By Kyle Zinkula
During these uncertain times, your first concern may not be finding the time to work out — the uncertainty and stress of a global pandemic may be too much. However, to that point, I think now is the perfect time to sit down, do some crunches, and get those washboard abs you have always dreamed of, or to make it a goal to do a number of pushups over the course of a day. If nothing else, while we are all asked to stay home, we will undoubtedly have more time on our hands to fill with hobbies. If you are looking for a way to fill that time with physical activity or have always been an active person and now find yourself lost while stuck without a gym, track, or running trail, then read on for some ways to keep active.
It seems everyone has different opinions on how to stay healthy and what social distancing means. Cities across the country are slowly instating different quarantine regulations for their citizens. Nevertheless, I find running to be a great way to burn some time and some calories. Personally, I live in a rural setting and do not see many people on my jogs, which makes social distancing easy. As a disclaimer, make sure to be certain of your location’s current regulations before setting out for a run, and of course, make sure to keep your distance from others while on the road or trail.
Runs can be as simple as setting out to cross a certain distance. However, should I not have the means to track my distance, I find setting a time goal equally satisfying and achievable. If one long run is not your thing, then I would recommend simply shortening the distances or time lengths and doing reps of a certain number, such as running three separate miles or five sets of eight minute runs. This gives you flexibility to adjust your cardio exercise to what you feel like doing on a certain day or to meet your strengths (or weaknesses) as a runner. In addition, you can really shorten your distances and times to make the work out more of a sprinting exercise, such as running 10 to 12 one-minute intervals. Have fun mixing up your runs and getting a variety of cardio workouts.
Now, if running is not your thing, or you chose not to (or cannot) go outside, you still have options. If you have weights or other workout equipment at home, I recommend researching what you can do with your available materials. In a single article, I cannot hope to address the endless possibilities that can be found with the vast amount of exercise equipment available.
Instead, I will focus on workouts you can do with no equipment: what are called “body-weight” exercises. This means the only weight you lift, push, and/or move will be your own. Choosing a variety of exercises that will work different muscle groups is important when designing your own at home “circuit” training. A circuit is a series of exercise that you repeat, making a circuit of exercises. Activities such as sit ups, planking, pushups, leg lifts, wall sits, squats, and jumping rope (or a cable if you lack rope) are good starting places. I recommend googling for a more professional workout if you are looking for something more formal.
Another good option is downloading a workout app. There are several apps that can target certain muscle groups and give daily workouts for the user. Apps are also great for reminding you to work out and keeping you consistent with your exercise. One of my favorites is “Six Pack in 30 Days.” Looking past the corny name, the app provides three sets of daily core exercises with varying difficulty for — you guessed it — 30 days. You can set reminders so you remember to work out at a certain time each day, and the workouts take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the difficulty. When in doubt, the materials given in this article should serve as a good starting ground for putting together at-home workouts and will give you the necessary information so you can research your own exercises for advancing and being more specific with your activities. Stay healthy, Colorado College!