservations about working out during the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, or because their gym has closed.

Staying healthy and strong, however, is essential to priming your immune system and making sure you maintain muscle strength, mobility, and function. You don’t want to lose the benefits of your hard work.

Generally speaking, your metabolism will slow after about two weeks of no exercise. Your strength may begin to drop and your muscle mass can begin to deplete. That’s why it’s essential to perform at-home workouts during the pandemic.

Of course, your workouts will be different. You might not be able to lift weights, run the track, or perform yoga with your regular class. Understanding that the exercise will be limited by circumstances is essential to maintaining your strength.

One of the first things to focus on if you’re working on strength training is tension and contraction. You can easily perform pushups, squats, and lunges using elastics or bodyweight.

To offset the lighter loads, you’ll want to focus on moving slowly through your repetitions to maximize tension while operating in higher rep ranges at times. But a slow, controlled movement by which you’re activating the muscle throughout the motion is ideal.

For those of you who enjoy circuit training to get your heart rate up, you’re in luck. Such workouts will lend themselves rather easily to your surroundings. Doing circuits, including jumping jacks, pushups, squats, burpees, sit-ups, and running on the spot, will do.

You can do a blast of 25–30 minutes for your cycle, or do three or four five-minute intervals during the day.

Yoga can be performed using video or audio instruction, or your own knowledge, to guide you through poses.

Spending more time at home doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Try these methods to stay strong, fit, mobile, and healthy during these trying times.

Mohan Garikiparithi holds a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade. During a three-year communications program in Germany, he developed an interest in German medicine (homeopathy) and other alternative systems of medicine. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.

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