Several local gyms have temporarily closed so it may have thrown your regular routine for a loop. Here are a few suggestions on what you can do to stay active around your house.
Our friends from CTV Morning Live host a regular feature, "Living Well" talking about healthy living topics like exercising, eating right, and staying fit and illness-free.
(Source: CTV Morning Live)
GoodLife Fitness offering members over 100 home-based workouts...
We’ve heard you GoodLife Family! 😊We have worked with LesMills On Demand and are now able to provide our Members with free access to their at-Home workouts. To access close to 100 workouts, log in to the GoodLife Member website. These workouts are perfect for doing at home with little or no equipment. We will see you in our Clubs again soon, but in the meantime, have a great workout!
Earlier this week, some of Canada’s largest fitness facilities like GoodLife, LA Fitness, Orange Theory, even the YMCA closed their doors in an effort to help curb the spread of COVID-19. And at this point, it’s tough to say when they will open again.
So what does this mean for those of us who look forward to breaking a sweat a few times a week?
Nicolas Pagnotta, a Toronto-based personal trainer, says that you don’t need to worry too much about losing your level of fitness level — as long as you keep moving your body.
“You might not be able to see the kind of progression that you would with conventional weight training, but that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain the progress you have,” says Nicolas Pagnotta, a Toronto-based personal trainer. “Or if you’re at a beginner level, [you can still] kick-start it.”
An effective basic workout consists of push-ups, lunges, squats and the superman hold, which is when you lie face down on the ground and lift your limbs in the air for a period of time. This exercise is great for working out your back, which is something that can be particularly difficult when you are at home without weights. Pagnotta recommends anywhere between five to 20 reps per set depending on your fitness level, and you can adjust as needed.
For those at an intermediate or advanced fitness level, they can work in the near endless variations of these four exercises, like cannonball or sumo squats and jumping or explosive lunges. Pagnotta also recommends spending about four to six days with the variation in order to really get the hang of it, since “chances are the first time you do it, your form is going to need some attention to detail.” And seriously, it’s not like we don’t have the time.
Another thing the more fit among us can do is utilize time under tension — how long a muscle is under strain during a set of exercises.
“Even if you change your push-up tempo from a regular one-second-up, one-second-down to one-second-up, three-seconds-down, that will drastically change the difficulty of the exercise, and can be applied to almost anything,” says Pagnotta. “You notice [the difference] right away.”
For those of any fitness level, Pagnotta says that in order to take full advantage of the benefits of exercise, it’s important to hit as many muscle groups as possible.
“Body weight exercises aren’t going to do a ton of central nervous system damage,” he says. “[They are] not going to give you that super fatigued after-burn effect.”
For those that are middle-aged or elderly, it’s even more important to keep moving, even if you can’t leave your home. We know that those with pre-existing conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19. In turn, staying sedentary for great lengths of time can lead to conditions like cardiovascular disease or hypertension.
“Any kind of activity is going to be beneficial, even if it means just going up and down the stairs 10 or 20 times to burn some calories,” says Pagnotta. “To say people need to stay home is a good thing. To say people need to stay sedentary is a huge mistake because it can contribute to [cardiovascular disease or hypertension] and make you more susceptible [to the virus].”
If exercise is difficult for you, even stretching has benefits.
Pre-workout, Pagnotta recommends about five minutes of dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretches are active movements that put your joints through a full range of motion. He refers to the self-hug, which is basically putting your arms out as far as you can before enveloping yourself in a big hug, something many of us need in these trying times.
Post-workout, one should get in 10 to 15 minutes of static stretching, which is the stretching we all know, like bending down to touch your toes for around 30 seconds.
“Even just stretching will help you to feel a lot better,” says Pagnotta. “You’re going to get sore from sitting on the couch. You have to move your body and take your joints through their ranges of motion. However long this pandemic lasts, I would encourage people to get creative [with their fitness] and mix it up.”