Most probably not actually. Journos are so used to treating people as fools and only what they say has any value and that people should follow blindly what they think and say. Well, these lot have it wrong like they are learning fast. The latest one I simply could not let go is how to exercise without a gym. Dear God, I will fall apart without a gym and personal trainer. For some it may be a real issue. Women – push the vacuum cleaner and lift the iron. Men – clip the hedges and mow the lawn. If you have a dog, take it for a walk. Now look at all that, you have saved the cost of a maid, a gardener and a dog walker and the gym fees. Maybe the journos are right for a select few – we have evolved into a different kind of society.
Push ups, sit ups and chin ups – oh yes, take pooch for a walk, the dog probably needs it.
Coronavirus has closed the gyms, so what are our safest exercise options now?
The gyms are now closed.
They, and other indoor sporting venues, shut their doors midday local time on Monday, after the state and Federal governments’ coronavirus shutdown.
So how can you stay safe AND active right now.
Exercise outdoors, while you still can
If you’re not self-isolating or unwell, the experts agree you and your family can still go outside to exercise at this stage.
But you must practise social distancing, keep up good hygiene practices, and wash your hands when you get home.
This advice may change in the event of widespread community transmission of this coronavirus, said Adam Kamradt-Scott, an expert in the spread and control of infectious diseases at the University of Sydney.
So walking, cycling and running are still on the menu, as are outdoor sports like golf and tennis although you’ll likely find your local golf course or tennis club will have implemented extra hygiene measures to abide by.
Many public swimming pools have closed as they’re part of larger leisure centres, and some Sydney councils have even closed beaches after crowds flouted social distancing guidelines over the weekend.
“We know that exercising in the outdoors has added health benefits for people,” Dr Maher said.
Going for a run is also a great way of incorporating some high intensity interval training into your exercise routine, said sports physiotherapist Kusal Goonewardena said.
Do one minute of normal pace running, 30 seconds where you’re sprinting, and then reduce your speed to a jog again for another minute.
“When you break up the exercises into those intensities, the body really likes it,” he said.
“And we have found research wise that you probably only need to do about six to 10 minutes to get the effect of a half an hour exercise, which is very powerful.”
Make an effort to move
More than ever we’re going to have to make a concerted effort to be physically active, because these shutdown measures are taking the natural activity out of our days, said Carol Maher who researches physical activity and health at the University of South Australia.
Dr Maher recommends planning how you’re going to get physical activity each day to make sure you don’t get really sedentary during the shutdown, which could be in place for months.
“It’s really important to have a routine, even if you’re working from home,” she said, because we know that people who do better and have higher levels of wellbeing tend to have quite routine lifestyles.
“They’ll get up at a particular time and … build structure into their day, even if it’s not kind of being imposed on us by the usual things of needing to be in the office by a particular time or having the kids at school.
Not only can regular physical activity help us deal with the stress and anxiety many of us are feeling, having a strong routine that we’re committed to can also keep us motivated during the long months ahead.
Exercise at home
Now is also the time to start upping your exercise routine at home.
For kids that can be playing in the backyard, for adults there are lots of apps and online workouts, like on YouTube, that offer everything from high intensity interval training to yoga, Dr Maher said.
Mr Goonewardena suggests beginning with some simple exercises that address one of the problems caused by too much sitting in front of our computers or other devices.
“Sedentary postures cause a few things, one is inactivity of the spine. But there’s a tremendous effect of that on mood,” he said.
First thing in the morning after you wake up, do some arm swings.
This is where you’re standing facing forward but swinging your arms left to right to rotate your spine.
After that, do some side bends.
“The human spine is designed to move forward and backwards, rotate, and also bend sideways,” Mr Goonewardena said, “in sedentary postures, those two aspects are missed.”
“So you start off by creating movement in those areas, and you only have to do about 20 to 30 reps at the start of the day, but then during the day as well.”
Strength training with cartons of milk
From there, you can incorporate some strength training into your home exercise routine by using your own body weight.
“The amount of resistance you can create with your own body, when you think laterally and creatively is tremendous,” Mr Goonewardena said.
For example, doing push-ups, squats and calf raises is a wonderful way of building those anti-gravity muscles, and you’re continuing to work your legs, arms and shoulders, he said.
Add more resistance by utilising things around the house.
“A typical example is if you’re lifting a carton of milk which is one litre, that’s approximately one kilogram,” Mr Goonewardena said.
If you have a sofa, using the top of the sofa to do push-ups against so you’re slightly tilted instead of doing them on the ground still works your upper body.
HIIT, physical play, dancing and other things you can do
If you can’t do what you would normally do exercise wise, there are lots of opportunities to substitute that with other things that are just as healthy, Dr Maher said.
“You could go out and actually focus on your fitness for a while where you’re doing high intensity interval training,” she said.
“Or for children if they really can’t now play their sports, they could work on their skill development. My boys are working on their soccer juggling skills.”
And if you’re using to working out with a friend, there’s nothing stopping you from having a virtual exercise session together using Skype, FaceTime or another video conferencing platform to make it fun and keep yourself accountable.
“If there’s one thing I would suggest people do at home, it would be to dance,” Mr Goonewardena said.
“When you put some good music on — music that you love and you can dance to — you’re then utilising different body parts in the right way … all the nerves, muscles, joints and ligaments all align in a proper way.”
Which can be a great way to break up your Netflix binge sessions.
Now’s also the perfect time to get more physically active because we’ve got more time, Dr Maher said.
“We’re saving all this time from commuting and other activities that are now closing down, so it actually does free up some time to devote to exercise.”