How to Stay Fit During the Coronavirus

Dr. YonzApril 7, 2020 – How often have you said, “I don’t have time to exercise!” Well, now that many of us are working from home, sheltering in place and self-quarantining, there’s never been a better time to get in shape.

“Now more than ever, we need the stress-busting, immune-boosting benefits of regular workouts,” says Christopher Yonz, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine physician with Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery and member of the Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Campus medical staff.

“If you haven’t exercised recently, start slow, build up gradually and set reasonable goals. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity daily, five days a week. You can spread it out in 10-minute intervals throughout the day,” Yonz says.

Here are his suggestions for three easy, free fitness activities you can do at home. Note: If you are pregnant or have an existing medical condition, ask your doctor before starting an exercise program.

1. No Gym? No Problem.

“You don’t need expensive equipment for cardio and strength training. You can use your own body weight for an overall workout. Speed up or slow down the exercises depending on your fitness level. If you’re unclear how to do an exercise, try Fitbit, the Nike fitness app or watch a YouTube video,” advises Yonz.

Here’s a sample routine:

  1. 5-minute warm-up: Moving stretches, such as circling arms while extended, leg kicks, marching in place.
  2. 5-10 minutes of cardio: Jumping jacks, run or march in place, dancing, burpees, side-to-side hops.
  3. 20 minutes of strength training: Alternate push-ups, squats, single-leg squats, walking lunges, ab crunches, planks, step-ups onto a sturdy bench or stool, wall sits (squat with legs hip distance apart and your back against a wall), high knees (run in place, lifting knees high).
  4. 5-minute cool down: Slow, stationary stretches such as toe touches and stretching your quadriceps, calf and hamstring muscles.

2. Walking on Sunshine.

Walking around your neighborhood is a great, family-friendly exercise. “Work your way up to walking 30 minutes a day. As you progress, you should be able to walk briskly while maintaining a conversation,” says Yonz. “Remember to stretch before and after.”

3. Biking to Better Health.

If you own a bike, start pedaling! “Cycling is a low-impact activity with many benefits. It tones the lower body, increases flexibility and balance, provides overall cardio conditioning, is gentle on arthritic joints and reduces stress. Just remember to wear a helmet,” says Yonz.

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, call the Health System’s COVID-19 Screening Hotline at 912-466-7222, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For COVID-19 updates, visit sghs.org or cdc.gov.

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