Last week, the Hastings Family YMCA announced it would be closed until further notice.
Other gyms in Hastings such as Anytime Fitness and Beauty and the Beast have said they will remain open until they’re told not to, but as more people practice social distancing, finding ways to stay active at home is becoming more of a priority.
Caleb Hahn, a personal trainer and wellness assistant at the YMCA, said there are many ways to get in a quick, effective workout even in the confines of your own home in quarantine mode. One of the most efficient ways he recommends is through high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.
“You can do various types of things such as squats, lunges, pushups; if you have stairs you can run your stairs. What you’re trying to do is you’re going to do any sort of exercise for 30 seconds and then you’re going to take a break,” Hahn said. “You can do all body weight, but if you have dumbbells or bands you can incorporate those, as well.”
Hahn said for those who are new to HIIT exercises, a 2-1 rest-to-work ration is recommended — so, for every 30 seconds of exercise, take a one-minute rest afterward. For more advanced training or those looking to challenge themselves at a higher level, allow less time for rest in between exercises.
The reason Hahn recommends HIIT workouts is based on their ability to achieve effective results in a short amount of time.
“You can get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. You can burn as many calories in a 20-minute HIIT workout as you can in a 45-minute strength workout,” he said. “It’s a good option to do whether you’re at the gym or at home.”
Hahn said the goal of a HIIT workout is to get the heart rate going. The exercises of squats, pushups and burpees may sound simple, but performing each of those for a duration of time with short rest in between — and repeating the cycle — can make for an effective and efficient way to stay active, even just for a little bit.
Knowing what your body can take is important when it comes to how often one should use a HIIT workout. Hahn said beginners should shoot for two to three days per week, while an advanced schedule would include four workouts per week.
Hahn recommends getting resistance bands, which he said are reasonably priced and very versatile when it comes to using them in a workout. He added that other creative options for weight equipment could range from using a can of soup to filling a backpack with books.
High-intensity exercises aren’t the only way to stay active and keep a healthy lifestyle during this time of social distancing.
“Even if we’re in quarantine, we can go outside. If the weather’s nice enough or you don’t mind the cold that much, go outside and you can do an interval running or walking where you jog for 30 seconds and then walk for a minute,” Hahn said. “Something like that just to build your stamina up.”
The YMCA has been offering group exercise classes for quite some time, and with the facility being closed, the organization is trying to make some of those classes available online so patrons can participate in those sessions from home.
“We’re streaming a good chunk of our classes online,” Hahn said. “There are a lot of other organizations and companies that are offering their products for free right now, that they usually charge for. Everybody is trying to help everybody, knowing many are stuck at home. Everybody is trying to help everybody stay in shape.”
The YMCA classes can be found at www.hastingsymca.net/at-home-fitness and includes a HIIT class for those looking to burn calories in a short amount of time, as well as yoga and Tabata classes, just to name a few. You don’t need to be a YMCA member to watch the classes.
Hahn knows many people are working from home during this time, and he recommends getting up and moving every hour, even if it’s just walking up and down the hall a few times. He said setting a timer will help remind you to get up and stay active.