Keeping body and mind in shape: exercising during lockdown

By April 12, 2022 Newsroom, Showcase

Kasintorn Honglawan

Before the lockdown, I usually hit the gym 4 to 5 times a week for around an hour or two at a time. I like going to the gym to keep healthy.  Most of my friends also go to the gym, so it is a bit of a competition to see who is the fittest. It is the time that I spend for myself and I would normally go on my own.  The energy that you feel at the gym and seeing all the machines really motivates me. 

My normal routine is weight training and cardio, and my favourite machine is the pull lat that helps to improve your posture and strengthen your back.

But of course, all our routines were disrupted again with the second lockdown in Bangkok between 12 July 2021 – 1 November 2021. I still wanted to maintain my healthy lifestyle because exercising is good for my mental health and provides the needed distraction from sitting. I occasionally watch clips from a Youtuber, Naefit, who shares home workout videos and watching him motivating the audience also motivates me to go through the exercise. Despite being confined to my small room and without any equipment, I’d like to share some of my lockdown routines: leg lunge and push-ups. 

Here’s how.

  1. Get comfortable and wear loose clothing/gym clothes. At home I go barefoot.
  2. Get hydrated and have a bottle of water with you. 
  3. Get motivated and have some motivating music in the background. 

Leg Lunge

The muscles of the lower body — especially the quads, glutes, and hamstrings — work both concentrically (shortening) and eccentrically (lengthening) during the lunge.

The most basic version of a lunge is the forward lunge. It involves stepping forward, lowering your body toward the ground and returning back to the starting position. It’s the version most people will refer to when they say they’re “doing lunges.”

Steps in doing the lunge:

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step forward longer than a walking stride so one leg is ahead of your torso and the other is behind. Your foot should land flat and remain flat while it’s on the ground. Your rear heel will rise off of the ground.
  3. Bend your knees to approximately 90 degrees as you lower yourself. Remember to keep your trunk upright and your core engaged.
  4. Then, forcefully push off from your front leg to return to the starting position.

Push ups

One of the most basic workouts. 

Steps in doing push ups:

  1. Get on the floor on all fours, positioning your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Don’t lock out the elbows; keep them slightly bent. 
  2. Extend your legs back so you are balanced on your hands and toes, your feet hip-width apart.
  3. Contract your abs and tighten your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine. 
  4. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself to the floor, until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Exhale while contracting your chest muscles and pushing back up through your hands, returning to the start position.

If you’re not used to doing exercise, the first few days will be tough, but do push through as your body will get more used to it. I sometimes find it hard to feel motivated to do the exercise so it might be good for you to schedule the exercise at regular times and stick to it.  You can do these as part of getting away from your workstation, or it could be part of your resolutions. 

I miss the gym and look forward to going back and feel the energy there. For me the adrenaline rush makes me feel good, confident and more resilient to tackle physically and mentally the on-going pandemic. Good luck!

2nd Anniversary of APCOM’s Special Series on the COVID-19 Effect:
APCOM staff share their activities for maintaining good mental health

Click on the photo to read their articles.

Try them out, and if you have other tips that you’d like to share – please contact us at [email protected]

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