In the midst of the lockdown, people have been encouraged to follow a daily schedule which includes a regular exercise routine.
The South African Medical Association’s (Sama) Dr Akhtar Hussain has provided some simple exercises individuals can do without the need to purchase gym equipment.
The Economic Freedom Fighters raised eyebrows on Monday when it called for government to allow for the sale of exercise equipment during the lockdown. It argued that due to the closure of gyms and other exercise locations, this may be a viable option for South Africans to stay in shape.
Hussain said exercise was important during this time and may assist in avoiding many disorders which could affect the body and mental health.
He said doing cardiovascular exercises were important to decrease stress and anxiety, as well as building up the immune system.
“In lockdown, if you spend your day doing no physical activity, sitting and sleeping, there is a possibility of psychosomatic disorder, phobia, obesity and depression.
“This is because you must keep your mind and body busy,” Hussain said.
“It is also important to plan a roster so you have a routine of when everything should be done.
“A well-balanced diet is also important during this time. One needs to eat healthily and avoid smoking and drinking.”
Hussain set out practical exercises that could be done with objects that were readily available in homes. He said that there was no need to purchase gym equipment when one could make use of household objects.
One simple exercise to do during the lockdown involves a chair, a bench or a step ladder.
“Step up and down for about 20 minutes, changing the starting leg after 10 minutes,” he said.
“Using a skipping rope or if you don’t have one, you can jump up and down while lifting your legs a little bit higher with each jump for about 20 minutes.
“There are also practical ways to do yoga which will assist in relaxing your mind and focusing on your breathing.”
Hussain said it was important to listen to your body while doing home exercises to avoid injury and burnout.