Spending a lot of time on that sofa or in bed? Struggling to find the right exercises to do away from the gym? Looking for some inspiration? Then take a look at these home exercises, as performed by Surinder Sandhu. You can do these whilst on lock-down, using minimal equipment. These are suitable for people of all ages & abilities. WE MAY BE ON LOCK-DOWN, BUT YOUR HEALTH ISN’T!
The Importance of Keeping Active
Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing many diseases. Regular activity can improve your quality of life. A minimum of 30 minutes a day can allow you to enjoy these benefits.
If you are regularly physically active, you may:
- reduce your risk of a heart attack
- better weight management
- have a lower blood cholesterol level
- lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
- have lower blood pressure
- have stronger bones, muscles and joints and lower risk of developing osteoporosis
- lower your risk of falls
- recover better from periods of hospitalisation or bed rest
- feel better – with more energy, a better mood, feel more relaxed and sleep better.
Exercise can Make you Happier
Exercise can potentially improve your mood & decrease feelings of depression, anxiety & stress. It encourages changes in the regions of the brain that regulate stress & anxiety, alongside increasing brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin & norepinephrine. Physical activity can promote the production of endorphins too – ‘the happy hormone’.
Furthermore, a study asked 26 healthy men & women who exercised regularly to either continue exercising or stop exercising for 2 weeks. Those who stopped exercising experienced an increase in their negativity (National Institute of Health).
Aiding Weight Loss
Inactivity is a major factor in weight gain & obesity. Your body spends energy in 3 ways: digesting food, exercising & maintaining body functions such as your heartbeat & breathing. While dieting, a reduced calorie intake will lower your metabolic rate, delaying weight loss. However, regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate and in turn, burn more calories.
Additionally, studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training, can maximise fat loss & muscle mass maintenance.
Exercise is Good for Your Muscles & Bones
Exercise is vital in building & maintaining strong muscles & bones. Activity such as weight lifting (even using books if you don’t have a weight set), stimulates muscle building when paired with adequate protein intake. This is due to exercise encouraging the release of hormones that promotes your muscles uptake of amino acids. Also, regular exercise reduces muscle loss & maintaining strength as you age. Keeping active helps build bone density when you’re younger, further preventing osteoporosis later in life.
Increased Energy Levels
During lock-down, it is easy to become inactive. Even though you may be doing less daily, you may actually have feelings of fatigue. A study found that 6 weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for many of the participants who had reported persistent fatigue. Furthermore, exercise can significantly increase energy levels for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), cancer, HIV/AIDS & multiple sclerosis.
Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease
Lack of regular physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease. Insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular fitness & body composition are all improved with regular exercise. However, blood pressure & blood fat levels are decreased.
People often find a significant increase in belly fat, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease & early death.
It Can Help Skin Health
Oxidative stress in your body affects your skin. This occurs when the body’s antioxidant defenses can’t completely repair the damage caused to cells. In turn, internal structures & your skin can deteriorate. Intense & exhaustive physical activity can contribute to oxidative damage, however, regular moderate exercise can increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants, which help protect cells.
Exercise can also stimulate blood flow & induce skin cell adaptations, which can help delay the appearance of aging.
Improved Brain Health & Memory
It has been show that exercise can improve brain function & protect memory & thinking skills. Firstly, it increases your heart rate, promoting the flow of blood & oxygen to your brain, alongside the production of hormones, enhancing brain cell growth. Regular physical activity is especially important in older adults as aging – combined with oxidative stress & inflammation – changes brain structure & function. Results from a study, showed that exercise can reduce changes in the brain, that can cause Alzheimer’s disease & schizophrenia.
Regular exercise can help you relax & to sleep better. One study found that 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity weekly, provided up to 65% improvement in sleep quality. Another showed that 16 weeks of physical activity increased sleep quality & helped people with insomnia sleep longer/more deeply. They also felt more energized during the day. No matter the exercise, any activity helps. Click here to check out our exercises you can do even whilst sat on your sofa.
Symptoms of chronic pain can be reduced through exercise. People often think that rest & inactivity is best, but that’s not always true. Studies have shown that physical activity can raise pain tolerance & decrease pain perception.
Light exercise & stretching is particularly useful for those with arthritis & fibromyalgia, to reduce stiffness. Yoga, gardening or even general house-work counts as keeping active without breaking your body. Take a look at our Qigong 20 minute stretches here.
1 Hour of Exercise is Only 4% of your Day
No matter how you keep active, whether that’s through house-work, going for a short walk, stretching, yoga, following a work-out routine or Surinder’s home exercises on Youtube, it is all better than NO activity. Even just 60 minutes of exercise daily is ONLY 4% of your day – YOU CAN DO THIS! I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS! Now click below & try out these home exercises!