Samantha Clayton, OLY, ISSA-CPT, Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness

 

While citizens are being urged to stay home to slow down the further spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus, gymnasiums and sports venues are now closed. Right, since the gym is a busy place where germs are easily dispersed. A new study has shown that coronavirus survives for up to three days on surfaces, including popular free weights, on strength machines, in corridors and on gym mattresses. In short, sweat towels are not appropriate at this time.


On the one hand, we are witnessing a frantic demand for disinfectant liquids and antiseptic gels, and on the other the fear that the virus will get stuck leads some people to extremes. Cocktails of breaking news and misinformation on social media are enough to sow panic and cause stress or depression. Fortunately, most people respond very cautiously to governments' calls for avoiding social contact, and although unplanned and drastic changes in our lifestyles can be a major source of stress, I would suggest that: while staying careful not to disperse more than the disease, let us spend our time indoors both for our personal care and for maintaining a good physical condition by incorporating (or adopting) a routine of physical activity into our lives. our daily program.


The benefits of exercise


Physical activity triggers the natural release of endorphins. These "happiness hormones" can build your mood, boost confidence and reduce stress and anxiety.


Exercise, as well as nutrition, place of living, sleep and the people we live with, are responsible for causing chemical reactions that can affect our health. Regular physical activity is associated with improving heart health, bone density, joint mobility, cognitive function, mood, boosting metabolism, but also increasing muscle mass, muscle tone, and muscle of power. The list is long. However, in stressful times, one of the major benefits of regular physical activity is its ability to alleviate the stress of daily living.


Everything is a matter of balance


"Stress of physical activity", when properly managed, is a healthy stress that over time pushes the body to adapt and become more powerful and efficient. According to some studies, regular exercise is beneficial to the health of our immune system as it can have a positive effect on the body's ability to stay in good shape and fight common diseases. Other studies find that during periods of flu outbreaks, temporary increases in body temperature can discourage the growth of certain bacteria, while reducing stress thanks to exercise helps us to feel good.


If you are sick and still choose to exercise, do not ignore the fact that your immune system must function perfectly. Therefore, it is advisable to carefully manage the duration, intensity and total amount of exercise. Managing daily physical activity, healthy eating, and rest are just some of the right ways in which you can achieve the best results for both your physical and mental health. On the other hand, while you are sick, it is advisable to avoid overwork.


Gym at home


Here's a good news: you have to stay home, but that doesn't exclude physical activity. All the more so since fitness will help you maintain a sense of regularity and protect your mental health as long as you are locked inside the four walls. Exercise drives you to set goals and think with reason. So you can workout anywhere, even if you have minimal space. All you need is your body and exercises that require minimal equipment.


In addition, you can practice at any time of the day and adopt a fast-paced, full-body workout routine that includes strength training and stretching. I suggest five exercises for the home. For even more home gymnastics, you can consult a free fitness website at: https://herbalifenutritionfitness.com


Repeats: 10-12 reps per set. Perform 4 sets of each exercise for a full workout cycle.


Duration: about 20 minutes.


Triceps sinks

This exercise exercises the triceps and shoulders.


  • Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent.
  • Place your hands behind you, with palms on the floor and fingers pointing toward your body.
  • Lift the buttocks off the floor so that the body rests on your hands and feet.
  • Bend the elbows until your buttocks touch the floor, and then return the body to its original position.
  • If you want an extra dose of difficulty, as you push the body up, lift the left foot and try to reach it with the right hand.

Push-ups

This exercise exercises the whole body as it requires the use of many muscle groups.


  • Lie on your face and place your palms on the floor approximately equal to the shoulder opening and close to the shoulders.
  • The tips of your feet should rest on the ground and the feet slightly apart.
  • Lift the body with the help of hands.
  • Make sure that your body forms a straight line from head to heel and tighten your abdominal muscles so that your hips do not tremble. This position is the starting and ending position of a push-up. Lower the sternum to the floor by bending the elbows, stand in this position for a second, and repeat.

Hands and knees in balance with shavings

This exercise tests your balance and exercises your abdominal muscles.


  • Stand on the four looking towards the floor. Position your hands in the same straight line as the shoulders and knees in the same straight line as the pelvis. The back should be straight. Raise and stretch the right hand forward and at the same time the left foot backward. Bring the left knee to the sternum and at the same time the right elbow to the knee.
  • Do 10 repetitions and change arm and leg.

Deep squat

It is a workout that exercises the largest muscle group in the body - the buttocks and lower legs.


  • Stand with your feet open, slightly above shoulder-to-shoulder, with hips above the knees and knees above the ankles in an imaginary straight line. Stretch your arms straight forward and parallel to the floor, palms down. Start by bending your knees as if you're going to sit on a chair. When your buttocks start to protrude, make sure your chest and shoulders remain upright and your back straight. Keep your head fixed so that you look straight ahead and the spine remains neutral.
  • The best deep seats are those that are as deep as your body allows. In the ideal deep seat, the hips are lower than the knees.
  • Use your torso and, by lifting the body weight on the heels, push upwards to return to the starting position by holding the weight on the heels.

Reverse projection with knee lift.

This exercise exercises the anterior and posterior surfaces of the lower extremities.


  • With the chest extended, the chin up and the abdomen twitching, take a big step backwards with your left foot. Lower the body so that the left knee points to the floor. In this position rest on the toes of the left foot. The right foot rests firmly on the floor and as you push to return to the starting position, lift your left knee and hold it for a second in front of your chest. Repeat as many times as necessary and change foot.
  • So take the time to take care of yourself and your body. Do not be deprived of fitness and all of its wonderful health benefits. Finally, in case you are sick of deciding to exercise, remember that you need to listen to your body and not over-press it to keep up with the routine. Otherwise there is a risk that your immune system may be weakened.


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Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. Journal of sport and health science, 8 (3), 201–217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2018.09.009


Campbell, J. P., & Turner, J. E. (2018). Debunking the Myth of Exercise-Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 648. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00648