New York Tech men’s lacrosse player lifting weights.

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Q&A: Staying Active While Staying Home

March 24, 2020

Pictured: New York Tech men’s lacrosse player Andrew Zito.

COVID-19 has forced people around the world to stay indoors. While people are sitting at home, it might be easy to forget to take care of our bodies and minds. During these unprecedented times, mental and physical health still need to be a focus. Nyitbears.com caught up with New York Institute of Technology’s Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Dana Carney to talk about good health practices and at-home exercises to help you stay active while social distancing.

With a majority of us confined to our homes, what are some steps we all can take to ensure we are as healthy as possible during this time?
Listen to what medical professionals are telling us. Practice good hygiene and try not to go out in public right now. I think mental health during this time is just as important. You can easily get caught up in watching the news constantly, and being cooped up in your home away from your typical routine can be a challenging thing. This is why it is a good idea to try to keep some form of routine each day, even if it is different from what you are normally used to.

What types of household items can people use to help with workouts?
Believe it or not, you don’t need much to get in a good workout at home. Using your own bodyweight alone can be challenging. If you are fortunate enough to have at-home equipment such as dumbbells, medicine balls, or a jump rope—even better! If not, completing different exercises such as squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, and all sorts of variations of these with your own body weight can be done.

How can people continue their rehab if they cannot see their doctor of physical therapist?
For those who are recovering from a specific injury, they can still proceed with rehab protocol as long as they are doing things cleared by their doctor/physical therapist. It is more crucial for them to continue exercising so they can stay on track and return to normal health. Usually, these people need less equipment and focusing more on muscle activation and technique to the isolated muscle they are rehabbing.

Even with staying inside at much as possible, is it still safe and healthy to get outside and go for a run or walk to get some fresh air?
From what I have read, it is safe to get out and go for a run or walk as long as you are practicing social distancing while doing so. I highly recommend it. It is a great way to change your environment and clear your mind. You can mix up the workout by changing your intensity. If you are well trained, you can do intervals between stop signs or utility poles (sprint every other stop sign/pole). Same if you are less trained. Start with walking and maybe speed walk or light jog between stop signs/utility poles. It’s the time of the year where the sun is out longer and the temperature is warming up; take advantage of this, get to know your neighborhood on foot!

Exercise Ideas:

  • Yoga session via YouTube
  • FaceTime a teammate/friend and complete a workout together. Encourage one another and hold each other accountable.
  • Compete with your teammates/friends on challenges (i.e. daily steps taken, daily calories burned, who can complete a workout the quickest).
  • Go outside to complete a workout when possible. It’s good for the body and the mind.
  • Go for a hike on a local trail.
  • G.o for a bike ride
Example Circuit:
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 (10 each leg) alternating forward lunges
  • 10 push-ups (do as many as you can with perfect form, finish reps with modified push-ups)
  • 10 squats
  • 60-second plank hold
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • Complete 3 to 5 rounds
Example Circuit:
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 60 seconds deep squat hold
  • 10 squat jumps
  • 10 up/down planks
  • 20 (10 each leg) lateral lunge
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • Complete 3 to 5 rounds
Example Circuit:
  • 60 seconds plank jacks
  • 30 seconds toe taps
  • 30 seconds pike push-ups
  • 30 seconds dips (use bench, chair or stair)
  • 30 seconds split squat jumps
  • Too easy? Up the time!
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • Complete 3 to 5 rounds

Deck of Cards:

Use a deck of cards to complete a workout. Costume design yourself! Each suit represents a different exercise. The number represents reps, Ace = 20 reps, Jacks/Queens/Kings = 15 reps

Example First 1/2 of Deck:
  • Diamonds = squats
  • Hearts = burpees
  • Spades = push-ups
  • Clover = forward lunge
  • Mix it up 1/2 way through the deck, then change exercises
Example Second 1/2 of Deck:
  • Diamonds = squat jumps
  • Hearts = mountain climbers
  • Spades = plank shoulder taps
  • Clover = lateral lunge