Surviving at home for long periods can raise a major challenge to remain physically active. Sedentary behavior and weak physical activity may harm peoples’ health, wellness, and quality of life. Self-quarantine can indeed cause mental pressure and challenge the mental health of citizens. Physical activity and relaxation strategies can be useful resources to help you stay relaxed through this period, and continue to protect your health.
The following are some tips on how to stay active while at home in self-quarantine and reduce sedentary behaviors:
Make short active breaks during the daytime. The recommended exercises below could be used as encouragement to be active every day. Dancing, playing with kids, and performing household chores such as cleaning and gardening are other means of keeping busy at home.
Follow the exercise class online. Benefit from the excess of online fitness sessions. Most of these are free and are available on YouTube. If you don’t have the expertise and experience to perform these exercises, be careful and aware of your limitations.
Start walking. Also, in confined spaces, walking on-the-spot can allow you to stay physically active. If you have a call, instead of sitting down, stand, or walk around your house while you are talking. If you consider going outside for walking, be sure to keep a distance of at least 1 meter from others.
Stand up. Decrease your sedentary time by getting up whenever you can. Preferably, try to interrupt every 30 minutes of sitting and reclining time. Consider creating a standing desk using a high table or stacking a pile of books or other items to keep working while standing. Prioritize intellectually stimulating activities during sedentary free time, such as board games, reading, and puzzles.
Relax. Meditation and breathing exercises can make you feel calm. Such a few suggestions of relaxation techniques can be found below for guidance.
It is also essential to remember to eat healthy and to remain hydrated for good health. Prefer drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened drinks. Make sure to take plenty of fruit and vegetables, and reduce the intake of salt, sugar, fat, choose whole grains instead of refined food.
Examples of home-based exercises
To stay physically active at home, Here are some a set of examples of home-based exercises.
Knee to elbow
Touch one of the knees with the opposite elbow, alternating sides. Find a pace all of your own. Try to do this for 1–2 minutes, relax for 30–60 seconds, and follow up to 5 times. This exercise will increase the speed of your heart and breathing.
Support your forearms flat on the ground, with your elbows under your shoulders. Keep your hips at the level of your head. Keep for 20–30 seconds (or more, if feasible), relax for 30–60 seconds and repeat for up to 5 times. This practice will strengthen your belly, arms, and legs.
Try to touch your ears with your fingertips and start lifting your upper body, maintaining your legs on the ground. Help lower your upper body again now. Exercise 10–15 times (or more), rest for 30–60 seconds, and keep repeating up to 5 times. This intense exercise will strengthen your back muscles.
Simply place your feet at a distance of the hip with your toes pointing slightly outwards. Bend your knees as much as you feel comfortable, keeping your heels on the ground and knees over (not in front of) your feet. Bend and stretch your legs. Exercise 10–15 times (or more), rest for 30–60 seconds, and repeat up to 5 times. This workout will strengthen your legs and glutes.
Side knee lifts
Reach the knee with your elbow, lift your knee to the side, turn to the side. Find the pace of your own. Try to do this for 1–2 minutes, relax for 30–60 seconds, and follow up to 5 times. This activity will increase the speed of your heart and breathing.
Keep your hand under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift one arm forward when the other back, alternating sides. Exercise 20–30 times (or more), relax for 30–60 seconds, and follow up to 5 times. This exercise will strengthen your belly, your glutes, and your back muscles.
Plant your feet on the ground with your knees on the heels. Lift your hips as much as you feel at ease and slowly lower them here again. Exercise 10–15 times (or more), rest for 30–60 seconds, and follow up to 5 times. This exercise will strengthen your glutes.
Hold on the chair seat with your feet about half a meter ahead from the chair. Fold your arms as you lower your hips to the ground, then flatten your arms. Exercise 10–15 times (or more), rest for 30–60 seconds, and follow up to 5 times. This exercise will strengthen your trips.
Please interlace your fingers just behind your back. Try to stretch your arms and wide open your chest forward. Hold the position for 20–30 seconds or more. This position stretches out your chest and shoulders.
Bring your hips to your heels with your knees on the ground. Rest your belly on your thighs and aggressively stretch your arms forward. Inhale normally. Hold the position for 20–30 seconds or more. This posture stretches your back, shoulders, and side of the body.
Sit easy on the floor as both your legs crossed. Hold your back straight. Keep your eyes closed, relax, and progressively deepen your breathing. Focus on your breath, not dwelling on any thoughts or concerns. Stay here for 5–10 minutes or more to relax and free your mind.
Legs up the wall
Close your hips (5–10 cm) and let your legs rest. Close the eyes, relax, and progressively deepen your breathing. Focus on your breath, not focusing on any thoughts or worries. Remain in this pose for 5 minutes. This posture should be relaxed, calming, and de-stressing.