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Simple Ways to Maintain Physical Health with Little or No Exercise Equipment

I recently contributed to CityView Church Pearland’s blog about maintaining physical health during Covid-19. I gave an example of a beginner-level workout, as well as advice about cooking/eating healthy. Here’s the link to that article: https://www.cityviewpearland.com/blog/physical-health-during-distancing

Here is another example of a workout you can do with little or no equipment. This one is a little more advanced.

 

Start out with 3-5 minutes of light calisthenics for warm up. Examples include power walking, light jogging (this can be done in place), lunges, lateral shuffle, jump rope or jump squats (if you’re comfortable jumping; if not, don’t worry about it), lateral lunges, or squats. Do a combination of these at an easy pace.

For each exercise, do 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

  • Single leg balance with multiplanar reach. Balance on one leg. Extend the other leg forward and then bring it back to neutral. Next, extend it directly to the side (right leg would go out to your right, left leg to your left) and bring it to neutral. Then, extend it behind you diagonally. Cycle through all three motions as many times as you can (while staying balanced) for 15-25 seconds. Do both sides. Here is a video of the movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo4P9Y_AQt8
  • Pushups. Try not to let your hips sink down or raise up too much.
  • Lateral lunges. Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Lunge directly to your right, keeping your trail leg extended. Keep your hips pressed back as you squat down on your right side (your knee shouldn’t go forward over your toe). Come back to neutral and do the same on the other side (8-12 reps each side). This is a way to get your hip abductor and hip adductor muscles involved in a good leg and cardio exercise. If you have a dumbbell or kettlebell, hold it up at your chest during the exercise.
  • IYTs. Lie on your stomach with your arms straight above your head and thumbs pointing toward the ceiling. Bring your arms straight up a few inches off the ground. Then, move your arms so your body creates a Y and do the same thing. Then, lower your arms to 90 degrees and bring them off the ground. Think about engaging your back muscles to raise your arms, and do 3-4 reps each way. If you have a stability ball (yoga ball—same thing), you can do the IYTs on it. Keep feet on the ground—lay your stomach on the stability ball.
  • Mountain climbers. Starting in a pushup position, lift one foot up toward your chest. Return to starting position and repeat with other leg, alternating back and forth as fast as you can for 8-12 reps each leg.
  • Single leg glute bridge. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Extend one knee until leg is completely straight. Push up through the heel on the ground and bring your hips up until knees, hips, and shoulders are directly in line.

For a cool down, do 1-3 stretches. Some good stretches are child’s pose, t-spine twist, quad pulls, and knee hugs.

 

Do an exercise routine like this 3-5 times a week. Another great idea for exercise (and something you can do on the days you don’t do a workout) is walking, jogging, or biking. This article does a great job discussing how sunlight and fresh air can combat sickness: https://medium.com/@ra.hobday/coronavirus-and-the-sun-a-lesson-from-the-1918-influenza-pandemic-509151dc8065. Just make sure to keep your distance from others! If you can open windows in your house, do it. It will help to get as much sun and fresh air as we can right now.

These are also great ideas to consider anytime of the year, especially if you suffer from anxiety and/or depression. You don’t need any equipment and you don’t need to drive anywhere!

 

W.R. Harris is the founder and owner of Persevering Hope. He is an author who has written six books to date. You can check out his author website here: http://wrhwriting.com/

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