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PHYSICAL HEALTH

Lost fitness routine? Creative alternatives

Technology has bridged the gap left by gym closures through fitness apps and watches

In Summary

• Staying active will also help counteract the stay-at-home blues

Mary Moraa with her home gym as part of her exercise
Mary Moraa with her home gym as part of her exercise
Image: Emmanuel Sabuni

Most adults are well aware of the physical and mental health benefits of exercise and understand the importance of engaging in regular physical activities.

The presence of Covid-19 has resulted in changes in our daily schedule disrupting every aspect of what we knew as normal life. Exercise routines are no exception, forcing us to tweak our fitness habits for the well-being of our health.

Charles Ndegwa, Nakuru branch manager of Car and General Limited, said, “Home fitness has taken a new role due to the closure of gyms in accordance with the government directive on social distancing. Many of us are trying to find ways to exercise effectively within our four walls, walks around the neighborhood, jog, or yoga to keep up with the routine adapted before the pandemic.

“Technology has enabled us access fitness regimes by downloading applications, as fitness instructors have been quick to move online on different platforms. Wearable devices like the Garmin fitness watches can monitor your health and fitness levels, such as the heart rate, all-day stress levels, breathing and sleeping patterns. 

“These help you gauge when you are ready to be active and when you need to rest. Most gadgets can be synchronised with your mobile phone to view performance metrics through applications that can be downloaded from the App store, or Play store.

“You can preload and customise the watch with your activity profile for running, walks, hikes, cycling, swimming, golfing and more. When auto goal is activated on your watch, a notification will be sent on the estimated sweat loss after an activity and your goal will be adjusted accordingly. You can also keep track of your fluid intake as a reminder to stay hydrated throughout the day.

“If you feel unsafe, or if the watch senses that an incident may have occurred, it will automatically send a message to your emergency contacts through the assistant and incident detection feature. Personal safety is paramount,” concluded Charles. 

Exercise is an excellent opportunity for family fun and bonding, especially now with children learning from home. Backyard games, such as skipping, are ways in which family members can bond while keeping fit. Through tracking of their activities, goals can be set for a better outcome.

Although it might be tempting to skip your workout during these challenging times, health experts advise that exercising is essential to your physical and mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. Staying active will also help counteract the stay-at-home blues.