During the lock down, it has become difficult for most of us to get any exercise due to social distancing, self-quarantining, and the closing of several gyms. You could find it hard to stick to an exercise routine with the pressures of working from home and restricted access to fitness facilities. We are all missing the camaraderie of the gym, the relaxing laps at the swimming pool, or interaction with a group of friends while walking or hiking. You might find it difficult to exercise on your own if you were used to attending a fitness class or a gym with a motivational instructor. Remaining engaged in your exercise routine seems like less of a priority with so many individuals out of work and struggling financially. Even a small amount of physical activity, though, will make a big difference to the way you think and feel. Exercise is one of the most important ways to stay healthy mentally and physically, and more so during the current circumstances. Exercise can help alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as help control chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. By exploring new ways to stay physically active and stay motivated, you can take control of your well-being during this time of great uncertainty.
If you want to maintain a good physique, stay healthy, and feel fantastic even during the lockdown, here are some of the ways to achieve it.
1. Exercise Regularly
Keep aside at least half an hour for exercise every day. You should not overexert yourself, but in your daily life, you should have some form of moderate physical activity. If you want to lose a few pounds quickly, do a workout with a higher degree of intensity. For instance, go on a walk for an hour at a brisk pace, or you can jog and do intermittent sprint during that hour. If you miss your treadmill or cross-fit equipment which you were used to at the gym, you can also rent gym equipment these days like treadmill and exercise bike. During your workout, make sure you’re not in any serious pain. Just a tip, after a high-intensity workout, the muscles can ache. It can be annoying, but it means that your body is transforming for the better. After each exercise session, make sure to stay hydrated, stretch, and eat food with a good amount of protein. Protein helps build new muscle fibers and preserve the existing ones.
2. Portion Your Meals and Consume the Right Food
Try to stay away from sweets, no matter how much your tongue craves to go for a candy over nutritious food. Sugar from sweets is not going to help you get in shape. Even if it’s just a single candy bar, one can inevitably lead to another. When getting into shape, the best thing to eat is fruits and vegetables. For example, fruits like Apples do a decent job of making the stomach feel full for up to 3 to 4 hours. Green vegetables such as Broccoli and green beans help to keep our stomach and intestine clean and running. If you consume meat, stick to lean meats such as turkey and chicken. Seafood like tilapia and shrimp can also be a good addition to your diet.
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To keep muscles fit and prepared for workouts, these foods are full of protein and good nutrients. Besides, make sure to portion what you eat. This will help you in maintaining a healthy metabolism. Instead of making three big meals during the day, aim and prepare to eat five times a day and prepare smaller servings. Instead of huffing and puffing for air, this will also help you find yourself breathing easier while working out. This is because your digestive system will have less fuel, which means you will need more energy for your workout.
3. Track Your Calories
While planning your exercise routine, keeping track of how many calories you consume in a day can help. Ever wonder why bodybuilders have so much body mass? This is because they prepare their meals keeping an eye on the calories derived from each meal. They consume more amounts of calories every day than an average person. On the other hand, if a person wants to lose weight, he needs to make sure that every meal that he eats is more filling but has fewer calories. Consuming fewer calories and burning more calories through physical activity is the only way for a person to shed excess weight.
4. Create a Separate Space for Working Out
Before you can start burning out calories on cycling machine or start cross-training, you need to decide where you want to set up your home gym and put all your fitness equipment and yoga mat. Setting up a mini-gym in one corner of your room or in a separate room is a perfect way to ensure that you get the most out of your workouts. First of all, you will be able to find everything that you need to exercise in one place, so you’ll spend less time searching for stuff and more time working out.
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Secondly, this room for you will become synonymous with working out and going hard at it. Most stretching exercises can be completed on a yoga mat, so find a place where you can roll one out. First, stand in the middle and spread your arms to your full wing width to ensure that when you step about, you won’t knock something over. Then place any workout kit in a basket next to your mat, such as resistance bands, to keep it all at one place near you.
5. Getting Essential Gym Equipment
It’s time to invest in the package once you’re in the swing of things and ready to raise the resistance. However, you don’t need everything that you find in the gym. Firstly it will cost a lot of fortune and secondly, you need a lot of space to have every piece of equipment that you find in the gym. We all are aware that the lockdown is temporary and we would all be probably going back to the gym once the situation improves. So it makes a lot of sense to get fitness equipment on rent for your home gym. Doing so will not only save you money but once you think that it’s time to hit the gym again, you can return any equipment that you think you no longer need.
6. Remove All Distractions
Whether it’s family members, pets, the TV, someone at the door, or the phone ringing, you can be easily distracted at home, which might lead to failing a workout or cutting it short. Taking measures to eliminate or reduce these, such as keeping your phone on silent or placing a sign on the door to ask family members to answer the door if anyone calls around. It is important to be in the right frame of mind while working out. Tell yourself that you’re concentrating on nothing but yourself for the next 30 minutes, or however long.
7. Warming Up and Cooling Down
Studies show that preparing the body for a workout improves muscle power and stamina. So do not miss a warm-up just because you’re at home. Before your session, make sure to warm up and cool down at the end. The warm-up should include stretching our body and some cardio. It prepares our body for a high-intensity workout. Similarly, cooling down is important as it helps the body recover and put things back in place after an intense workout. To help the body prepare for exercise and recover afterward, warm-up and cooling down are extremely important.
8. Include Weight-Based Exercise
If you have a home rowing machine, you could think that it can provide you with an entire body workout. But that’s not completely true. To see your body transforming, you also need to incorporate strength training. This will help you get lean by burning excess body fat and growing your muscle mass if that’s your purpose. If you don’t have proper weights at your home, you can include body weight exercise for better results. This includes push-ups, planks, squats, bicycle crunches, lunges, and bridges, which not only provide you with better muscles but also the benefits of aerobic moves.
9. Exercise in the Morning
Opting for an early-morning workout will help you stay motivated. It would be a great start to a healthy day if you could get out of your bed say around 6 or 6.30 in the morning and complete a 30-minute workout before you get set for other tasks in the day. People who follow this approach tend to do better than those who leave until the evening to work out. That is because once you are through with your workout session in the morning; you can concentrate on other tasks in the day. Secondly, it will make you feel more energetic throughout the day. People, who start their day working out, stay more focussed on the quality and quantity of the calories they consume in the day.
10. Put Your Gym Kit on and Turn On the Music
This is a handy trick now. When you are in your house, hanging around in your pajamas can be tempting, which can make you feel lazy and make it harder to get motivated. So as soon as you wake up, rather than working out in the same pajamas that you went to bed with, put on your fitness gear. This will help you feel that you are no longer in the same frame of mind that you are when at home. Switching your clothes will also help you in switching your mood and tempo. Another thing that keeps up your tempo while exercising is the music. While in a gym, music works well to keep us inspired and concentrate. So make a playlist that inspires you and play it when you workout at home.
11. Keep Your Workout Interesting and Challenge Yourself
Home is where you spend a lot of your time, which makes it even more of a struggle to remain motivated. Getting stuck in a workout rut can be easy, but it won’t really challenge you or get the results you’re after. Make sure you try new moves or make classic moves like the squat or a push up more difficult; to keep your body guessing and make sure you work towards your health and fitness goals. You will see tangible changes this way. Challenge yourself; it helps to keep you motivated. For instance, if you are struggling to do a full push-up, give yourself the objective of being able to do five in one month. You can check your progress every week and note how much stronger you are getting.
12. Increase the Intensity of the Workout Gradually
You’re solely responsible for how hard you push your body at home, and without a pro on hand, you need to make sure you steadily push it up in a healthy way. Be careful to make strides too fast, as this may lead to the white flag waving too soon. Keep it progressive. If the routine is too much, too soon, then you’re not going to finish it. You’re going to catch a kind of exercise “imposter syndrome” where you persuade yourself that you are not going to achieve your goals and then you may quit too soon. If you start to feel out of breath and cannot proceed, then your exercise may be too advanced for you at the moment and you should think about slowing down the pace.
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Regular exercise is the key to keep ourselves fit and engaged during this lockdown phase. It not only helps us to stay in good shape but also helps us stay strong mentally. Yoga and freehand training are great, but if you need some more motivation to get you going every day, getting exercise equipment on rent for your home gym is a good way to keep the monotony away. You don’t need a lot of flashy gym equipment and bulky machines to make your home gym effective. You can pick up the ones that are essential for your home gym and can make your workout regime more effective.