Dealing with the lockdown, step 1: exercise
Updated: May 7, 2020
Roll your eyes if you want, but exercise releases endorphins and serotonin. These are ‘feel good’ hormones, which is why your friends who exercise regularly don’t give up their workout time easily for anything else. We’re used to going out of the house every day for most of the day, and the house is a place that we spend only a few hours in while awake. That’s going to be rough on your mind. Plus, you’re not doing the usual amount of physical activity that you usually do, and add to that an endless supply of videos from Netflix and Youtube – and I’m pretty certain your sleep schedule has gone to the dogs.
Before I start with the instructions, though, there’s a grey area as far as the lockdown in concerned: in places like the USA and the UK, the lockdown allows for people to go for a walk or run, as long as they’re alone. India’s enforcers may or may not be aware of it, but if you try going for a walk or run the same time every day, odds are that you’ll encounter the same policeperson on your route, and it might take a few tries, but you’ll succeed eventually. Good luck!
Now, for home exercises: start with stretching. Think of your body’s joints from top to bottom, and look for a youtube video that will show you how to stretch before a warmup. I find this video to be quite helpful; it takes ten minutes to do it, and it seems to have ignored the neck, wrists, and ankles – those are stretches you’ll have to add. Wearing clothing that you’re comfortable in will help, and if you have a yoga mat, use it to your advantage. If you’re new to exercise, it’s okay to do the stretches and stop. You can always add to it later. Don’t overdo anything in your enthusiasm.
If you’re used to exercise, you can then carry on with the usual breakup of exercises: cardiovascular training (think high knee spot jogging, mountain climbing, even a skipping rope if you have the space), strength training for the upper body (pushups, pullups, arm curls/extensions with weights), lower body training (squats, lunges) and exercises that improve core strength and balance (planks, hip raises, balancing on one leg).
If you have some equipment like ankle weights, therabands, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or an exercise ball, now is the perfect time to dust them off and put them to good use. Work up a good sweat, and remember to stretch once you’re done, to cool down as well.
Try and exercise at the same time every day, it will help your body get into a rhythm. You’ll find yourself happier, and your sleep will come easier. Take things slow; the idea is to last out the lockdown, not injure yourself and have to go to a doctor where the risk of infection is high. Good luck!
For step 2, please click here.