We are experiencing a time unprecedented in history when we, as a nation, have been asked to stay home and shelter in place.
The pandemic has altered our daily habits and patterns. We know that ultimately this will abate, and our lives will resume.
In the meantime, it is essential to get back to health and maintain our physical health and be ready for the day we can once again participate in daily life.
Many of us have busy, active lives outside of the home and engage in outdoor activities that keep us healthy and fit.
Being confined to the house can be a shock to the system, especially when your activity levels drop.
Some of us have memberships to gyms, or our jobs entail manual labor. Maybe you are a jogger or love to ride your bike.
We are sharing some of the exercises that you can do at home that do not require any exercise equipment.
It is entirely possible to exit this pandemic without having lost any ground regarding your physical fitness.
Getting back to health will hold you in good stead once the pandemic is over.
Set aside 10 or 15 minutes a couple of times a day, turn on your favorite jams, and continue to strengthen your muscles until the all-clear is sounded.
1. Bodyweight Squats
Works legs, helps with hip, knee, and ankle mobility.
Keep weight on your heels, and keep heels on the floor at all times
With toes turned outward, perform a full squat
As you descend, push your knees forward
Keep looking straight ahead to maintain alignment of the spine
On the ascent, squeeze inward using your inner thigh muscles
Start with ten squats and increase the number as you get more proficient
Strengthens legs and improves balance.
Stand stationary in one spot and take a big step forward with one leg
Push your front knee on that leg as far forward as you can, but don't let your heel come off the floor.
Lower your hips down as far as you can without letting your other knee touch the ground
Pushing with the heel of your front foot, come back to a standing position
Try to inhale when you step forward, and exhale as you step back
Start with 5 - 10 lunges on each side and increase the number as you get more proficient
Works your back, butt, hips, and shoulders
On a mat or cushioned, lie on your stomach with your legs extended and your ankles slightly pointing away from your shins. Have your arms extended overhead with the palms facing each other
Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles and slowly raise both legs a few inches off the floor
Keep both of your arms, and your legs raised and hold this position for a count of five
Inhale and slowly lower your arms and legs back to the floor.
Start with 10 repetitions and gradually increase the hold count and number of repetitions as you become more proficient
4. Body Squat
Stand straight and with your feet spread slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Hold your arms out in front of your body and at shoulder level, keeping your arms parallel to the floor
Throughout this exercise, keep your torso as straight as possible
Brace your ab muscles and lower your body as far down as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees
Once you have reached the point that is as far as you can go, pause briefly and go back to the starting position by pushing yourself up.
Do 15 - 20 repetitions, increasing the number of reps as you become stronger at doing so
This exercise will work your abs
Lie on your back on a mat or cushioned floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Have your heels about a foot to a foot and a half from your tailbone
With your hands behind your head, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your elbows back without arching your lower back
Maintain this position with your elbows throughout the exercise
Align your head with your spine but allow movement of your chin toward your chest during the upward phase of the exercise
Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles, flexing your chin towards your chest while curling your torso towards your thighs
Feet, tailbone, and lower back should be on the mat at all times. Continue this curling posture until your upper back is lifted off the mat. Hold this position briefly
Inhale and slowly lower your torso toward the mat
Keep proper form during this exercise to prevent stress on your lower back
Works your abs and back
Lie on your stomach on a mat or cushioned floor. Have your hands by your sides, but directly under your shoulders with the palms on the mat
Stretch your legs our and point your toes away from your body
Press your hips into the mat and push up with your palms pulling your chest upwards away from the mat
Hold your back in an arch for about 15 - 30 seconds
Lower yourself back to the mat and relax
Try doing 10 repetitions until you can do these with ease, and then add more reps
7. Side Plank With Straight Leg
Works your abs, butt, and hips
Lie on your right side on a mat or cushioned surface. Extend your legs and place your left leg directly over your right leg. Place your feet one on top of the other.
Place your right elbow under your shoulder, make sure your spine is aligned and keep your right hip and knee in contact with the mat
Contract your abdominal muscles, stiffen your spine and lift your hips and knees off the mat. Keep contact on the mat with the right side of your foot. Keep your head aligned with your spine
Keep your right elbow positioned directly under your shoulder
Lower yourself to the starting position. Alternate sides
As you become stronger doing this exercise, increase the length of time you hold the raised position
8. Contralateral Limb Raises
Strengthens back, butt, hips, and shoulders
Lie on your stomach on a mat or cushioned surface with your legs extended, ankles pointing away from your shins and arms extended overhead with palms facing each other
Keep your head aligned with your spine.
Contract your abdominal muscles and slowly raise one arm a few inches off the mat while keeping your arm extended. Do not rotate your arm
Keep your head and torso in place and avoid arching your back. Keep this position briefly
Lower your arms back to the starting position
Use this same motion to raise one leg a few inches off the mat and holding briefly before returning to the starting position
Do this exercise with the opposite arm and leg in turn.
Try 10 repetitions of the exercise, increasing the number of reps as you gain strength
9. Bicycle Crunch
Works and strengthens the midsection
Lie faceup with your legs in the air, knees bent at 90 degrees and stacked over your hips
Place your hands behind your head, with your elbows bent and pointing to the sides
Use your ab muscles to keep your shoulders off the mat.
Twisting, bring your right elbow to your left knee with simultaneously straightening your right leg
Then twist and bring your left elbow to your right knee with simultaneously straightening your left leg
Alternate sides for one minute. It is best to go at a slow, but steady pace
As you get stronger doing this exercise, increase the length of time from one to five minutes
10. Boat Pose
Works the core muscles
Sit up straight on a mat or cushioned floor. Have your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor
Keep your legs together and slowly lift them off the floor until your legs are at a 45-degree angle with your torso
Reach your arms out in front of you, parallel to the floor. If this is not a secure position for you, place your hands on the floor
Hold this position for one minute
If one minute is too much at first, start at three 20 second increments until you can work up to one minute
As with any form of exercise, consult with your physician before engaging in an exercise program.
As the days have turned into weeks, you can still get back to health and fitness by doing exercises on a daily basis.
While we have been talking about exercises that are easy to do at home with no equipment, remember that exercise is a lifelong practice that will help you to lead your best life.
Until our lives go back to normal and we can continue our regular activities, exercise will help you to maintain your physical health during this time of social distancing.