Those who could, continued to train at home with home-fitness and tools, perhaps supported by training programs available on social media or with dedicated online sessions.
However, the increased sedentariness, as well as some weight being gained, might have made our body less efficient so it is good to follow some advice for a gradual return to the levels of two months ago.
How to start training safely again
The Italian Medical Sports Federation has drawn up a vade mecum of recommendations for all those who want to resume their cardio activity.
Information and advice that can be useful to any sportsman, all over the world, as dictated by the intent to facilitate the recovery by avoiding injuries or excesses. Just like as if physical activity were a drug, the recommendations are about the intensity, frequency, volume and mode of physical activity.
The premise is that already after 2-4 weeks of sedentariness, both the aerobic capacity and the muscular consistency are showing drops in performance due to detraining. It is therefore a good idea for professional athletes, amateur sportspeople and those who have a physically demanding work to resume their activities and stop the effects of detraining.
The keyword is prudence, both to avoid situations of early fatigue due to reduced aerobic activity and to avoid the risk of injury, always lurking if the muscles are used incorrectly.
Overcome detraining with physical reconditioning
The "physical reconditioning" can be interpreted as a sustainable and virtuous routine, which involves a varied training program consisting of postural exercises, stretching, core-stability and balance.
Once these basic objectives have been achieved, it is recommended to introduce exercises to increase muscle tone and flexibility and, at the same time, set up a program of endurance activities to improve aerobic capacity. Not everything must be done at the same time. On the contrary, in this phase of soft return to physical activity, the best frequency may be to alternate the days of training with days of rest.
The recommendation is 30-45 minutes of exercise per day to get to 150-300 minutes per week.
In this regard, the Italian Medical Sports Federation specifies that under current isolation conditions it may be difficult to perform vigorous intensity exercises and physical deconditioning may expose to risks, including the reduction of the immune system's response to infection. The ideal choice should therefore be to perform activities of moderate intensity, with heart rate around 60-70% of the maximum theoretical heart rate (generally calculated with the formula: FCmax = 208 - 0.7 X age). If you cannot monitor your heart rate during exercise, you can rely on your perceived level of fatigue, trying to manage the intensity between light and moderately intense (i.e. I can sense the demanding effort, but I am able to talk while exercising).
Indoor and outdoor training modes
A final topic concerns the way in which indoor and outdoor physical activity takes place. For optimal training, there is a quota for muscle toning and an aerobic quota. In both cases, it is essential to dedicate 5 minutes to stretching before starting and 5 minutes at the end to relax and stretch your muscles. To maintain muscle tone, you can vary the exercises using tools such as small weights and/or elastics. If they are not available, you can do free-body exercises (such as bending and flexing) or replace the weights with everyday objects (e.g. water bottles or books).
For aerobic activities, you can use home fitness equipment (indoor bike, treadmill or rower) or, alternatively, march on site, use jump rope or climb and descend stairs. Always remember with a view to gradualness, to alternate the exercises with rest phases that can be reduced in duration as the performance improves.
Top equipment and training tracking with mywellness
Home workouts can be very effective and, if done well, can help most people achieve their fitness goals. So many people at home with so much free time led to them training with exercises and good routines, often through sessions run by coaches and professional trainers. Whilst gyms and fitness centres will reopen in the coming weeks and months, it is important to continue good habits when we begin to return to work and have less free time to do so. It is essential to encourage people to improve their good time management and good planning to continue to train.