HOW TO KEEP IN SHAPE DURING QUARANTINE

By Sophatny Chan, G10

Due to this coronavirus outbreak, the entire population is required to stay at home until further notice. Most borders around the world have been closed down to receive any new tourists or people in their country, in fear of a huge spread. This is keeping us safe and protected, preventing ourselves from catching this respiratory virus. However, staying at home for days and days could lead to some natural negative habits such as becoming lazy, binge eating too much junk food, staying indoors for too long, or not getting exposed to any sunlight. We all know how it feels to be stuck in quarantine at this period of time, so how do we make the most of it?

Exercising! Why is it important to stay healthy when you have the time to? Staying healthy physically can help you stay healthy emotionally as well. Eating the right food and staying fit will allow your body to be strong; it can help you cope with all sorts of stress as well as fight illness. You will be able to develop a stronger immune system that will keep you in good health for the future. Getting enough sleep is also a really important way to stay healthy, especially if you are one to exercise regularly. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired the next day, which is horrible, especially when you are planning to work out the next day. 

There are plenty of ways to get fit. To exercise doesn’t always mean you need to go to a gym — you can do simple exercise by walking, swimming, jogging, dancing, yoga, or playing a team sport. However, since self-isolation keeps us home most of the day, it is smarter to do exercise that doesn’t have require equipment, such as body shape workouts. 

Depending on where you want to improve in your body, there are targeted exercises that you can do daily for around 15 minutes to reach your goals. However, before each workout, make sure that you stretch all your muscles fully so that you do not experience any cramps, or pain after the workout. 

Core Exercises: 

1. Crunches 

These are a classic core strengthening move for your upper abdominal muscles. If you have lower back pain, it is advised that you perform this exercise with care to prevent any injuries. 

2. Mountain climbers 

This exercise is an intermediate exercise with a combination of plank and knee movements. It is an excellent move for balance and core strength. You can play around with the intensity — beginners can perform this slowly whilst intermediate people can perform this faster. 

3. Russian twists 

This exercise allows you to tone not only your core, but shoulders, hips and waist as well. It can be performed with or without weights however, make sure that you feel tightness in your abdominal muscles. You just twist from one side to the other. 

Leg Exercises: 

1. Squats 

This exercise will help with your thigh muscles as well as your calves and abdominal muscles. For this exercise you must not let your knee go further than where you place your toes and make sure that your back is straight at all times. 

2. Reverse Lunges with Knee Lift

This movement is a lot more effective than the average lunge exercise because it requires a lot more leg movement. It varies in tension since both legs are always working. 

3. Side Leg Raises

This helps tone your thighs, cutting excess fat in the inner thighs. This is also beneficial for your hips because, when you lift your leg up, your core is also in motion to help with the exercise. 

Arm Exercises: 

1. Plank taps 

This exercise is great for toning your arms. The target of this exercise is your triceps, glutes, and core. It is performed by alternating the arms and sides you tap on your chest. 

2. Plank Up-Down 

This exercise is one of the most intermediate movements to perform since it requires a lot of arm strength to carry your body weight. You can perform this slowly or fast however, it is more effective when performed at a faster pace.  

3. Body weight tricep dips 

The target of this exercise is to tone and improve your pecs and triceps. This is one of the most effective movements to tone your arms fast. This doesn’t focus on your core muscles, mostly your legs and arms by moving your core up and down. 

You can focus on one exercise for one day and then move on to another the next. Doing the same exercises again and again can be repetitive and doing the same exercises every day without a change in movement can make the exercise ineffective for the body. 

Do the movements for at least 20 reps each and make sure you always hydrate after a good session of working out. Have fun with it, enjoy it, and grab a partner to perform these exercises with to stay healthy and in shape!

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