OhioHealth fitness expert offers advice for modifying workouts during pandemic


COLUMBUS - For many people, the workday looks pretty similar right now.

Some people may be working from their living room, while others working from a home office, but either way, many are staying home.

That can make moving tough.

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“A lot of times when we’re in the office, sometimes we’re more mindful about getting up and we can go have a conversation with someone instead of shooting them an email but right now, we’re stuck at home,” said Amy Kleski, a clinical exercise physiologist at OhioHealth’s McConnell Heart Health Center.

Kleski suggests a trick to force those at home to get up and moving.

She suggests writing different exercises on index cards and setting the timer for one hour.

When the timer goes off, pull out an index card and do the exercise before getting back to business.

She suggests making the exercises fun and random.

This will keep people moving and break up the workday to improve mental health as well.

But some workers are considered “essential” and don’t have the option to work from home.

For many essential employees, the current pandemic has increased their workload, making it tough for them to stay active.

“That’s a struggle for some folks,” Kleski said. “It’s not as easy right now to actually have the time to exercise and the mental exhaustion that is coming along with some of our frontline workers having to work such long shifts and the stress that’s there.”

For those who may be working now more than ever, Kleski suggests making it a daily practice to do what she calls, “The Big Three.”

“The Big Three” consists of doing 10 reps of three different exercises that hit all the major muscle groups twice.

Those would include exercises like squats or lunges, pushups or modified pushups and some sort of row to work the upper back.

Even briefly working those three muscle groups will help those who are working long hours maintain the lean muscle mass they need to get through this time, Kleski said.

For more workout advice from OhioHealth, click here.

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There are now 31,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio; 1,888 people have died from the virus and 5,773 were hospitalized, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Breakdown of Ohio cases by county >>

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