There is one unexpected side-effect to isolation and spending more time at home - exhaustion. It seems contradictory that an increase in idle time spent watching TV and reading books could actually make us more tired, but you’re not imagining it - the laziness is real!
Why are we feeling so tired?
Associate Professor of Psychology Sean Cain, from Monash University, spoke to 7NEWS.com.au recently, and he has put it down to two things - the quality of light we’re getting and the quality of sleep we’re getting.
We are suddenly in a very unusual situation where we are spending more time indoors. “Getting bright light is healthy and good for your mood, we know that the brighter light you get in the day – the better your mood is in general,” he said.
Additionally, now that we have no particular routine or need to get that bright light in the morning, we are finding that our body clocks are becoming desynchronised and our sleep more irregular.
So, if you’re not ready for a #couchto5k or you’re just not interested in YouTube HIIT classes, here are a couple of ideas to get you up off the couch.
Exercise 1: A treasure hunt
How: It doesn’t have to be Easter to go on a treasure hunt around your house! To get you up and moving, have a friend or family member hide items around your house and garden. Keep yourself motivated by hiding your mini (not family-sized!) snack, and when you’re feeling ready to go outside, you can take your treasure hunt to the next level and try Geocaching.
What it works: Cardiovascular system
Exercise 2: Leg raises
How: If you’ve got a yoga mat, great. If not, a couch or even carpet should give you pretty decent support. Lie on your back with your arms along your sides, palms facing down. Press your legs together from ankle to inner thigh. Press into your hands and switch on your core as you raise your feet up over your hips, lift your hips and raise your feet straight up toward the ceiling. While performing this exercise, it may help to imagine someone (or a particular virus that has affected your life) is floating above you, and each time you lift your legs, you kick them.
What it works: Lower abdominals and thighs.
Exercise 3: Bicep Curl
How: For this exercise, you will need two weighted objects. If you’re just starting out, you don’t want to lift anything too heavy. A bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer in each hand will be sufficient. Start with your feet hip-width apart. Holding your weights in each hand, pull your abdominals in, stand tall, and keep your knees slightly bent. Curl both arms upward until they're in front of your shoulders, and pretend to take a sip of your drink. As a guide, 1L of liquid equals 1KG of weight.
What it works: Upper arms/ biceps
Exercise 4: Fridge sprints
How: Let’s consider the concept of the television ad break. Sure, it’s a way for networks to monetise their shows, but it’s also one to two minutes that can be spent exercising. For every hour show, there are around 15 minutes of ad time! It can add up! Keep your ad break workout simple by seeing how many times you can sprint from the couch to your fridge. If you find it’s getting a little boring, up the ante by opening the fridge door and quickly closing it shut - you’ll be integrating arms and (maybe) some self-control..
What it works: Cardiovascular system, full-legs and arms
Exercise 5: Squat jumps
How: Stand with your feet just outside shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out. Squat down with your weight in your heels, proud chest, knees tracking over toes. When you hit the bottom of your squat, squeeze your butt tight and drive hard through your legs and heels as you launch straight up. To help ensure a soft landing, place a bowl of ‘healthy’ chips in front of you, as you land, pick up a chip, eat it then go straight into your next rep. Limit the amount of chips eaten.
What it works: Glutes and legs
It can be difficult to stay motivated when your usual routine has been disrupted or your gym is closed but with a little creativity (and humour!), you can stay active while at home!
Stay injury-free! If your at-home workouts are bringing back old niggling knee pain, it shouldn't be ignored. Ligaments in the knee provide stability for our knee joints. When one or more of those ligaments are damaged, stability may be compromised. Bauerfeind’s large range of knee braces provides support to enhance stability after a knee ligament injury.
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