Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay strong.

By Maria Polyzou

 

Since April is the month when we will be staying home to protect ourselves from the Coronavirus, I’d suggest you get up from that sofa you’ve been sitting on nice and comfortably for so many days and make a decision … a commitment if you may.

 

I will come out of this situation, a healthier and stronger person than ever! 

 

It is a fact that this pandemic has changed our daily routine to a great extent and has also altered the way we workout.

 

During the days of the Coronavirus quarantine, you aren’t allowed to go out and run in the same way as you would have liked to, you may not visit the gym or your favourite park either.

 

All this has undoubtedly saddened you and has played on your nerves, or even made you fall into depression.  You also feel that during this period of isolation, stuck at home, you are losing your physical fitness and even putting on weight.  Moreover, you believe that, all that hard work you did to build up your physical fitness level is gradually going down the drain.

 

Here is when you have to take action! 

 

Will you allow this situation to defeat you or will you get out of this stronger than ever before?

 

It’s up to you … and it’s all in your mind! 

 

It is you who must make that decision - to succeed and prove who you really want to be.

 

Research has claimed that physical exercise affects our immune system and contributes to the maintenance of good health to a great degree.  It is also known that with 25 minutes of aerobic exercise, the human organism secretes endorphins which make us feel euphoria and gives us energy to last us a whole day!   

 

Moreover, physical exercise helps in maintaining our ideal body weight. 

 

Everyone, especially during this period, really needs to start exercising indoors and believe me, there are many and easy ways to do that. 

 

Despite the fact that I love running outdoors and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world, I have noticed that doing some exercises at home gives me the same joy and puts me in a great mood too. 

 

It was in fact a personal challenge that I had set for myself; I wanted to see if I could eventually manage this. 

 

So, I started off with some very simple exercises which I will recommend to you too. 

 

Because I love running and experiencing different marathon routes; I have always wanted to run everywhere in the world, I decided to get to know all 42.195 meter races within the country.  I began studying them from my home’s living room – on television!

 

So, what I do is: everyday, I watch a new marathon from the internet while I exercise.!

 

I see numerous smiling faces of runners that run towards the finish line.  These images keep me motivated, make me ecstatic and fill me with impatience for this period of isolation to pass so that I can go out and run once again. 

 

At the end of my workout, I note down in my diary, something which I had noticed during the race – something which makes me set a goal for my next race.  In other words, to decide which marathon to take part in from this coming September and the years to come!!

 

As you can see, there are countless ways we can spend our time during this difficult period we are all experiencing.  So long as we all have and keep a positive attitude, be optimistic and never, ever lose our smile.

 

Let’s start this together  my runners friends!!!

 

Wear your nicest workout clothes as if you’re going to take part in a race.  You’ll feel great and it will boost your self-confidence.

 

Make space in the room where you’ve chosen to work out so that you have more freedom of movement and if possible, open a window so that fresh air can come in since it is certain you’ll sweat with this high intensity workout.  

 

Have a small bottle of water at hand.

 

Choose to train with your running shoes since it is important not to get injured from the jumping exercises while they also offer you more support. 

 

Connect the video you want to watch and play loud music you want to listen to as you train and … let’s start!

 

Set your timer and observe your improvement on a daily basis.  This will give you the incentive to beat your personal record every day.  

 

 

Running on the spot and making small sidesteps on each side for about 10 to 15 minutes. With this type of exercise, we maintain our cardiorespiratory system at a high level and thus keep our fitness at a satisfactory level.

 

Depending on your fitness level, you can increase the time of this exercise up to 40 minutes!

 

Rest for three to five minutes

 

STRETCHES

 

Quadriceps (quads’) stretches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretching of adductors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretching of hipbone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIT - UPS

Lower and Upper ABS

 

 

EXERCISE: 

Lie on your back, bend your legs and place your arms to your sides.  Raise your torso reaching for your knees and back again.  Be careful that your legs and waist remain level.  

 

REPEATS: 10 

 

SETS: 3

 

 

EXERCISE: Lie on the floor, on your back.  Bend your legs and place your hands at the back of your head.  Raise your torso reaching for your knees and back again.  Keep your legs and waist level. 

 

REPEATS: 15 – 20

 

SETS: 3

 

For a greater challenge: 

 

ABS cycling.  Your back should touch the floor, your knees bent and your hands by your head.  Twist your torso to the left side so that your right elbow touches your left knee while your right leg stretches straight ahead, then twist your right side, touching the other elbow the opposite knee while your other leg stretches ahead. 

 

 

 

HIP RAISES

 

Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet firmly on the floor.  Tighten your glutes and raise your hip so that your body is completely aligned from your shoulders to your knees.  Stay in this position for 5 seconds or more.  Then gradually and slowly lower your hips again having your spine touch the floor - vertebra by vertebra - until your whole back touches the floor. 

 

 

 

Side Leg Raises

 

 

  • Lie down on your right-hand side and support yourself with your hand.  Place your left hand firmly on the floor in front of you.
  • Slowly lift your right leg without making sharp or high movements.
  • Repeat with your other side.
  • This exercise is good for both your thighs and glutes.

 

Leg raises (for the inner thighs)

  • Lie down on your right-hand side and support yourself with your hand.  Bend your left leg and place it firmly in front of you, holding it with your left hand. 
  • Slowly lift and lower your right leg without making any sharp or high movements.
  • Repeat this set with your other leg too.

 

Push-ups

 

 

One more way to strengthen your thoracic (chest) muscles is by doing push-ups which constitute one of the exercises for a perfect and attractive bust.

 

If you have never done this exercise before, do it with bent and crossed legs or by having them touch a sofa or chair. 

 

Place your hands as far to your sides as you can.

 

Then, push your body towards the floor, slowly moving your elbows on your sides.  Do 3 sets of 12 – 15 push-ups each.    

 

Last but not least … my favorite plank!  Start off with 30 seconds and build it up for as long as you can!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise:  Remain still while touching your toes and elbows on the floor.  Remain in this position for 30 seconds.