During this time as we all struggle for some normalcy in our lives, it’s important to not forget to JUST MOVE. With gyms being shut down, it can be difficult to find the motivation and structure to workout. Some fitness centers have provided online workouts with companies such as Les Mills. That is a great option. If that is not your style or you do not have access, this article can help you design a simple at-home weekly training schedule. The goal is to do some sort of physical activity 30 or more minutes a day. That in itself is a tremendous mood booster. It also allows us to maintain the level of fitness that we have worked hard to obtain. We can maintain muscular strength, and our endurance if we do SOMETHING. I would suggest doing home strength training workouts 2-3 days a week and doing 30+ minutes of cardiovascular exercise a minimum of three days of week. You don't necessarily need to do sprints or a six mile run. A brisk walk can do the trick. On a scale of 1-10, being in the 5-8 range will get you cardiovascular benefits. Choose a form of cardio that you can sustain for 30 minutes but is still (somewhat) challenging.
For strength training you want to focus on targeting all of your major muscle groups. It is a great time to focus on basic movement patterns. For most of us this will not be a time to break a record in our bench press or lose 30 pounds. And that is perfectly okay. It is a great time to strive to be healthy and move. Let’s break down strength exercises into four categories:
- Push exercises: targeting chest, shoulders, and or triceps
- Pull exercises: targeting upper back muscles and or biceps
- Lower body exercises: targeting glutes, quads, and or hamstrings
- Core exercises: targeting abdominals and or lower back
- Push: Feet elevated push up
- Pull: Table rows (look up online for demo)
- Lower body: Squats with water jugs or anything weighted
- Core: Side plank HOLD (30 seconds)
Pick one exercise from each category and do 8-12 reps, moving on to the next exercise after resting for 30-60 seconds. Do this until you get through all of your exercises and then repeat the circuit three total times. Depending on your fitness level you can then pick another set of four exercises and follow the same guidelines. Finish with a good stretch and mobility session for five minutes. This will give you a well-balanced workout. Again, the goal here is to just move and stay active. This is a perfect opportunity to not only work on strength, but also to work on mobility, flexibility, and our minds. Find time to stretch, meditate, and achieve overall balance in your wellness.
Sample of weekly schedule:
Monday: Full body strength
Tuesday: Cardiovascular exercise
Wednesday: Full body strength
Thursday: Cardiovascular exercise
Friday: Full body strength
Saturday: Light walk
Sunday: Yoga or rest day
I hope this provides you some structure and perspective. Remember, we don’t lose muscle mass that easily. As long as we just move and increase our heart rates on most days, we will be just fine. Health clubs will open back up and we will all be super motivated to kick it up a notch again. Stay healthy and stay positive, as stress will not support our cause!