Coronavirus: How best you can exercise at home in the UAE

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Abu Dhabi: With gyms across the country shut down as part of the government’s efforts to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, fitness experts say this shouldn’t stop people from managing to get a good workout inside their own homes.

“There are a lot of exercises residents can do in their homes, bodyweight routines are one great way to go, and people can do them without needing any equipment or machines,” said Basheer Jadallah, a certified personal trainer.

“Bodyweight exercises include squats, lunges, pushups, sit ups and planks. All of these workouts are very effective and can help improve a person’s core strength and body fitness,” he added.

“What’s great as well is that anyone can do these workouts, they’re not complicated and as mentioned they don’t require any equipment. If someone does have equipment like a dumbbell or kettle bell, they can incorporate the same workouts with the equipment,” he said.

Jadallah said that people could also make use of home items and furniture to substitute for equipment.

“They can simply use a chair in the house, where they can sit on the chair and stand up like they are doing squats. They can also step up on the chair, or do push-ups on the chair if it’s too difficult for them on the ground.

“Also with the availability of the Internet, they can just Google all of these workouts and other bodyweight exercises to see how to safely follow them, and so they have everything they already need without a gym,” he added.

Jadallah also recommended people against staying idle in their homes and to move about as much as possible.

“A lot of people are working from home now, and so if you’re on a phone call or a conference call the best thing to do is take them while walking around the house instead of just sitting.

“And then throughout the day just stretch your legs, walk around the house for five minutes just to ensure you aren’t always sitting down,” he added.

Effective exercise

For those with treadmills or exercise bikes, Jadallah said they would be very effective during these times in maintaining cardio.

“Walking one a hour a day on a treadmill will be fine for cardio. If someone is a beginner they can start with 30 minutes and then slowly ramp it up everyday by five minutes and also increase the speed and angle incline.

“Everyone should workout on the level that’s comfortable for them, it will obviously vary between beginners and those who are more advanced,” he added.

Moaz Abdelgawad, also a personal trainer, said his advice for residents would be to perform bodyweight exercises together in one go.

“My plan that I would give would be something like 10 squats, 10 pushups, 10 sit ups followed by jumping jacks for 30 seconds. After this take a minute or two-minute break and repeat the routine for three rounds. The numbers can also be changed so instead of 10, they do 20 or 30.

“This will ensure they break a sweat and are getting a good workout in. A lot of times people will find that these exercises are not as easy as they sound when they start doing them, and that it does get them tired with their body definitely feeling the work,” he added.

“They can do this three times a week at minimum, and by the time gyms do eventually open, these residents will have found themselves feeling stronger and with more energy,” he said.

Abdelgawad also highlighted the importance of healthy nutrition while staying indoors.

“Eating healthy is very important and compliments the workouts, if you’re not eating healthy then the workouts aren’t going to make a very big difference.

“So they need to control the types of food they are eating, and so that means avoiding sugary foods and products and junk food. Stick to healthy proteins and carbs such as fruits,” he added.

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