COVID-19 has changed pretty much everything about the way we live, eat, work, play, and interact with friends and family. It’s completely upended our routines and habits, especially the good ones. Stay-at-home orders prevent access to gyms, pools, and fitness centers. This is bad news for our health and immune system in a time when we want to be in the best possible health with the strongest possible immune system. Thankfully, there are many easy and effective practices you can do at home to get your through.
Exercise to Reduce Stress
This is a stressful time for a variety of reasons. Disruptions to our routines add to our stress levels. Physical activity and exercise are important tools not just for our general health and well-being but also to reduce our overall stress levels.
This can lead to an improved quality of life and elevated mood, which can help us face challenging circumstances head-on. Exercise improves blood oxygenation and blood flow and boosts your body’s production of endorphins, nature’s feel-good chemicals. Optimal oxygenation is critically important when facing a virus of this nature that so often strikes the lungs.
Both the physical and mental health benefits of exercise on stress are cumulative, so it is important to stick with an exercise routine over time to reap the greatest benefits.
Exercise for Immune Support
Managing stress effectively is important for supporting healthy immune function. In addition to the stress-busting benefits of physical exercise, it also has a direct effect on the health of your immune system.
Regular moderate exercise has tremendous benefits for strengthening the immune system by enhancing the body’s ability to combat pathogens and reducing the risk of infections. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 150 minutes per week of physical activity. Self-care is a crucial part of staying fit and healthy through this quarantine. (1)
Quarantine Exercises to Do at Home
We know working out at home is not always ideal. Lack of space and equipment can be major deterrents to breaking a sweat. To help you get started, we’ve compiled our top six favorite body-weight exercises anyone can do at home during quarantine!
1. Jump Rope
Get back in touch with your childhood with this fantastic cardio tool. This is a fantastic exercise that gets the blood pumping, the lungs puffing, and stimulates a lymphatic system that may be just as stagnant as that Netflix episode you’ve watched five times since this all started. If jumping rope is too high impact, consider a rebounder instead!
To jump rope, start with your feet together grasping the rope in each hand at your sides. As you swing the rope forward over your head and towards your feet, tighten your core and jump with your feet still together over the rope as it swings under you, landing on the balls of your feet. Repeat.
2. Army Crawl Planks
Want to try a new twist on the classic plank? Try this Army Crawl Plank. It’s like a cross between a push-up and a plank and makes for an effective toning and strengthening tool in your exercise routine.
Begin in a standard plank position with your shoulders centered above your wrists, body in a straight line, feet together. Bend your right arm into a forearm plank position. Do the same with your left to get yourself into a full forearm plank. Lift your right hand and place it on the mat underneath your shoulder. As you push down to lift yourself, do the same with the left hand until you have returned to your starting position.
3. Curtsy Lunges
This won’t get you tea with the Queen, but curtsy lunges are a lower-body work-out must for a well-sculpted booty. The curtsy lunge really targets hard-to-reach areas like inner thighs and the gluteus medius. Functionally, it helps stabilize your hips and pelvic floor and improves your posture as a result.
To master a kick-[ass/butt] curtsy lunge step your left leg behind and to the right so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Be sure to keep your front knee aligned over your front ankle as you sink down into your lunge. Return to standing, switch sides and repeat.
4. Downward Dog Push-up
This is the perfect marriage between yoga and strength-building. It is a much more dynamic exercise than your standard push-up with more intensity than your average yoga pose.
Start in a standard push-up position. Shift your hips up as you push your heels to the floor and your head between your arms into the classic downward dog position. Once you have reached that position, slowly and smoothly reverse until you have returned to the standard push-up position. Repeat.
5. Tricep Chair Dip
This move targets your triceps and pecs, muscles that could almost always use a little special toning. This dip is a great way to do so without stressing your wrists and passively build core strength.
Sit at the edge of a sturdy, stable chair with feet on the floor. With arms straight and palms on the seat of the chair, carefully slide your bottom off the edge of the chair. Keeping your upper arms close to your body, bend your elbows to lower your body down as far as you are comfortable. Pressing with your palms, straighten your arms to raise yourself back up.
6. Legs Up the Wall
This is a great cool-down pose that almost anyone can do. It’s an effective relaxation pose combatting stress and anxiety as well as back pain and lower limb swelling. It helps improve circulation and blood flow which in turn supports better oxygenation of tissues and can be done for longer periods of time. A great way to finish off a work-out routine.
Sit on the floor next to a wall with your legs stretched out straight in front of you. Lie down on your back and gently engage your core and hip muscles to bring your legs up into the air above you. Shift into position so your seat bones and backs of your legs are touching or as close to the wall as possible. Rest your hands at your side or on your belly as you focus on relaxation and deep breathing.
What we do with our body has a profound effect on our well-being, and regular exercise can give us the ability to resist infection. What we put in our body is equally important. A diet rich in a variety of whole foods and strategic supplementation, like our Immune Defense Plus patch, gives your body the tools it needs to stay well.