6 Top Ways to Stay Fit During Coronavirus Self-Isolation

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Coronavirus is currently rampaging its way across the globe. A key piece of public health advice being given by governments around the world is around self-isolation. In this blog post, we’ll look at the top 6 ways you can stay physically fit during self-isolation.

The Coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus is everywhere right now. It’s in the headlines, on people’s minds, in conversations, and – as of the 12th March 2020 – inside thousands of people in over 125 countries. The virus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, with countries everywhere taking decisive action to protect their populations.

What exactly is ‘Coronavirus’ then? The World Health Organization define Coronavirus as the following on their website:

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.’ Not very cheery stuff.

COVID-19 is the official name of the brand new Coronavirus that was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, it’s caused absolute chaos everywhere.

Sports events have been cancelled, billions have been lost in business profits and off the value of stock markets, celebrations have been cancelled, people have been less social, and some have sadly lost loved ones.

Whether the advice is closing schools, working from home, staying indoors for 14 days, closing social establishments and temporarily banning large gatherings, all of the measures revolve around one thing. Self-isolation.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation means removing yourself from other humans in the population for an extended period to stop the spread of the virus.

By being alone (or with a few others in your household) you limit interactions with others which means reducing the likelihood of catching the virus, or transmitting the virus if you’re already infected.

On the NHS website, their tips on self-isolation include ‘do not have visitors’ and ‘do not leave the house, for example to go for a walk, to school or public places’. Yes, self-isolation truly means being isolated for a while. No physical contact with the outside world.

Why can self-isolation cause issues, particularly with fitness?

Routines are disrupted, families are thrown together and cabin fever can quickly set in. Perhaps the most pressing issue for many is the lack of space to exercise in.

Lots of people are highly active and used to moving lots each day. Being told to self-isolate for 14 days, or more, can feel like being told you need to stay in a cage with chains wrapped around your ankles. Having restrictions imposed through self-quarantine can be particularly damaging for fitness, particularly running.

Staying physically active is crucial for boosting your mood and staying stimulated. Without exercise, it’s easy to become bored and frustrated which can lead to low mood and anxiety. Not good.

Not only that, any existing gains from months (or even years) of training can quickly dissipate unless physical activity is somewhat maintained. Imagine coming out of self-isolation a few pounds heavier, running slower and feeling like you’ve lost lots of progress made? That wouldn’t be the best feeling in the world, I bet.

The solution to self-isolation and fitness? Be creative and stay active!

In this article, we’ll share some creative ways you can stay physically active during self-isolation. It’s not, by any means, an exhaustive list so please feel free to be inspired and experiment with new ways yourself.

WARNING: Only exercise if you have no symptoms

Only exercise whilst self-isolating if you’re well enough to do so. If you suspect that you have Coronavirus, it’s highly recommended that you don’t physically exert yourself and follow the advice given on your country’s government website.

The information in this blog post is for those who feel well and are self-isolating as a precautionary measure or as a  directive from their government / employer to reduce risk and slow the spread of the virus. If infected, the last thing you need is to become agitated as this could pose a serious health risk.

 

1.Use a treadmill

If you haven’t been living under a rock for your entire life, you’ll know what a treadmill is. These machines feature a moving conveyor belt which you can use to simulate running or walking. All from the comfort of your own home.

Treadmills are perfect for getting exercise in during a self-isolation period.

You can go for a full-on running workout, really getting a sweat on, or you can walk at a relaxed pace whilst watching a favourite TV show. The choice is yours.

Most people don’t have treadmills in their homes. If you want to pick one up for self-quarantine, a decent treadmill can be picked up online, with home delivery as an option.

As you’re in self-quarantine, be sure not to come into unnecessary contact with anyone on the outside world. This includes people delivering things to your house.

Contact the company you’re buying the treadmill from in the notes section when making a purchase or via email, and explain the situation.

If you can, request that the item be left outside the door within a specific time window. This will avoid the need for unnecessary contact and potential spreading of the virus.

2. Exercise bike

These are a common feature in many homes across the globe. Exercise bikes are a great way to stay in shape whilst staying indoors for an extended period.

These devices mimic actual bikes, but they’re stationary. Riding one is an efficient way to burn calories whilst strengthening your heart, lungs and muscles.

Some prefer exercise bikes over treadmills because they put much less stress on your joints whilst still giving you a great aerobic workout.

3. Try a mini circuit workout

Work one muscle group at a time in short, snappy bursts of physical activity.

First do a round of sit ups, then take a short 1 minute break. Move on to some squats, followed by a short break.
Carry on with lunges, planks, dips and finish it off with some push ups.

A short 15-20 minute mini circuit session like this is an easy way to keep moving whilst in self-isolation. It doesn’t require any specialist equipment, takes very little time and can be done virtually anywhere in the house.

4. Dumbell curls and bench presses

There are many benefits associated with lifting weights. Building muscle mass, improved posture, better sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, boosting metabolism and lifting mood, to name a few.

Lifting Dumbells and doing bench presses are a great way to increase your strength and can be done from the comfort of your own home during self-isolation.

Remember, if you’re attempting a particularly heavy bench press then be sure to have a buddy on hand as a fail safe in case you drop the weight. We’ve all been there!

5. On the spot pulse-raising

Pulse raising refers to increasing your heart rate through aerobic exercise.

You can do plenty of pulse-raising activities on the spot. Marching, walking, running, star jumps, jumps and dancing are all great ways to raise the pulse whilst staying in the same spot.

6.Play physical games on Wii Switch

The Wii Switch was Nintendo’s 2017 console offering, and it features lots of great games to get you moving and physically active. Some of the best games for physical activity, from the comfort of your own home, are:

Ring Fit Adventure, Just Dance 2020, Fitness Boxing, Zumba Burn It Up! ARMS, Mario Tennis and 1-2-Switch.

Good Luck

There we have it it. 6 creative ways to stay fit whilst self-isolating for Coronavirus reasons. It’s the 13th March and nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen in the next couple of months with regards to its spread, treatment or government directives.

If you do find yourself in self-isolation, make sure to prioritise your physical fitness. It’ll be the best way to maintain all the gains you’ve made in your running whilst on the inside. Good luck.

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