TodayApril 15, 2022

Working out during COVID-19 for physical and mental health

How to stay in shape, mind, body, and soul

Are you completely bored out of your mind? Yeah, me too. The pandemic and lockdown have been going on for months now, and since the cold season is on us, it might continue for many more months. At least we now appreciate the outdoors and going out with our friends. With the closure of so many gyms, many of us have put on 5-10 pounds of love handles.

Like a juicy gooseberry or a ripe fruit, we have plumped up beyond our wildest dreams. We have gained weight so quickly that we dare not stand on the scales to see the real number. So maybe we shouldn’t avoid working out anymore. We have to realize that things will only worsen and we have to take a stand now before we need to buy new clothes that fit us! Here are some helpful tips for you to try at home.

The journey to full push-ups

Press-ups don’t just work your arms; they work your core, chest, and shoulders. However, the secret to doing push-ups is the core. With the core, we can ‘plank,’ which is essential, keeping our body rigid, tight, and balanced. When we can do this, we only need to focus on going down and up. If you have a weak core, you’ll do the classic cat arch, which looks as silly as it sounds!

So here is how to work your way to do real push-ups.

Strengthen your core by doing sitting flutter kicks. You can also do these lying down if it helps.
Do some half situps, and increase the pace when you feel comfortable.
Do some tricep dips to give your shoulders a good stretch.
Do some sitting diamond push-ups. These work your chest and triceps.
Do some bicep curls to focus on your upper arm and get ready for the task ahead.

Sitting push-ups can be done on the floor while sitting on your knees. Sitting on your knees should be done on a carpeted floor. This way, you won’t hurt your knees or hurt yourself badly if you fall down face first. As you get better and stronger, you can move onto using a chair for your push-ups while planking. You won’t need to go all the way down, and you will be strengthening your core, ready for the real deal. Finally, when you get better at these, you can try your hand at full push-ups, done on a flat solid floor.

Go for a trail run in the hills.

If you are blessed to be living near a park or the countryside, you should be raring to go running every morning! The sight of nature and wildlife should give you a lot of joy as we have been in lockdown for so long. It’s great for your mental health, something which previously might have been great. Mental illness can sneak up on you. Suddenly, we were all thrust into an unfamiliar situation, whereby we could only live our lives inside our four walls of the home. Rather than being a haven for our tired bodies after a day at work, they suddenly became walls that we see as our prison.

So, here’s how to find your nearest running trail, either in a local park or in the countryside. You can use these types of apps to safely plan a route and prevent yourself from getting lost when trying a new running circuit. The apps will plot your path, calculate your burned calories, and track your average pace.

Aerobics and shakes

If you would rather not go outside looking the way you do (we’re all carrying some lockdown weight!), then you have the choice to do some aerobics indoors. There are different kinds, so we’ll run you through the most popular types or styles.

Step aerobics – perhaps the most beginner-friendly this is very easy to do and to follow. You can buy an aerobic step for your home and easily store it in the pantry when you’re not using it.
Classic aerobics – this is a mixture of bodyweight exercises. You’ll be doing push-ups, situps, standing squats, lunges, and running on the spot.
Pilates – is a very intense stretch-based aerobics that is fast, diverse, and a proper workout.
Water aerobics – if you love swimming and you want to burn some calories, then this is for you. You only need to do short, intense burst exercises that will last for a couple of minutes each.
Aerobic dance – if you want to dance and shake it all out of your system, this is for you. There’s lots of variety and a chance to look silly and not care about iota!

To finish off your workout and help with your weight loss, take a fat burner supplement. This can come in a protein shake, which tastes delicious and won’t have that classic horrible chemical taste that so many whey shakes have. It’s also vegan, so it’s safe for everyone to take.

All four limbs

If you want more tone in your limbs and more definition in your muscles, then doing an all-four limb workout is going to be your ticket to the body you crave.


We want to target the areas of your body that see the benefit the fastest. So go for your forearms and shoulders first. You are surprisingly strong in your forearms, as the muscles are planted between two bones instead of one in your upper arm.

Then start doing bicep curls, tricep push backs, and lots of tension rope pulls and holds. You can also do butterflies, which will work your shoulders and biceps the most.


By far, squats are the most effective, but they’re not quite friendly to those who have never worked out or haven’t workout for a long time. Start with assisted squats, such as holding onto the leg of your bed or the edge of a table.

Then it would be best if you began lunges with weights in your hands. You can hold dumbbells for a good workout, but if you don’t have these, fill up some milk cartons with tap water.

Just these two workouts for your limbs will get your blood pumping. And you’ll love the workouts because they’re easy to follow. Just moderate the sets and reps. If you want an intense workout, do more reps with less rest time between sets.

Daily Walking

Suppose none of this excites you, fine. Just go for a walk every day. It doesn’t matter what time you do it, but make sure you cover at least one mile. It will only take 20 minutes, and you will be out there in the fresh air, outside of your home, and remembering what it’s like to be free again.

You can pick out new walking paths using Google Maps or other walking route apps. It’s very healthy for you physically, as well as mentally. Mental health is essential, and if you can stave off feeling down and depressed by going for a walk every morning or evening, you should not waste the chance.

During the lockdown, we have come to appreciate the little things in life. Health and happiness are priceless, but they don’t come cheap. Use the lockdown to motivate you and get fitter and stronger than ever before!

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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