Chances are, if you are still working from home right now, you are looking for ways to increase your movement and physical activity every day. Despite a lack of access to gyms and organized sports, there is still a way to get fit. Dr. Harold Goldstein, Podiatrist and Guy DiSalvo, Physical Therapist, share some pointers for people looking to safely and efficiently improve their fitness level from home.
What should I be doing?
“A well rounded fitness routine, includes both aerobic exercise and strength training exercise,” according to Guy DiSalvo. “Healthy adults should be performing at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity (strong enough to break a sweat, but you can still carry on a conversation) exercise five days a week. Aerobic exercises can include; walking, running, rowing, cycling and swimming.”
Strength training should be performed a minimum of two days each week, with 8-12 repetitions of 8-10 different exercises that target all major muscle groups. This type of training can be accomplished using body weight, resistance bands, free weights, medicine balls or weight machines. A great way to find a guided workout is to use a streaming service, like Hulu or Amazon Prime, and search for “free workouts”.
How do I get that much exercise in effectively while managing the rest of my daily routine?
DiSalvo says, “Someone working from home should try and schedule blocks where they can get some activity in (walking, biking, body weight exercises) if possible 20-30 min daily.” He also points out that, “HIIT exercises are an effective and good way to fit in exercise if you have a short amount of time available.” HIIT exercises (high intensity interval training) have proven to improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness, increase insulin sensitivity, improve glucose tolerance and increase post exercise metabolism to enhance weight loss.
What should I wear?
Dr. Goldstein says that the best thing to invest in is a good cross training shoe that gives stability for side to side exercises, as well as good shock absorption for light running. A running shoe will not give as good stability with side to side movements done with high intensity workouts. Keep in mind that it is recommended to replace any athletic shoes after 10 months or if they are visibly worn. Goldstein also warns that, often, early foot pain is due to worn shoes.
If you have just stared a new running routine, a cross training shoe will be just fine for a small amount of running. However, if you plan on running more miles, then a running shoe is more appropriate. When you are tacking on the miles, a higher end and fitted running shoe is the best for your feet and form.
Worried about injuries?
Dr. Goldstein advises that the best way to prevent injury is to start gradually and with the proper shoes. It’s also best to do a functional warm up followed by stretching. DiSalvo adds, “drink water and stay hydrated before, during and after workouts. Take appropriate rest time between workouts and ensure that you are using proper technique. Also be sure to cool down after your routine.”
Most importantly, Dr. Goldstein says, “Listen to your body. If you start to experience sudden pain anywhere in your body, you should stop immediately. It is normal to have aches and muscle soreness when beginning a workout program, but sharp pain should not be ignored. If pain develops, ice and rest is a good first step. If pain persists, see your doctor to prevent serious injury.” DiSalvo recommends that anytime you are deciding to start a new workout routine, it is best to start by consulting your physician.