With quarantine and social distancing measures leaving many people without access to gyms, working out at home has become a necessity even for guys who are not necessarily fitness enthusiasts.
While exercising at home isn’t easy given the lack of gym equipment, it is totally doable even if you have a small space.
So how do you do it? Stacey Njoki, a fitness trainer at Savannah Fitness Exchange, shared simple home workout routines and diet tips for staying in shape during quarantine.
A simple home workout routine
Staying true to a fitness goal during these times of social distancing will bring guaranteed results, but it calls for discipline.
Below are 10 of the workout routines you can employ at home, and ensure you do three sets of 10-15 repetitions:
1. Jumping jacks also known as star jumps
2. Standing crunches: while standing, alternate knee to opposite elbow movement.
3. Press-ups/ push-ups on knees: Like during ordinary press-ups, keep arms straight, palms on the floor. But unlike press-ups, you bend your knees and keep them on the floor.
4. Triceps dips/chair dips: Place hands shoulder-width apart on the surface you are dipping from, gripping the front edge. Straighten arms at start position with legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Lower your body towards the floor until arms form 90-degree angles then engage triceps to press back to start.
5. Inchworms/walkouts: walk with hands on the floor from a bent over toe-touch position into a straight arm plank.
6. Squats: place feet at hip-distance apart, keep heels on the ground all through the squat
7. Standing lateral leg raises: keep core muscles tight, lift your leg approximately 45 degrees and lower in a controlled smooth manner.
8. Step-ups: requires one to step up and down off a step. Keep feet and knees pointed forward.
9. Plank: support forearms on the ground, with elbows under shoulders; keep hips levelled with the head. Hold position for 30-60 seconds.
10. ‘Superman’: kneeling on hands and knees, with the head up and chin tucked, lift one arm forward and the opposite leg back. Keep alternating sides.
Points to note: you should plan and set out a time period during the day for some workout, at least 30 minutes a day.
You can find many home workout videos online and you can also check out my home exercises. Walk more often. Avoid being in a sedentary position for too long.
Stand up and do a few stretches. Interrupt sitting and reclining time every 30 minutes.
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How to eat right
Plan your meals. Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance.
You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list. Avoid over-purchasing, which subsequently leads to overconsumption of food.
Don’t skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast won’t help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre — three essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Prepare home-cooked meals. Spending more time at home now offers the possibility to cook and make recipes you previously didn’t have time to make.
Many healthy and delicious recipes can be found online. Be aware of portion sizes by using smaller plates.
By doing this, you may gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
Eat regular meals. Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
Drink plenty of water. People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
Eat high-fibre foods. Foods containing lots of fibre make you feel full, which is perfect for losing weight.
Fibre is only found in food from plants such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrain bread, oats, quinoa, brown rice and brown pasta.
Limit your salt intake. Availability of fresh foods may decrease and, therefore, it may become necessary to rely on canned, frozen and processed foods.
Many of these foods contain a high level of salt. In order to consume less salt, that is less than five grammes per day, prioritise foods with reduced or no added salt.
Don’t stock junk food and limit your sugar intake. If you crave something sweet, fresh fruit should always be a priority.
To avoid temptation, try to not stock junk food such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks — at home.
Instead, opt for healthy snacks such as fruit (frozen fruits, canned fruits and dried fruits with no added sugar are also a good option), unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn and natural fruit juice.
Limit your fat intake. Opt for cooking methods that require less or no fat such as steaming, grilling or sautéing instead of frying foods.
Prefer foods that contain healthy sources of unsaturated fats such as fish and nuts. To limit saturated fats, trim excess fat from meat and poultry and choose skinless options.
Read food labels. Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance.
Avoid foods that contain trans-fats such as processed and fried foods like doughnuts and baked goods, including biscuits, pie crusts, frozen pizzas and margarine.
Cut down on alcohol. A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.
Stacey is also the owner of online fitness wear company ‘Fitness Junkie Kenya’. Instagram: @Staec_