Home Exercise Routines and Tips

COVID-19 has shut down all non-essential businesses, including gyms, and forced people indoors. This leaves people with seemingly limited options for exercise. Luckily, using household items and doing simple exercise routines is an easy way to stay active during this time (Photo by Patrick Smoker).

Aside from the numerous health benefits that come from exercising, exercise is a great way to burn some excess energy (energy that is probably building up now more than ever) and clear the mind. 

Due to the closure of gyms, exercising now is probably more challenging than normal, but there are some easy and creative ways to stay in shape. There are many different exercises that require nothing aside from body weight, and they can be done in even the smallest of spaces. 

One type of exercise routine that is growing in popularity is high intensity interval training (HIIT) .  Although weights can be integrated into it, body weight workouts can work just as well.  Those who partake in HIIT can do any amount of sets or exercises, but whatever they choose to do must be done in a short time period of vigorous exercise followed by a very short break and then repeated. 

For example, people can do squats for 30 seconds, take an eight second break. Then, they can do jumping lunges for the same time, followed by another break, and so on, repeating all of the exercises at the end of the workout. The variety of different exercise movements is up to the individual as well as the many different combinations of rotations between exercise. 

Another HIIT method is simply jumping rope, which is also a great way to improve cardiovascular health. With room outside, it can be done practically anywhere.

Stephen Smoker, a junior from Kalamazoo, Mich., keeps his heads up, shoulders back and arms moving from belly button to chest, demonstrating proper running form (Photo illustration by Patrick Smoker).

For anyone interested in running who hasn’t had much experience, there are many tips on Runners World. Done with the right form, running can be easier through efficiency and safer, thus preventing injuries. The most broad explanation would be to practice good posture. While running, people should keep their heads up, shoulders back and arms moving from belly button to chest. 

For people with any equipment like resistance bands or weights, there are countless exercises available on YouTube. Combining these with body weight exercises provides the possibility of thousands of variations. YouTube is also a great resource for providing many types of yoga instruction. 

In addition, there are many yoga and exercise apps that are initially free but later cost money to subscribe and get access to more information. However, 5 Minute Yoga is a free app and provides daily short yoga sessions

Getting Creative 

Simple household items can replace other training tools if necessary. Water cases or gallon jugs can add weight to squats, lunges or many arm workouts.

Stephen Smoker, a junior from Kalamazoo, Mich., demonstrates how two gallon jugs can be used in the place of weights for an easy, at home exercise (Photo illustration by Patrick Smoker).

If two gallon jugs are available, a long sleeve shirt can be tied to each handle and a very flexible bar could be formed. This can be used to curl, press, or pull in a variety of motions.

Having a workout partner can help as well because they can add tension to something like a push-up or other movement. 

Having some routines or habits, like exercise, can help improve overall well being and provide something stable to count on. Staying busy with exercise is good for physical health, but according to the U.S National Library of Medicine exercise also releases chemicals that help your body feel relaxed and boost your mood, which is especially important during such unpredictable times. 

About Ryan Lemanski 17 Articles
Ryan is a senior from West Bloomfield, Mi. He loves running around campus getting stories from students and exploring the nature center.

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