If you are amongst the many who had to discontinue a gym membership with the rising concern about omicron or you never went back to the gym after the pandemic broke out, then here’s what you can do to stay fit. Dr Subhash Jangid, director and unit head, Bone and Joint Institute, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, says, “Covid has taught us the importance of being fit and healthy to fight infections/diseases. A healthy lifestyle requires regular exercises. The most important factor for physical fitness is consistency. That is why, it is important to follow a regime regularly.” He shares few tips on what you can do at home.
1. Do some cardiovascular exercises
Running, walking, cycling and swimming are basic cardiovascular exercises. Cardiovascular exercises help you stay in shape and give protection from various diseases. Set some daily goals for yourself to track your progress. “Cardiovascular exercises for 30 minutes a day can help you lose weight, control your blood sugar, and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduce stress. All these things will improve your endurance limits and prevent major heart ailments,” says Dr Subhash.
2. Take advantage of workout videos
There are plenty of fitness apps and videos on YouTube. These tutorials include a wide variety of workouts like body weight exercises, Cardio, cycling, CrossFit, T-REX, Kettle bell, Tabata and yoga etc. “When you work out with body weight, your muscles get conditioned which prevents you from injuries when you're trying an awkward posture or lifting weight or pushing some heavy object,” Says Dr Subhash.
3. Get some basic fitness equipment
To continue performing resistance training at home you have to get some basic fitness equipment. Jump ropes, yoga mat, dumbbells, treadmill, resistant bands, etc. “A combination workout with these equipment as well as body weight exercises will make every muscle of your body work instead of focusing on specific parts. There is no need to set up a big home gym, you just have to buy few of these basic equipment to do muscle building and conditioning exercises,” says Dr Subhash.
Suspension trainers (TRX) provide an inexpensive and complete full body work-out, and use minimal space. These kits come with a set of bands along with foot anchors and handles to accommodate different exercises. “These resistance exercises help you develop flexibility, balance, strength, and joint stability all at the same time. Anyone can use TRX systems,” adds Dr Subhash.
He further explains that using an exercise ball will help in strengthening abdominal muscles, back and hip muscles. It can also help in improving the balance and agility. Dumbbells and kettlebells are primarily used to gain strength or maintain it. Start with the weight range that works best for you without straining too much. When you feel ready, increase the load or workout time. Use your weights in front of a mirror to check and maintain correct posture.
4. Stick to a diet plan
Regular exercises goes hand in hand with a healthy diet for you to stay in shape. You have to increase your intake of nutritional food to gain muscles and lose weight. Stick to a diet plan that balances your carbs and nutrients well; your diet doesn’t have to be expensive. There are tons of budget-friendly diets you can follow to stay in shape.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential if you want to stay fit and healthy. This includes both regular exercise and your diet.
It’s essential to work on all three types of fitness: flexibility, muscle strength, and aerobic fitness. Dr Subhash shares tips on how to do this:
Warm up your muscles for 5 to 10 minutes before exercises.
Warm up by doing aerobic activity such as walking or jogging.
Stretch all your major groups of muscles. These include the muscles of your arms, your back, your hips, the front and back of your thighs, and your calves.
Stretch slowly and regularly to help yourself be more flexible. Combining stretching with other fitness activities is best.
Try to hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Take a "stretch break" instead of a coffee break at work.
Do housework and yard work on a regular basis to increase the muscle strength: Scrub the bathtub, wash walls, till the garden, or pull weeds.
Do basic muscle-conditioning exercises such as push-ups, leg lifts, and other familiar exercises.
Try muscle-strengthening exercises using weights. You can use cans of food instead of buying dumbbells.
Moderate activity for at least 2½ hours a week. Moderate activity means things like brisk walking, brisk cycling, or shooting baskets. But any activities—not including daily chores—that raise your heart rate and increase your breathing can be included.
Vigorous activity for at least 1¼ hours a week. Vigorous activity means things like jogging, cycling fast, or playing a basketball game.
These ordinary activities count as aerobic activity:
Pushing a lawn mower.
Sweeping (perhaps to fast-paced music).
Playing actively with your children.
Walking the dog.
It really doesn’t matter where you exercise or how… just as long as you do it — and do it often.
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