How to Stay Active While in Isolation

Bone and Joint Care in Arkansas - Ozark Orthopaedics

How to Stay Active While in Isolation

Many of us are confined in our homes right now. Some are forced due to stay-at-home orders while there are those who voluntarily do it out of coronavirus concerns.

No matter what your reason is for being homebound, we all share a mix of emotions, including fear and boredom. These emotions can sometimes lead us to unhealthy habits like binge-watching and emotional eating.

While this is definitely a tough time, we can use this time at home to start building healthy habits. And we can start it with exercise.

Closed gym? No problem!
The good news is, you can still do a good workout at home even if you don’t have a home gym or fitness equipment.

Your body itself is fantastic workout equipment! By just using your body weight and the power of gravity, you can burn fat, gain muscles, and improve your overall fitness level.

If you’re completely new to bodyweight exercises, you can get started with this set:

The plank exercise strengthens your abdominals, back, and shoulders.

How to do it:
Begin with a plank forearm position. Make sure that your elbows are bent and directly below your shoulders and your forearms flat on the floor. With your abs contracted, maintain a straight torso and hold it for at least a minute.

Mountain climbers
Also known as running planks, mountain climbers work your entire body especially your arms, shoulders, quads, and core.

How to do it:
Get into a plank position. Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed between your hands and toes.

While engaging your abs, pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can. Pull that knee out and do the same thing for the other knee.

Do it as fast as you can while keeping your hips down.

Knee push-ups
Push-ups are great exercises for working out your tricep muscles, back, and upper arm. If you can’t do a regular push-up, you can get started with a knee push-up.

If you do knee push-ups to the point of fatigue, you’ll eventually develop overall body strength to do regular push-ups.

How to do it:
Start in a high plank position, making sure your wrists are directly below your shoulders and your spine long.

Drop your knees (you can roll to the top of your knees to protect your knee caps). Bend your elbows, lower your chest to the ground, and push through your palms to straighten your arms.

Tricep dips
The tricep dips don’t just activate the tricep muscles but also work out your shoulders and core.

How to do it:
Sit on a chair or bench and grip the edge next to your hips (your fingers should be pointing to your feet). Extend your legs, making sure the heels touch the ground. Your feet should be hip-width apart.

Lower yourself until your elbows are about 45 to 90 degrees bent. Slowly push yourself up back into the starting position.

Squats are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises for working out your leg muscles – the quads, hamstring, and calves.

How to do it:
Begin by standing with your head facing forward and chest held up and out.

With your feet shoulder-width apart and arms extended in front of you or fingers clasp together (this helps with your balance), sit back and down as if you’re sitting on a chair.

Keep looking forward as your body slightly bends forward.

To avoid the rounded back, let your lower back arch slightly as you go down.

When you go down, make sure that your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are over your ankles. With your body tight, push yourself through your heels to bring you back to your starting position.

Just like the squats, lunges also work out your leg muscles. Aside from the quads and hamstrings, they also target your hips, glutes, and core.

How to do it:
There are different types of lunges. For beginners, a forward lunge is a good place to start.

To do it, begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart.

Take a large step forward with one leg. While keeping the majority of your weight on the foot in front of you, lower yourself. Your front foot should stay flat on the ground while the back heel is lifted.

Keep lowering yourself down until your rear knee almost touches the floor and the front knee is directly above the ankle, creating a 90-degree bend in both knees.

Calf raises
Calf raises can actually do more than just strengthening your calf muscles. They can help with your ankle stability and mobility, explosive power, and they can help prevent injuries.

How to do it:
Start by standing on the edge of a step. With your abdominals pulled in, the balls of your feet planted firmly on the ground, and heels hanging over the edge, raise your heels so that you’re on your tiptoes. Hold the position for a minute then lower your heels below the platform, feeling that stretch in your calves.

If you haven’t been working out for quite a while or completely new to working out, it’s important to take it slow.

Make sure you start with a few minutes of warm-up exercises to get your heart rate up and muscles prepared. And after your workout, make sure you cool down to get your body back into its pre-workout stage.

Need or missing out onyour workout buddies?
If you prefer working out with other people or if you’re used to working out with others, you can still do it without breaking CDC’s recommendation on social distancing.

Using video calling apps, you can call your workout buddies or friends who would also want to start working out and do it together! Another option is to use fitness apps or turn on some YouTube group fitness videos.

Stay safe and healthy!