As Australia prepares to bunker down in light of COVID-19, we're all going to be spending a lot more time at home. Following recent announcements, all commercial gyms, along with a number of other venues, will be closed for the foreseeable future. Inevitably, physical activity will reduce and sedentariness (read sitting) will go up, so to speak.
Fortunately, there is something you can do to maintain health and boost your immunity in these times. The best news is, its free and you can do it in the comfort of your own home. That is, exercise!
Exercise is the best medicine (right after laughter and coffee, of course). While exercise can vary in type, quantity and frequency, all you really need to get started is your body.
The question now is not 'Should I exercise?', but rather, 'What exercise should I do?'. This blog post is for those with little to no experience with exercise who are looking to start exercising at home.
Disclaimer - While the exercises below are simple, they may not be suitable for everyone. Please consult your doctor or exercise professional before commencing any exercise program. If you're not sure whether the exercises are suitable for you, contact us.
A word on reps and sets
Exercise is a movement performed multiple times with some rest intervals in between.
A repetition (or rep) is one complete movement cycle. While a set is a number of reps between rest intervals.
For example - An exercise performed for 2 sets of 10 reps means you do the movement 10 times, have a rest and do it again 10 times. This is a good starting point for all the exercises listed below.
The exercises - what to do?
Below are 6 simple exercises to help you get started at home.
1. Leg kicks (aka seated leg extension)
Step 1 - Sit upright on a sturdy chair with your back against the back support.
Step 2 - Lift your right foot until your knee is straight.
Step 3 - Return the foot to the starting position. That's 1 repetition.
2. Sit to stands
Step 1 - Sit upright on a sturdy chair with your arms crossed.
Step 2 - Stand up straight.
Step 3 - Sit back down to the starting position. That's 1 repetition.
3. Heel raises
Step 1 - Stand upright in front of a chair or bench.
Step 2 - Lift your heels until you are on your toes. Hold the chair or bench for support.
Step 3 - Lower your heels back to the starting position. That's 1 repetition.
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4. Bicep curl
Step 1 - Sit or stand while holding a small object in your hands by your side.
Step 2 - Lift both hands to your shoulders.
Step 3 - Lower both hands back to the starting position. That's 1 repetition.
5. Shoulder press
Step 1 - Sit or stand while holding a small object (1-2 kg) in your hands by your shoulders.
Step 2 - Raise 1 hand towards the ceiling.
Step 3 - Lower the hand back to the starting position. That's 1 repetition.
6. Wall pushups
Step 1 - Stand 1 step away from a wall and place both hands on the wall at chest height
Step 2 - Lower your chest towards the wall while keeping the body straight
Step 3 - Push against the wall until you reach the starting position. That's 1 repetition.
The prescription - how many and how frequent?
Start by performing the above routine for 2 sets of 10 reps once a day. This should take about 10 mins.
Then, add a 3rd set of 10 reps.
Then, increase each set to 15 reps.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hassan Qureshi is the founder and owner of Holistic Exercise Physiology. He believes educating and communicating good science to the wider public is not only important but is the responsibility of every clinician. For this reason he started the Holistic blog.
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