We’re a reckless bunch, us Pakistanis. Thanks to us, the lockdown has been extended till July 15 and as a result, workout enthusiasts are in a fix.
Some of us are barely getting any movement in and surviving on snacks.
I feel you. It’s an unsettling period for the mind and body. Two months into lockdown and I didn’t want to move either, lethargy set in so I responded to my body in kind; took a month off, excused myself from my Pilates sessions and stuffed myself silly while my exercise mat sat in a corner neatly rolled up.
However, our bodies are designed for movement so no matter how much we love channeling our inner Homer Simpson, we will crave motion.
The first step is to allow your body a rest period, the length of time will vary from individual to individual depending on how fatigued (physically, mentally and emotionally) you are. I would advise you to listen to your body.
Once you get the itch to move — it strikes even when you’re feeling lazy, trust me — slowly add movement to your everyday routine.
For example, when you’re on a call walk around the house or on your porch/garden and with time add dynamic stretches like a walking lunge or squats. The reason these stretches are helpful is because they activate the lower body which you’re likely underutilising during this period as you spend your days lying in bed, sitting on the sofa and chair.
If you’re handsfree, even better, add shoulder and arm rotations, give that back some love.
Do this for a few days till your body starts wanting more. Then begin with 10 minutes of exercise (figure out the frequency that works for you) , this can include some more dynamic stretches like these, and continue to add a couple of minutes to your workout as you feel fit. Your motivation should be to get moving anything else may become overwhelming at this time.
Remember, slow and easy.
As you increase the time, you can incorporate the following exercises which I find to be effective for a full body workout. (See which of these make you feel good rather than punish your body and force it to do movements it does not enjoy.)
Tip: Change the repetitions and rounds to increase and decrease the intensity as you go. Warm up before and after your workout.
Your back will thank you after this one.
Primarily targets: back, arms
Lie on your stomach, legs long, elbows bent, inline with your shoulders and glued to your rib-cage.
Press the tops of your feet on the mat, push arms away from the ground, and lift the chest up as much as is comfortable, neck and spine move together. Make sure the elbows face the back of the room.
Gently lower down to the ground.
Get some spinal articulation in with this simple exercise.
Primarily targets: spine, abs
Get on your hands and knees, knees hip width apart inline with your hips. Wrists inline with your shoulders
Tuck your chin under, curve the back into a C.
Drop the pelvis, push the chest to the ground, lift the head…