27 November 2020
Exercise in periods of isolation
Many studies show that a lack of mobility over long periods can lead to muscle loss, stiffening joints, or loss of coordination and functional capacity, which in turn affects mental and emotional health.
The importance of remaining active in quarantine periods, like the one we are currently experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is vital for strengthening our immunological response. For people with chronic diseases like arterial hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and/or heart disease, it helps them control their health.
We recommend making it part of an everyday routine.
Exercising distracts people from their worries about the lockdown situation and helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Concentrating on getting the movements right, remembering in what order to do them, and keeping count of sets is also good for the memory.
It improves joint mobility and general physical condition.
It improves circulation throughout the body.
It helps to control the weight.
It provides feelings of physical and emotional well-being.
It makes it easier to sleep.
It helps people get into the habit of an active, healthy lifestyle.
We should also remember the importance of a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and knowing how to manage stress.
We don’t recommend trying exercises you’ve never done before, or which are difficult and require a lot of effort.
A good guideline is at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity and/or 1.5 hours of vigorous activity per week, but not necessarily exercising every day.
Tips for people without any illnesses, and without acute respiratory disease symptoms or diagnosis.
Dance for a while and/or walk all around your home. You can visit all the rooms and vary the routes; march in place; go at different speeds (fast or slow) over 10-minute periods, 3 or 4 times a day. Take off your slippers and put on your trainers.
When watching TV, take advantage of the ad breaks to stand up, do ankle mobility exercises, or stretch your legs out.
Mix up the furniture you sit on: the sofa, an armchair, a dining chair, a stool or pouf, and so on. Don’t spend more than two hours at a time sitting down.
Set a timer (alarm clock, kitchen timer, mobile app, fitness tracker, etc.), to remind you to move around (walking, stretching, etc.).
Take the opportunity to stand or lean while you read the news or scroll through social media, and move or walk around while you listen to the radio.
Use the time to stand or walk, if you can, while you talk on the phone or videoconference with friends and/or family.
Use the stairs for exercise, if this is an option for you, spending 10 minutes going up and down one or two floors, and repeat the set two or three times a day. This is a good way to balance out the work your legs do as you go up and down. (If you’re in shape you can climb or descend more floors before turning around).
If the stairs are shared by other flats, avoid touching banisters, doorknobs and lift buttons. When you go back inside your home, wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitiser, and if you see any neighbours, be sure to keep a (ICONO) safe distance.
Plan an exercise routine for muscle strength, coordination and flexibility to do three or four times a week, following online videos by professionals whose exercise regimes you already follow.
To avoid health risks, only use videos by fitness and sports professionals. Not all exercises are suitable for everyone.
Approach housework as a daily fitness activity (making beds, airing rooms and shaking out rugs, dusting, sweeping or vacuuming, washing windows, ironing, looking after plants, gardening, etc.).
Do the tasks you keep putting off, such as organising cupboards or wardrobes, reorganising a store-room or the larder, moving the furniture around, or decluttering toys, objects, clothes, etc.
Be prudent and don’t take unnecessary risks, like climbing ladders to unhook curtains, washing upper windows, or tidying the upper shelves, for example.