I’m being asked by many for tips on how to stay in shape or work out while under self-quarantine. Before we go down that path but without going into all of the numbers being reported by the minute, I want to remind people we are not nearly out of this yet. To give everyone a reality check, one week ago we had 8,000 cases in the United States. We now have 80,000 cases, so in seven days the number of cases went up ten times. One week ago there were 100 deaths in the United States due to Covid-19, there are now 1000 deaths, up ten times as well. This is real and should be taken seriously. At this rate seven days from now, we will have 800,000 cases and 10,000 deaths in this country.
In my local City of Manhattan Beach, they have closed the beaches, the Strand and the bike path to the public. This is in response to people not following the rules of social distancing. It’s unfortunate that we still have a number of people not taking this virus seriously. We are a very closely-knit family but I’ve taken Covid-19 so seriously that I have not seen my daughter, grandson or son-in-law in two weeks and they live only two miles away. My best advice to you is to treat everyone like you have the plague and don’t want to spread it to anyone and everyone you see around you has it and you don’t want them to spread it to you.
Having said that, you do not have to lock yourself in the house but you must keep a distance from each other. I still do three miles every morning with the dog (DUKE) but I now go on the road less traveled. If I see someone coming the other way I cross the street. My advice is to use this time to go out and exercise in fresh air but practice social distancing.
Historically, the two reasons why people don’t exercise is lack of time and as we age lack of flexibility. People that are now unable to go to work, time should not be an issue. All of the great athletes that I worked with had a routine. There is a New York Times bestseller, Make Your Bed written by Admiral William H. McKraven. After Admiral McKraven graduated from the University of Texas at Austin he joined the United States Navy and became a Navy Seal. He gave the “Make Your Bed” convocation speech at his Alma Mater and later published it in book form. In a nutshell, his advice is to create a routine for yourself starting with one thing and do it to the best of your ability, this will lead to a second thing and a third thing and so on. It could be as simple as waking up in the morning and making your bed. You can see his speech on youtube.com. If you do not have a routine a highly recommend watching his speech and use his advice to create one that includes time to exercise.
The flexibility issue is not easy to correct but there can be improvements in this area. What we do know is that repetitive motion causes compensation and compensation creates dysfunction. What that means is if you do the same thing over and over again the body will compensate by getting tight in some muscle groups that are prone to tightness and weak in other muscle groups that are prone to weakness. This could occur from shooting a basketball a thousand times or swinging a tennis racket or simply sitting in front of your computer for lengths of time. The dysfunction will manifest itself in postural distortion patterns. Things like the colloquial phrase sway back or the rounded shoulders and protruding head. These postural distortion patterns lead to poor movement efficiency.
I highly recommend getting a foam roller and begin with self-myofascial release followed by stretching and then muscle activation. There are many videos on youtube.com that address these types of corrective exercise programs, just put the buzz words I mentioned in the search box. There are also yoga and pilates videos that you can watch and follow along at home.
You really do not need a lot of equipment to work out at home. I have a Swiss Ball, a TRX, some bands, dumbbells and a yoga mat. You can do a lot using your body weight and gravity. Keeping with the youtube.com concept there are many videos to activate and strengthen one’s core. I like pelvic floor exercises like Kegel exercises as well as different planks and bridging.
Be creative, do step-ups, rollouts, lunges, burpees etc.
For those with financial means, my wife has a peloton and loves it. If you’re not a bike rider and are looking for a weight-bearing exercise routine there’s the Exercise Mirror. It’s like having your own personal fitness studio in only two feet of wall space. A trainer will appear on the screen like peloton with many different routines from dance to boxing to yoga etc. you can sync your Blue tooth heart rate monitor or your Apple Watch to track heart rate in real-time.