(You can listen to the Podcast here)
Many of you will be feeling isolated and anxious as we exhibit sensible precautions to avoid spreading or contracting the virus, and this can lead to mild depression and other similar emotional reactions, especially for those who regularly visit the gym or exercise classes because the endorphin 'rush' usually experienced is now missing, and it is addictive, so cravings occur.
Whilst it is not often easy to replicate your local gym or class in your home, it IS easy to include an exercise regime to maintain fitness levels and flexibility, by using home equipment if you have it (and the space to use it) or improvised equipment you will have around the home.
I am fortunate that I have sufficient gym equipment hidden about our 1 bedroom flat in London, to carry out an almost complete body workout, almost (and I stress ALMOST) equivalent to my gym time, but here are a few alternatives for popular exercises in gym sessions or classes:
· GYM: Bench Press/Incline Press/Machine Press/Dumbbell Press - replace with...
· HOME: Pressups (flat, inclined (Feet on a chair), decline (hands on a chair/sofa/side of bath/etc.), Floor Press using bags of sugar or large bottle of coke/water (no glass please!) letting your elbows touch the floor next to you and press back up.
· GYM: Overhead press, Side Lateral raises, Rear Raises - replace with...
· HOME: Sitting on chair or standing, press overhead using same bags of sugar or large bottle of coke/water etc. Lateral raises and rear raises with bags of sugar
· GYM: Pulldowns, Rows, Shrugs, Deadlifts - replace with...
· HOME: Chin ups in door jam (make sure the door jam is strong enough and you can grip well), Row using a broom handle across two chairs, or single arm rows using bag of sugar or large bottle of coke/water etc, Shrug using bag of sugar or large plastic coke/water bottle etc (or something heavier if you have it), Deadlifts using a heavy item such as a toolbox or pack of large water bottles etc..
· GYM: Pushdowns, Dips, Dumbbell Extensions, Curls - replace with...
· HOME: Close grip pushups, dips between two sturdy chairs (make sure they don't collapse inward!), Extensions using bag of sugar/flour, Chinups using door frame as mentioned above, curls using bag of sugar/flour/paint tins/etc.
· GYM: Squats, Leg extensions, calf raise, (deadlifts as per Back Training above) - replace with...
· HOME: Squats holding bags or sugar/flour or plastic bottles (if available, 'goblet squats' using pack of large plastic bottles), single leg squats using bodyweight, Single leg calf raises on doorstep or wooden block (which will not flip over when your toes are on it!)
· GYM: Various machines and frames or cable crunches - replace with...
· HOME: Sit ups/crunches, Hanging (from sturdy door frame) leg raises.
· CLASS: Bounce, FitCardio, Boxersize, etc
· HOME: YouTube Workout videos, Streaming Cardio sessions, Home workout DVD's etc, skipping (if you or kids have rope), PIYO, running, etc.
There are obviously almost endless possibilities as well as these but this should serve you well as a way to maintain some level of exercise and help your physical and mental wellbeing remain strong and positive during these trying times, and give you the endorphin fix you will be craving.
Try to engage the rest of your family if all at home with an exercise regime, making it fun for the kids, all of which can be done still maintaining a 2m distance if required.
Stay safe, be sensible, DO pay attention to the advice and you can all remain fit or even end up fitter once this has passed!