As new COVID-19 cases continue to emerge, many healthy individuals are being requested to stay at home in self-quarantine. In some countries, fitness centres and other locations where individuals are normally active, will remain temporarily closed. Staying at home for prolonged periods of time can pose a significant challenge for remaining physically active. Sedentary behaviour and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals. Self-quarantine can also cause additional stress and challenge the mental health of citizens. Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time. We will also provide you healthy and cheap cooking recipes for you to cook at home during these hard and stressful times.
Examples of home-based exercises
These exercises can still be achieved even at home, with no special equipment and with limited space.
Knee to elbow
Touch one knee with the opposite elbow, alternating sides. Find your own pace. Try to perform this for 1–2 minutes, rest for 30–60 seconds, and repeat up to 5 times. This exercise should increase your heart and breathing rates.
Support your forearms firmly on the ground, with the elbows under the shoulders. Keep the hips at the level of the head. Hold for 20–30 seconds (or more, if possible), rest for 30–60 seconds, and repeat up to 5 times. This exercise strengthens your belly, arms and legs.
Touch your ears with your fingertips and lift your upper body, keeping the legs on the ground. Lower the upper body again. Perform this exercise 10–15 times (or more), rest for 30–60 seconds, and repeat up to 5 times. This exercise strengthens your back muscles.
Place your feet at hip distance with the toes pointing slightly outwards. Bend the knees as much as feels comfortable, keeping the heels on the ground and the knees over (not in front of) the feet. Bend and stretch the legs. Perform this exercise 10–15 times (or more), rest for 30–60 seconds, and repeat up to 5 times. This exercise strengthens your legs and glutes.
Hold onto the seat of a chair, with your feet about half a meter away from the chair. Bend your arms as you lower your hips to the ground, then straighten the arms. Perform this exercise 10–15 times (or more), rest for 30–60 seconds, and repeat up to 5 times. This exercise strengthens your triceps.
Start in a standard push-up position, with your feet together or no more than 12 inches apart, hands flat on the ground below your shoulders, and arms straight. Breathe in as you bend your elbows—keep them tracking back alongside your body—to lower your chest to slightly below the level of your bent elbow, and then breathe out as you push back up to the starting position for one repetition.
You can always finish with some yoga to rest the muscles.
With the knees on the ground, bring your hips to your heels. Rest your belly on your thighs and actively stretch your arms forward. Breathe normally. Hold this position for 20–30 seconds (or more). This position stretches your back, shoulders and sides of the body.
Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs crossed (alternatively, sit on a chair). Make sure your back is straight. Close your eyes, relax your body and progressively deepen your breathing. Concentrate on your breath, trying not to focus on any thoughts or concerns. Remain in this position for 5–10 minutes or more, to relax and clear your mind.
Still feeling active? Watch this 7 minutes workout youtube video to continue:
Remember to always stretch after working out:
Here are some healthy recipes to eat after a hard workout
Roast Chicken and Vegetables
This healthy and easy take on a Sunday roast involves nothing complicated at all: Just roast potatoes, carrots, celery and onion (tossed with a little olive oil) on a baking sheet, and then place the chicken breasts on top to cook. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/lemon-and-herb-roast-chicken-and-vegetables-3362183
Chicken, Pepper and Corn Stir-Fry
This 30-minute dinner quickly brings together a delicious combination of meat (boneless chicken thighs) and colorful veggies (red bell peppers and frozen corn). You can cook the meal in a wok or a nonstick skillet. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/chicken-pepper-and-corn-stir-fry-3362501
Quinoa with Chicken and Lentils
Use leftover rotisserie chicken to round out this flavorful dinner that incorporates quinoa (a good source of plant protein), green beans and browned onions. Then garnish with almonds and spoon a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/quinoa-with-chicken-and-lentils-3362425
Have fun !