Physical fitness is not just essential to have a healthy body, but also for a fresh mind and emotional wellbeing. Even though laziness seems to be the new normal, there is no alternative to self-care.
Impact of the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought our fast-moving world to a halt. The impact of this pandemic is huge, and the only strategy we have to deal with this is – social distancing. The imposed lockdown has resulted in the closure of businesses, activities, public places, gyms, and social life in general.
Recent studies have shown that the negative effect of COVID-19 restrictions on social participation, mental well-being, emotional and psychosocial disorders, and even on sleep quality.
The pandemic has contributed to the sudden change in peoples’ routines, so much so, that it has resulted in a radical change in their lifestyles. People have had their mental health severely impaired, which has manifested in the form of increased stress, anxiety, and depression. This sudden change in the lifestyle of people includes, but is not restricted to, physical activities and exercise.
Benefits Of Home Workouts
There are quite a few benefits of having a good workout. To list a few:
The membership of a decent gym nowadays is very expensive, especially taking into account the overall increase of expenses owing to the ongoing pandemic. It can cost anywhere from about 800/- to 2000/- rupees minimum.
These prices are pretty expensive for the common man even under normal conditions. Doing a proper home workout could help save up some small amount, which can be used towards other necessary expenses.
Working out at home saves a lot of time. When working out at a gym, one has to commute to the gym. Working out at home saves this commute time and gives us more time to focus on the workout itself.
Eliminating the excuse of time wastage helps keep you on track all year round. When at home, it will take you 5 minutes to get ready for some exercise.
One of the most important benefits of doing a workout at home is flexibility. You get to decide when you want to exercise and do not have to adhere to gym timings, which at times may make it tough to manage alongside other daily activities.
The habit of following a home workout will save you when things do not go your way as you planned. Flexibility becomes important because it helps establish and maintain a workout regime that is comfortable for you, leaving no space for excuses.
All thanks to the pandemic, avoiding germs has become important beyond comprehension. The reality is that due to the restrictions, most of us do not have an option to go to a gym, but it is always better to stay far from germs, even if we do.
Exercising at home helps keep germs at bay. We do not have to wipe down equipment that we use after using them, because we are the only ones using it. Neither do we have to worry about any strangers, touching our equipment, who could have been exposed to the virus.
Within the privacy of our own home, we do not need to worry about who is looking at us, judging our fitness level or form. Although, is recommended that you do not do the exercises in the wrong form, because it will not help you that way.
Your home is a safe haven where you are allowed to put in the work, without thinking about what others are thinking about you. You have the full freedom to put in your full effort without thinking of how you are looking and what faces you are making.
Sometimes, and especially under the current circumstances, it is better to stay away from people and be on your own.
At home, there is no rush to finish reps and exercises quickly because there is no one waiting to use the machine you are using. There is no specific start or stop, you have the freedom to go at your own pace. At home, you do not need to move at the pace of the others in the gym or the instructors either, it is all on you!
Quick and Easy
The beauty of working out at home is that you can pick out any free time you have in the day to do a quick exercise. Even on your most busiest days, you almost always have 15-20 minutes to spare, and now, you can use it!
When you are at home, it is easy to pause whatever you are doing, and do a quick set of sit-ups without having to prep for it.
Things to Keep In Mind
Having understood the benefits of a good home workout, it is essential to consider some things before beginning your journey to mental and physical fitness.
Make-shift arrangements rarely every work efficiently for long. It is very important to find the best empty space and dedicate it to your workout space only. Make-shift arrangements may cause hindrance to your routine. This is because on some days that space might be free, and on other days it might not be.
Do Not Go Overboard
The biggest mistake most people make is that they go too hard too soon. This burst of enthusiasm does not last long. You need to start with low-intensity exercises first and gradually increase the intensity and the duration.
If you go too fast too soon you might find yourself getting too sore or injured, which will prevent you from doing it again.
Don’t Buy Equipment Immediately
It is a basic human tendency to start off big immediately with anything we do. This needs to be kept in check lest we go overboard with it, as discussed above. It is a common belief that to be fit and healthy one needs to start using machines and equipment like dumbbells or treadmills, et cetera.
That is not in the least bit true. Equipment-free workouts can be hugely influential just as any normal workout at gyms. There are enough free-hand workouts out there that can last you a lifetime. Only when you are absolutely sure and confident that you need these equipments should you go ahead and purchase them.
This is a better option rather than wasting money on something you do not actually need.
Never Ignore Your Body
There is a saying that our bodies are a temple. We cannot disrespect a temple and the same way, we should not disrespect our own bodies. If you do not listen to your body, and keep ignoring it, you are disrespecting it.
There will be days when your body will give you signs that it needs rest and recovery. On these days it is your responsibility to accept these signs and not have yourself indulge in any kind of workout.
There is absolutely no shame in giving your body a day off for recovery and then come back the next day with double the energy. Also, on some days it is also advisable to modify your exercises according to the needs of your body.
Try Sticking To A Routine
Just like dedicating a space for your workout, it would do you a world of good to fix a time for your routine. If you regularly only do it ‘when you have time,’ soon you will find yourself making the smallest reasons an excuse not to.
Studies suggest that our bodies have the most energy in the mornings as we wake up. This makes it a great time to get done with a workout and get our blood pumping for the rest of the day.
Set Reasonable Goals
Having reasonable goals might just be the toughest aspect of any workout, whether at home or at a gym. People have the tendency to create highly unrealistic goals in their heads. When they do not reach these goals, they blame the system or any other small thing that might have seemed like an obstacle.
It is not possible to change diets, workout routines, or weight, overnight. It is all a process. We cannot expect to weigh 100kgs on day one and then lose 50kgs by the end of one month.
As good as it sounds to ‘push your limits’ we need to remember that in times like today, with a pandemic spreading, it is okay to not over-work yourself. Keeping unrealistic goals, and then not achieving them can have a huge toll on your mental health. In times of COVID-19, it is important to be mentally healthy as well as physically.
To Wrap Up
Our normal lives have definitely undergone a massive shift in the past two years with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions that have been in place have been a constant, lingering agent of both our mental and physical deterioration.
It is our responsibility to fight this pandemic together and come out on the other side victorious. While we abide by the safety regulations, it is essential that we take care of our mental and physical well-being. Even if gyms are not open, we can follow home workouts, which actually complement the current situation outside. Hopefully, after reading this, you can use some of the tips, and stay healthy even while on lockdown.