Working out is often a great way to de-stress at the end of the day and a good way to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
But fears of contracting the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, have many people on edge and avoiding places where they could contract the disease or spread the virus to other people.
On that point, the gym is a place where people can easily pick up other people’s germs.
That’s of particular concern because the new coronavirus causes respiratory illness that can spread by touching surfaces a person with the virus has touched or even via airborne droplets when a person sneezes or coughs.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned people to take basic precautions about limiting their exposure to the virus.
“Take everyday precautions like avoiding close contact with people who are sick, cleaning your hands often, and to the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places,” Messonnier said. “Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) says some coronaviruses can linger on surfaces “for a few hours or up to several days,” which is part of the reason they recommend washing your hands often with soap and water or using hand sanitiser.
If you’re staying at home, you still probably want to continue your workout routine.
Besides the health benefits, it’s also good to stay active to ward off going stir crazy from being cooped up for an extended period of time.
Dr. David Nazarian, who’s board certified in internal medicine and practices in the USA, said that because the new coronavirus is rapidly spreading, it’s important to take standard precautions to protect yourself.
“Exercise is important for overall healthy well-being, but it is vital to protect yourself from airborne disease, especially new ones such as the coronavirus where effective treatment is still being studied.
“If avoiding places that are high risk for transmission of airborne diseases is necessary, there can be alternative options such as working out at home,” he added.
Alexandra Ellis, creator of AE Wellness and host of The Body Nerd Show, said if you’re avoiding the gym for fear of getting sick, there’s a lot you can do at home that requires no equipment.
“Focus on the basics such as planks, push ups, squats, leg lifts, or bicycles and burpees for an easy workout that will build strength and get your heart rate up. My favourite way to build a workout is to do 4 rounds of 5 exercises for 45 seconds of work, followed by 15 seconds of rest.”
“Choose exercises that target different areas of your body and you’ll have a full-body workout in less than 20 minutes,” she said.
Alternatively, you can add in small pieces of equipment to enhance your workouts, from resistance bands, to bosu balls and even kettlebells.
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How to Exercise at Home If You’re Avoiding the Gym During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak