How to Exercise During a Pandemic

Physical fitness is not just a lifestyle choice, it’s essential for physical health, an active mental state, and emotional health. Becoming a sloth has become a side effect of the pandemic lockdown, and the lack of physical activity is having an effect on many people’s emotional stability. A shortage in the supply of essential multivitamin supplements and immunity boosters hasn’t helped either.

The longer we are sequestered, the more we tend to ignore physical activities. Based on the latest statistics from the employment sector, during this COVID-19 pandemic, 90% of the IT workforce has started to work from home, and 30% of IT professionals might be continuing in this model even after the lockdown is relaxed.

Working from home is the biggest ongoing trend these days. To cope with this ‘new normal,’ we must make physical fitness a priority by engaging in a daily exercise and fitness regimen.

The Connection Between Exercise and the Immune System

Exercising helps boost your white blood cell count. The cells shield the body from viruses and bad bacteria. Exercise, paired with adequate amounts of the necessary multivitamins and minerals, whether through the diet or in the form of supplements, can be a great immunity booster.

Several studies have shown the effectiveness of regular workout regimens. Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours at the gym. It’s more about building strength and enabling the body to battle viruses.

How is immunity related to exercise?

Many exercise physiologists have stated that exercise gives the immune system the push it needs to work properly. Any form of physical training provides numerous health benefits.

Exercise can curb underlying diseases, such as heart problems, diabetes, and obesity. A lack of physical activity leads to poor blood flow, which is the root of many illnesses. Essential multivitamin supplements help enhance the benefits of working out.

Here are a few theories about the role exercise plays in boosting immunity:

  • Regular workouts put the brakes on stress hormones and lower the risk of mental and physical disorders.

  • The heat produced during and after training inhibits the growth of bacteria. Body heat also helps combat infections.

  • Working out helps flush bacteria and viruses from the nasal cavity and lungs.

  • Exercise circulates white blood cells and antibodies through the body to detect and fight external pathogens.

  • When you begin a daily exercise routine, you should increase your intake of essential nutrients through multivitamins and mineral supplements. The combination of regular workouts and supplements may be the best way to fight off illness.

Physical activity stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which increases respiratory and heart rates, as well as blood pressure, and releases norepinephrine and epinephrine into the bloodstream. These hormones are essential to your overall health.

In-home Pandemic Workout Ideas

During this pandemic, going outside for workouts may feel risky for some; however, you don't need equipment or an open sky to exercise. All you need is the willpower to follow a regimen.

Here are 13 in-home workout ideas you can implement during this crisis:

  • Pushups

Pushups are a great exercise for curbing body fat and shaping your body. All you need to know is the correct posture and procedure. Plus, there are many variations of pushups that you can try.

  • Planks

Planks are helpful for melting off excess belly fat. They are way harder than they look, though. If you are a newbie, keep your set counts low to prevent muscle cramps.

  • Side plank with bent knees

This is a modified version of a plank that involves the hips and legs muscles. It helps strengthen your core and lower body.

  • Supine reverse crunches

Reverse crunches do not require any equipment and work the muscles of the abdomen, hips, rib cage, and pelvis. Observe proper form while doing this exercise. If you experience back pain, stop immediately.

  • Single-leg stand

This exercise is quite easy and it helps improve balance. You can do it while working at the kitchen counter or brushing your teeth.

  • Side plank with a straight leg

This workout is all about the correct posture and the ability to hold it for an extended period.

  • Side plank

This is an advanced version of the plank and involves the pectoral muscles and joints. If you experience any discomfort while performing it, stop immediately.

  • Supine pelvic tilts

This exercise engages the abdominal muscles. After a few sets, you’ll be able to feel the burn.

  • Side lunge

Side lunges engage the hips, thighs, and legs. Don’t try to spread your legs too wide on the first go.

  • Hip rotations

Many people will remember this exercise from their school days. It’s simple but effective.

  • Squat jumps

Adding a jump to your squats will work your core muscles. It’s a very effective way to lose weight.

  • Side-lying hip abduction

This exercise is a great way to get curves and burn fat. Make sure you use proper form and do it regularly. Try not to overdo it, though. It’s good to set limits.

Corrective Mobility Work Ideas

Mobility workouts are quite important for joint health. After a certain age, people are more likely to develop joint-related diseases. The more you condition your entire body, the easier it will be to keep health risks at bay.

Here are a few mobility exercises that will help you step up your workout regimen:

  • Walking hip openers

The hip joint consists of a ball and a socket that rotates in all directions. It’s essential to warm up your hip muscles before your workout sessions. This exercise works the hip extensors, hip abductors, glutes, hip adductors, and hip flexors.

  • Thoracic spine windmills on the floor

The thoracic spine is the area from the neck to the bottom of the rib cage. It enables the arm and head movement. Poor mobility in this area will lead to several problems related to the shoulders and back.

  • Shoulder pass-through

You can perform this exercise using a length of a PVC pipe or a broom handle. It helps warm up your rotator cuffs, upper back, anterior deltoids, and chest. It will also improve your form and curb injuries.

  • Neck half circles

Neck half circles are the most common mobility exercise. They help prevent pain and mobility problems in the head, upper back, and neck. The muscles involved in this exercise are the neck extensors, trapezius, and neck flexors.

  • Ankle mobility

Good ankle mobility leads to better balance and performance during workout sessions. The muscles that control plantar flexion and ankle dorsiflexion are affected by this exercise.

Joint mobility exercises are beneficial for gym-goers, older people, or people who have arthritis. These exercises are part of a safe workout regimen and should be regularly performed before exercise sessions.

Equipment-free Exercise Ideas

The goal of the exercise is to keep your body flexible and strong. Not all workouts require equipment. There are effective exercises that are easy to do at home when you cannot go to the gym. These equipment-free exercises will help you boost your immunity and energy level.

  • Inchworm

This exercise is an excellent start to your daily workout routine. Stand with your feet slightly apart, keeping your legs straight. Bend at the waist until your hands touch the floor, then walk your hands out as far as you can.

  • Tuck jump

This is a fun exercise that involves all your muscles. From a standing position, with your knees slightly bent, jump as high as you can. Pull your knees up toward your chest and reach your arms up as you jump. 

  • Prisoner squat

Bend your arms and place your hands on the back of your neck. Don’t put pressure on your neck. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and slowly bend your knees, lowering yourself toward the ground. This traditional exercise is a great way to shed some extra pounds.

  • Contralateral limb raises

This exercise is not as hard as it sounds and is a great way to shape your upper body and strengthen your core.

  • Downward-facing dog

This is a simple daily exercise that generally affects the chest, shoulders, and arms.

Aerobics is a popular full-body exercise. If you love dancing and want to enjoy a dance workout session, aerobics is a great choice. You can watch videos online and groove to the beat.

At-home Strength Training Ideas

Strength training means pushing your body out of its comfort zone to build muscle and improve core stability. It includes various exercises that work on all your muscle groups. Strength training takes dedication and a lot of hard work, but it helps your immune system, body, and mind healthy.

This kind of workout regimen will help you stay fit during this pandemic situation.

Don’t try to overdo strength training exercises because that can cause severe damage to your muscles. Start with 10 pushups, 30 jumping jacks, 10 walking lunges, 15 bodyweight squats, and 10 15-second planks. Repeat this for three sets and increase the number of repetitions over time.

Eventually, you can add a goblet squat using any handy heavy object.

Additional Weight Exercises 

Performing weight exercises might seem impossible when you don’t have access to a gym; however, you can do effective weight training with objects you have in your home or with your own body weight.

Things to remember before performing weight exercises:

  • Always practice proper form. Otherwise, you won’t get the full benefit of the exercise and may even injure yourself.

  • Set goals that you want to achieve through weight training. Without a goal, you cannot create an effective regimen.

  • Give each muscle group a day's rest in between training sessions. Make a schedule and stick to it.

  • Don’t try to lift heavy weights on the first day. Increase the amount of weight over time.

Sumo squat hold

The sumo squat hold works on your adductors. Using a wide stance, bend your knees to lower your body. This burns fat from your midsection and pelvic area. This is one of the simplest and most effective bodyweight exercises.

High plank

This bodyweight exercise strengthens your shoulders, spine, and arms, and shapes your abdomen. Strengthening these muscles will improve your posture, as well.

Perform these exercises regularly to get the best results. If you do weight training; however, you should increase your intake of protein, calcium, and multivitamins to ensure optimal muscle recovery and to enhance your health.

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises not only improve your lung function, but they also help reduce stress and anxiety. As we know, COVID-19 damages the lungs and causes breathing problems. These exercises are also recommended for people recovering from the virus.

Adding breathing exercises to your daily routine

Breathing exercises normally don't take long to perform, you just need to set aside a time to do them. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Start with five minutes and increase the time as you become used to these exercises.

  • Do these exercises as many times as you can per day. The more you practice, the faster you’ll adapt to the breathing pattern.

Breathing exercises can enhance your lung function and help reduce issues related to stress and anxiety. Experts state that COVID-19 pathogens primarily damage the lungs and cause breathing problems. Practicing these exercises will help your lungs function properly and efficiently.

Effective breathing exercises 

Breathing exercises are great and provide multiple benefits, like keeping the blood well-oxygenated, keeping the lungs to be in good shape and ensuring the perfect relaxation by calming the brain. Here are a couple exercises to try out:

Lion’s breath

Lion’s breath is practiced in yoga for its energizing effects. Here is how to do it:

  • Sit in a comfortable position on a yoga mat with your legs crossed against each other and your palm clutched on your knees.

  • Inhale deeply while keeping your eyes wide open.

  • Next, open your mouth and point your tongue towards your chin.

  • Breathe out with your mouth open in a way that makes a “haaaa” sound.

  • While breathing out, workout your eyes by constantly shifting your gaze between your eyebrows and the tip of your nose.

Breathing with alternate nostrils

Alternate nostril breathing is very common and is one of the best exercises to practice during this pandemic. What you have to do is:

  • Sit in a comfortable position, preferably with your legs crossed.

  • Press your right thumb against your right nostril to block it and inhale with your left nostril.

  • Now, release your right nostril and block your left one with your index finger. Exhale from your right nostril and then inhale again.

  • Repeat. Block your right nostril and release your left one to exhale and then inhale slowly.

Repeat this process for at least 5-10 minutes a day.

Conclusion

Workout sessions strengthen your body and improve your mental state. The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a lifestyle that is new to all of us. This lifestyle has the effect of making us lethargic, which impairs our immune system.

Regular exercise helps the body circulate white blood cells to combat attacks from external pathogens; however, don’t forget to add multivitamin supplements to your diet to increase the effectiveness of your workouts!