It's been 35 days since we last gathered on campus, though often it feels more like 35 months. Our daily routines have been radically interrupted as civic leaders have urged us to stay home. Technology has enabled us to adapt to a certain degree, but there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction.
Over the next few weeks, this space will serve as a resource to keep our minds, bodies, and souls sharp. As Proverbs states, idle hands are the devil's workshop. We begin this multi-part series looking at ways to stay physically active to avoid the "Quarantine 15."
Before she was a basketball coach and athletics director, Katie Collignon served as a certified personal trainer and general manager at Tilton Fitness in New Jersey. She also doubled as a strength and conditioning coach.
Collignon shared some workout tips that don't require a fitness center membership or at-home gym:
- Daily walks - Aim for at least 30 minutes daily. This can be done first thing in the morning, split up throughout the day, or in the evening (before or after dinner). Getting outside in the fresh air - while still maintaining CDC guidelines - is not only a great way to move your body but the easiest way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.
- Stretching/yoga - Taking part in some simple, basic stretches and yoga moves each day can also alleviate aches and pains in the body. Loosening up our joints and muscles - especially our shoulders, chest, and back - as we spend most of our time hunched over the computer, will allow our bodies to be more fluid and can prevent future injuries. Take 5-10 minutes each day to stretch and you will be surprised how much better you feel.
- At-home workouts - You can turn almost any household item or space into your very own home gym. You can start with bodyweight exercises (like the workout listed below) and then increase those exercises by adding some resistance. Resistance can come in the form of furniture, laundry detergent, suitcases, books, and water or milk jugs. Anything that can make your exercises more intense will increase your strength and overall health.
A sample at-home strength workout, including modifications for beginners and advanced clients:
Start with a dynamic warm-up. March your knees high, swing your legs, arm circles, and jumping jacks are all great movements to get your body warmed up and ready to exercise.
- 10 push-ups (make it easier by placing your hands on a countertop or couch; make it harder by placing your feet up on a step or couch)
- 20 squats (make it easier by sitting down on a chair each repetition; make it harder by adding weight)
- 30 crunches (make it easier by lessening the range of movement; make it harder by placing your feet in the air)
- 10 dips (make it easier by performing exercise from the ground with knees bent; make it harder by performing exercise on a chair or couch with your legs straight)
- 20 forward lunges (make it easier by using a chair for balance; make it harder by adding weight or turning it into a walking lunge)
- 30 bicycles (make it easier by tapping your feet on the ground between each repetition; make it harder by slowing each repetition down)
- 60-second plank (make it easier by placing your knees on the ground; make it harder by alternating between your forearms and your hands)
Got all that? Great! Now repeat that twice.
If you are a more advanced exercise enthusiast, use this time to improve on areas of your health and fitness that you haven't had the time to dedicate toward: increase your running mileage, increase your speed, take an online yoga class, or try and max out your bodyweight push-ups or squats.
Whatever your fitness level, any movement throughout the day is positive. Using these tips can greatly improve your physical well-being and boost your mental outlook.
Stay safe and healthy.
We'll continue this multi-part series next week when we chat with a local nutritionist about managing a well-balanced diet during a quarantine.