Mika Stambaugh exercises at her Chicago home on March 18, 2020, following closures at area gyms due to coronavirus.

You don’t need to go to a big fancy gym or have a bunch of equipment to stay in shape while quarantined. There are plenty of things you can do and at the end of the day, it is also a great way to pass the time and stave off boredom.

With so many stores, restaurants and other places closed down for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus epidemic, people all over the world are being told to quarantine and stay in their homes. Large social gatherings are no longer allowed and this leaves people with nothing to do but watch Netflix or play video games or otherwise be lazy.

“The best exercises depend on available equipment, goals, and ability,” Julie Johnson of Body Discipline Fitness said. “But assuming that you have nothing available and no injuries, I’d probably focus on push-ups, squats or jump squats, lunges, planks and ab exercises.”

When you are at home and don’t have much or any equipment one of the best types of exercises you can do is bodyweight exercises. Push-ups, burpees, crunches, and planks are some of the more popular exercises and they can be done essentially anywhere and anytime.

Push-ups are some of the easiest exercises to do and have many variations that can target different muscle areas. When done correctly push-ups will work the triceps, pectoral muscles, and even your shoulders.

Push-ups can also strengthen your lower back and core. The variations can be anything from spreading your hands out wide or in close or making a diamond shape with your hands. You can also stagger your arms by putting one further in front of you than the other.

Burpees are a full-body workout. With each repetition, you work your arms, chest, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and core if done correctly. Burpees are different because when you do them they work many different muscle groups at once compared to just one and they burn a lot of calories.

Crunches and planks are core exercises and are great if you are trying to get six-pack abs. Crunches are almost purely working your core while with planks your arms and shoulders are also engaged. They help strengthen the core muscles and aid in improving posture.

Doing planks strengthens your spine, your rhomboids and trapezius, and your abdominal muscles. Having a strong core is also important to help prevent injury in the future.

Cardio is also very important as it is great for burning calories. Be it jumping jacks, going for a run, or even just a walk every little bit helps.

In an article written by Dr. Melina Jampolis on entitled “How do I effectively exercise and stay active now that my gym has closed or I'm quarantined?” she says “You should aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day plus strength training at least twice a week. More than that will prevent weight gain (especially if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic), as most people are probably burning far fewer calories than they normally do because of drastic limitations in daily activities.”

With most people working from home and/or taking online classes dedicating just 30 minutes a day is nothing and should be easy for almost everyone.

ECU alumni Susan Johannesmann who is a health and wellness coach and clinical exercise physiologist also recommends a similar amount of time be dedicated a week.

“Try to get some exercise daily even if it’s only 10 minutes,” Johannesmann said. “Once you are consistent with daily exercise then start adding from there. For optimum health, you should be getting about 250 minutes a week. If you are trying to lose weight, you might add more.”

At the end of the day, it is all about getting and staying motivated. While being cooped up in your house set goals for yourself and keep track of them. It is important that you maintain your drive.

“It’s really important to not allow being stuck at home to cause you to lose sight of your goals. This is a great time to push harder, come out of this stronger than you went in,” Johnson said. “I tell my clients minimum is twice a week if you want to see results, but if you want major results, that’s going to jump up to 5-6 days a week.”

Even if you don’t know where to start there are many websites and apps that can help guide workouts and give details about how you should approach different exercises. You can also go on YouTube and find many different videos on at-home workouts. Some of Johannesmann’s preferred are Zombies! Run!, ACE fitness library, Fitness Blender and Grokker.

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