LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - By staying home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many of us are not walking as much as we normally would. Even students are not walking from class to class. So, as we settle into this new normal, Dr. Toby Brooks wants us to establish good habits. He is an Assistant Professor in athletic training at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. He says we need to make an effort to keep moving for at least 30 minutes a day. And he adds, most of us have the extra time now to do that. "I'm used to going 30 to 40 minutes getting ready and going in to work and 30 minutes coming home. So I've magically been given an extra hour!"
Dr. Brooks says a lot of people panicked when the gyms were closed last week due to coronavirus concerns. But he says we have a lot of options at home to keep working out. He explains, “There are a number of free apps that are available. I use an app called fit bod for myself. There are settings on there for body weight type exercises. So you’re doing squats, push-ups, planks. You don’t need any equipment to do those things. Even if it’s something simple like grabbing some soup cans or water jugs or something else, that provides a little resistance. You don’t have to have thousands of dollars in equipment to add a little resistance to yourself.”
Whatever you do, he says don’t waste that extra hour you save by not driving to work or wherever. He says if we stop getting even a little exercise, it won’t take long to feel the results. “It takes 2 weeks or less when we would start to undergo some of the negative impacts from that sedentary lifestyle. That could be as profound as loss of muscle mass or as subtle as slower reactivity.”
Dr. Brooks says if you feel like you get comfy on the couch and just forget to get up for long periods, set a timer. He says that can give you the push to get up and move around every 30 minutes or so.
For more tips from Dr. Brooks on getting some exercise in your own house at any age, watch the video. He says even getting up and out of your chair repeatedly could be a simple exercise with big returns.