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A do-anywhere workout- #StayHome #StayFit

Exercise helps strike a balance between physical, mental and emotional health, which enhances one’s immunity system
Towels can be used to help static stretch post-workout

Anwar Wahhab   |     |   Published 12.04.20, 02:08 PM

As the coronavirus lockdown continues, it is important for everyone — across age groups — to get enough exercise while remaining indoors because it helps strike a balance between physical, mental and emotional health, which enhances one’s immunity system.

Benefits of daily exercise

  1. Helps control obesity: With gyms shut, working from home on a laptop will undoubtedly make us sedentary in nature and result in adding a few pounds. It is therefore essential we exercise daily.

  2. Control heart diseases and diabetes: Regular exercising helps cardiac and/or diabetic patients. It strengthens the heart and improves blood circulation and helps control LDL (bad cholesterols), triglycerides and high blood pressure. It is also essential for diabetics to maintain proper sugar levels.

  3. Improves bone density and muscle strength: Exercise increases bone density, which is essential for strong bones. It also strengths muscles. With nowhere to go to, muscles will eventually get weak, which can be prevented by working out indoors.
  4. Immunity: Exercising helps one get sound sleep, which in turn boosts immunity.

  5. Reduces the risk of falls: Muscle strengthening exercises and yoga for the elderly will help them prevent the risk of falling. Exercising allows us to not only be in control of our body but also to understand our body and its movements.

  6. Keeps us happy: When we exercise, the body releases certain hormones that control our moods and emotions. A sprinter experiences a “runner’s high” because of the chemical reaction in his/her brain, which in turn elevates the mood. Working out alters the way we perceive pain and diminishes mood swings.

Home gym with makeshift equipment

  1. Packaged drinking water bottles of one- and two-litre capacity can act as substitutes for dumbbells. One may perform the following: high pull, overhead press, bent over row, bicep curl, triceps extension, shoulder shrug and jumping jacks.

  2. Tapes with adhesive, such as double-sided tape, brown tape or even leucoplast. Paste the tape on the floor, so as to make a straight line. Jump over the line and jump back. Perform this for a minute and then take a 20-second break. Resume for a minute, post which take a 20-second break. Do five-six sets.

  3. A strong sturdy chair can be used to perform step-ups. Place one leg (for example, the right leg) on the chair, ensuring the knees do not cross the toes and form a 90 degree, while the other leg (for example, the left leg) is on the floor. Putting majority of the weight on the right leg, press through the right leg’s heel, and bring up the left leg on the chair so that both feet are on the chair now. To complete the action, stand up straight on the chair by straightening the spine. To move to the next repetition, resume to the starting position by bringing the left foot down back on the floor, leaving the right leg planted on the chair with knees at 90 degrees. Now perform the exercises again by following the above steps. Fifteen repetitions, starting with the right foot on the chair, followed by another 15 with the left foot on the chair will make one complete set. Perform three sets.

    The chair can also be used to do box squats, whereby you simply sit on the chair and stand up. This makes a single repetition. Perform 20 repetitions to complete one set and perform three to four such sets. Ensure — while descending — to sit on the chair and while getting up from the chair, the knee should not cross the toes; your quads are flared outwards, pressure is on the heel, the spine is straight and you’re not leaning forward.

  4. The edge of the bed can be a very useful tool for workouts — exercises such as triceps dips and decline push-up. The Bulgarian split squat may be performed on the edge of the bed. Stand in a lunge position. Take the back leg and place it on the edge of the bed (toes touch the bed with the sole of the foot facing the ceiling). You are now in the starting position of the exercise. Now perform the lunge where you lower yourself by bending the front knee. Ensure to put pressure on the heel and prevent the knees going over the toes. Now drive up through the front heel and resume from starting position. Perform 10 repetitions on each leg to complete a single set. You may do three to four sets.

  5. Towels can be used to help static stretch post-workout.

Stay fit during home workout

  1. It is very important to warm up. When working out at home, one may not warm up as well as they might have in a gym. Perform dynamic stretches, such as swinging the legs (forward-backward and sideways), rotating the arms stretched out (lateral, forward and on top) clockwise and anti-clockwise. Do not perform static stretches (where one holds the position of the stretch for a few seconds) before working out. Push-ups, squats, lunges and spot jogging are a few exercises that can help a good warm-up. You may do static stretch post-workout.

  2. The exercises can be adapted to one’s level of fitness. However, it must be a challenging one, otherwise the purpose of any workout would stand defeated. Avoid rest periods over a minute.

Nutrition tips

Gluttony is a sin that we all will surely succumb to because of boredom from being confined to the house. Avoid emotional binge eating. One must not overindulge when it comes to highly processed foods because these contain a lot of sugar which can cause inflammation that increases fatigue, anxiety and depression. Processed and packaged foods have no nutrition value and as a result, it weakens the immune system.

Emotional binge eating is when you eat not out of need but out of sheer boredom or when one is extremely happy or sad. It is therefore essential to question as to whether the food is indeed required by the body. If you’re eating for reasons contrary to the obvious, then it is best to satiate oneself with constructive activities, such as yoga, skipping for a while, meditating, reading, drawing and the likes. It is important to nurture one’s self.

  • Have vegetables. Boiled, steamed, sauteed or in a curry, have it just as it pleases you.

  • Fruits are a storehouse of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Have any fruit of your choice — bananas, mangoes or apples. Fruits are nutritious.

  • Have spices such as turmeric, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and clove. Spices have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

  • Multi-vitamins and multi-minerals are extremely important. It is essential to ensure to have them externally as the body does not produce them. Vitamins C and A, and zinc are crucial for immunity. Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, such as fish oils, are equally important for the heart and mobility of the joints.

Body weight exercises

  • Free squats
  • Squat jump
  • Lunges (forward, backward, lateral)
  • Lying leg raises
  • Standing leg raises (lateral, forward, backward)
  • Plank
  • Wall sit
  • Burpees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Mountain climber
  • Abdomen (V sit-ups, ceiling touch sit-ups)
  • High knees
  • Skipping

Workout 1

EMOM 10 (every minute on the minute): Perform A1-A3 for 10 minutes starting a new round at the top of each minute
A1: Decline push-ups (feet above chair) — 10 reps
A2: Two-litre double water bottle bent over rows — 10 reps
A3: Bulgarian split squat (back foot rested, elevated on chair) — 10 reps

Workout 2

AMRAP 10 (as many rounds as possible): Perform B1-B4
B1: Push-ups — 10 reps
B2: Inverted row on sturdy chair — 10 reps
B3: Squat jump — 10 reps
B4: Mountain climber — 10 reps

Workout 3

  • 20 squats, 10 burpees, 10 lunges (per leg), 10 single leg bridges (per leg), rest 60 to 90 seconds
  • 30 squats, 5 burpees, 10 lunges (per leg), 10 single leg bridges (per leg), rest 60 to 90 seconds
  • 40 squats, 5 burpees, 5 lunges (per leg), 5 single leg bridges (per leg), rest 60 to 90 seconds
  • 50 squats, 2 burpees, 5 lunges (per leg), 20 bridges (using both legs simultaneously)

Anwar Wahhab is a metabolic analytics practitioner and strength conditioning coach. He can be reached at

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