When you’re stuck at home with limited resources, it can be difficult to maintain your health and fitness routine. Whether it’s the lack of equipment, the restricted food options, or the absence of your gym buddies and coach, you may be struggling to stay motivated and on track.
Coronavirus has thrown us all for a serious loop. But don’t give up just yet.
Take this time to revisit your health and fitness goals. Why did you start in on this path in the first place? Was it to get stronger? Lean out? To have more energy to run around with your kids?
Also, think about why you love health and fitness so much. Does it give you a community to be a part of? Perhaps it's a great friend to your mental health.
The point is that staying healthy during quarantine starts with remembering all of the positives.
Whatever your objectives may be, revisit them to remember why you began your journey in the first place. During this challenging time, you need to find ways to get out of your comfort zone, rebuild your momentum, and go back to your healthy habits.
To help you jumpstart your plans, here are some health and fitness tricks you can follow along with while at home.
How to Stay Healthy and Fit During Quarantine
1. No Equipment? No Problem
If you have no equipment at home, consider combining (1) cardio, (2) strength, and (3) explosiveness in your workout to ensure that you stay fit and healthy. When you combine these three elements, you challenge your body in the way that it needs to be challenged in order for you to stay strong and lean.
Cardio exercises include burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, running, and stair climbs. Strength training can involve lunges, planks, push-ups, squats, and tricep dips. Explosive exercises can be very similar to cardio or strength but with the added element of jumping – like box jumps, jumping lunges, jumping squats, and burpees.
Choose one exercise from each category and then set a rep cap for each movement or a time limit for the entire workout.
Here’s a good example of a 10-minute workout, AMRAP style:
- 20 mountain climbers
- 25-second plank
- 10 jumping squats
Repeat until the set time lapses. Yes, the goal is to get as many reps/rounds as possible, but also aim to simply keep moving the entire time.
Bonus tip: If you have children or you're living with kids, consider including them in your workouts. Especially because they’re not in school, it’s important for them to stay active and agile. Make the exercises quick and simple enough for them to follow.
2. Scale Your Movements
Even without equipment, you can incorporate a ton of variety into your movements.
Exercises can be scaled to be more challenging with simple adjustments, like increasing the intensity or duration.
Here are a few ideas you can try:
- Elevate your feet on a piece of furniture when doing push-ups.
- Take a five-second pause mid-way during air squats for added burn.
- Bring your knees higher when running in place.
Just as you can scale movements up, you can also bring them down a notch if necessary. For example, do wall push-ups, instead of standard push-ups on the floor, to take some load off. You can also reduce your time when planking; instead of 25 seconds, go for 20 seconds for now.
Remember, the goal here is not to hit huge PRs (although you might!) but to keep moving and stay fit at home. We're aiming for maintenance.
3. Stretch and Mobilize
Staying in any position for too long will harm your muscles in more ways than one — tightening them, causing dull discomforts, or worst of all, immobility (which can lead to injury). That’s why, if you’re sitting or standing a lot (or maybe spending extra time on the couch), you need to make time for movements and exercises that stretch out your muscles and target their mobility.
It’s also smart to take small breaks in between tasks throughout the day. This might mean, for example, setting a timer to remind you to get up every 30 minutes and walk around the house.
However you decide to tackle it, remember that it’s important that you don’t get stuck in one position for a prolonged period.
4. Make it a Point to Meal Prep
Trying to keep some semblance of routine is crucial during this quarantine.
While at home, it's the perfect time to practice meal prepping to create structure for your week’s meals. Create a food plan and stick to it to avoid mindless snacking throughout the day. Commit to eating a balanced diet and portion everything out ahead of time, instead of munching on chips and junk food.
If you’re able to buy fresh produce, be sure to prep them into freezer-friendly packs as soon as possible, to preserve their shelf life. If lean proteins like chicken breasts or egg whites are unavailable, you can opt for healthy alternatives like deli meat, protein bars, and tuna packets.
If you have limited access to healthy options, go for meal delivery services around your area, take-away from local restaurants, or do online grocery shopping.
We still have a few options, even if our grocery stores aren't fully stocked. You might need to get creative, but with a little extra thought and preparation, you can maintain healthy nutrition.
The takeaway is that meal prepping will be your best friend. We know it won't be perfect, but do what you can to have meals and snacks ready in advance.
5. Adjust Your Portions to Match Your Activity Level
If your daily activities drastically declined because of the quarantine (which is okay!), consider making some adjustments to your diet to ensure that you stay on track.
For example, you may want to reduce your overall caloric intake. Start with small changes like decreasing your sugar intake or replacing some of your carbs with lean protein.
Essentially, it’s all about making smart and conscious decisions about eating healthy, considering that you may be less active while in isolation. None of this is to say that you should severely restrict calories. Your body still needs food and nourishment. This isn't about dieting.
Rather, look at it like this. If you were previously weightlifting for a full hour a day, four days a week, and now you're doing 10-minute bodyweight HIIT sessions three days a week, your body likely isn't going to demand the same calories and macros as before.
We have to adapt.
The uncertainty of the current situation is indeed stressful for many. It can be difficult to stay motivated and find inspiration to continue on your journey. That’s why building and relying on healthy habits can be a game-changer.
It’s essential to create and stick to a routine that’s best for your physical, mental, and emotional health. You’ve made so much progress in keeping up with your workouts and maintaining a balanced diet, so don’t let this challenging time discourage you from continuing to put in the effort. You got this!
And don't forget that Atlas Wearables is also here with you – every step of the way.