Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our daily operations are affected. After the closure of both public and private fitness facilities, people’s freedom of movement is further restricted. For people who exercise regularly, they may have found alternative ways to continue their fitness journey. For those who are not used to exercising regularly or without supervision, something might be lost at this moment.
Medium intensity physical activity
The intensity of aerobic exercise can be classified by the Metabolic Equivalents (METs). A MET is the amount of oxygen consumed while resting in a sitting position.
The medium intensity aerobic exercises should be around 3-6 METs. These activities should require moderate exertion and increase the heart rate noticeably.
Right now, some simple cardio activities that can be done at home can be good choices for beginners. Dancing, yoga, and Pilates are considered to be medium-intensity aerobic exercises. Another popular option these days is video games related to physical activity. If you enjoy being outdoors, brisk walking is always a good choice.
High intensity aerobic physical activity
The intensive cardio training should be above 6 METs; physically, it should take a lot of effort and increase the heart rate significantly.
For intense physical activity, there are limited home exercise options; aerobics can be one. For the outdoors, running, hiking, biking, and jumping rope are good options.
Muscle-strengthening exercises should be started on the major muscle groups, such as the biceps, triceps, pecs, quads, and hamstrings. Muscle strengthening exercises are different from aerobic exercise, which requires some weights. If you are a beginner, you can start with materials you can find at home, such as: B. a bottle of water or a bag of rice. Some simple, convenient equipment, including resistance bands and dumbbells, can be purchased for home exercise.
It is important to maintain the flexibility of the muscles in order to prevent overuse injuries. Static stretches can help maintain the range of motion that should be done on the large muscle-tendon complex. The tension in the muscle-tendon complex is related to your training and daily activities, you can stretch the ones that suit you. Hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and gastrocnemius can be good places to start your stretches.
Of course, all physical activity carries a risk of injury. Muscle strains and ligament sprains are common injuries that result from self-training. There are many free exercise tutorials on the internet. If you are a beginner it is always a good idea to start with the easier ones; short duration, low intensity and rest in between. Once you’ve mastered the easier ones, you can gradually make progress. Make sure that you always listen to your body, fatigue and minimal pain may be present during / after the exercises. If you experience pain during / after exercise, something may be wrong. Get professional advice if necessary.
Stay active and healthy, let’s fight the COVID-19!
About the author
Edith TAM, a physical therapist with Sportsperformance Physiotherapy, enjoys a range of sports including kayaking, badminton, and snowboarding. She believes that exercise is fundamental to a happy and healthy life.