Woman exercising during quarantine

Home quarantine extended? Exercise more to ward off cabin fever

Have you been anticipating the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) this April 30, only to be met with the recent announcement that the ECQ is extended to at least May 15? Though such a measure is necessary from a public health standpoint, it doesn’t exactly release those happy hormones in your body. The prospect of being cooped up at home for 15 more days can trigger anxiety and mood swings. But not if you can help it.

Exercising can help you emotionally cope with extended periods of confinement, as well as make your immune system be stronger.

Based on the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) of the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), one should engage in 30 minute exercises, at least three times a week.

With a little creativity, simple exercises can be done at home, without breaking a sweat (and your bank) to set up elaborate, cumbersome, and expensive machines. Here are some tips:

1. The house stairs are your StairMaster. For starters, go up and down the first step of your stairs for about three minutes. In the next sessions, you can do this for longer periods.

2. Filled-up mineral water bottles can be used as dumbbells. You can use bigger bottles if you want more weight.

3. Sit on a sturdy chair, raise your legs, and perform pedaling motions for one minute. When you get the hang of it, do longer sets.

4. Sit-ups and jumping jacks need no equipment. Go for it!

5. Got internet? Then click on those Zumba videos and dance along with them.

Considering that it’s the peak of summer, don’t forget to keep properly hydrated before, during and after exercises. Also, it’s important to stretch those joints and muscles before and after exercise.

Encourage the whole family to exercise together. That’ll also strengthen family bonds.

For more information on food and nutrition, e-mail Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, at mcv@fnri.dost.gov.ph or log on to http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph(DOST-FNRI S&T Media Services)