By Dave Jack | in top Form

Feeling depressed, out of energy, and concerned about your future? You’re not alone! According to researchers from Boston University, one in three Americans is suffering from anxiety or depression. COVID-19 has tripled the rate of depression in adults among all demographic groups.

With many of our social communities shut down, anxiety is up and so is our time spent at home. The Washington Post reported that since the onset of the novel coronavirus, Americans now spend an average of 89% of their days at home. With that, online and TV usage time have skyrocketed. Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ have reported over 12 million new subscriptions with an average of more than 1.25 hours per day spent watching — double what it was before the pandemic.  

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It’s safe to say that with people being depressed, home, and consuming more media, couch time is the highest it’s ever been!

Earn Your Couch Time

Do you want to stay healthy and avoid the coronavirus? Increasing your immunity with exercise will help. Moderate intensity exercise helps flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Exercise also causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells that fight off disease.  

According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, those who did aerobic exercise for five or more days per week, for 30 minutes a day over a 12-week period, reduced the likelihood of upper respiratory infection by more than 40%. Furthermore, the CDC recommends 30 minutes a day, five days a week, of aerobic exercise to help reduce infection and prevent obesity, which can also help reduce symptoms and severity of COVID.

With gyms closed and workout equipment on backorder for weeks to months, it’s time to stop making excuses and use whatever you can. Even the couch you enjoy sitting on so much can be a crucial tool for an amazing workout. It’s great!

Here is a workout
you can utilize the couch for to earn that relaxation time on it.  

1. Bulgarian split squat:  One foot back on the couch, lower your hips to be in line with your knee and push through the heel, keeping the knee over the ankle (not turning in) to stand up. Do 10-15 reps per leg.

2. Push-ups: You can either do the push-ups on the back of the couch, or if you want to make it harder, put your feet onto it and hands on the floor. Keep the elbows in line with the wrists to avoid hurting your shoulders. Do 10-15 reps (try to push to failure once a week).

3. Balance step-up: Put one foot on the couch and step up to raise the opposite quad parallel to the floor. Don’t bounce off your back foot! Keep it slow and controlled, again keeping your knee over your ankle (not turning in).

4. Incline sit-up: Put your feet on the couch while you lie on the floor. Sit up to get your shoulders off the ground as you reach your wrists over your kneecaps. Try for 10-20.

5. Hip thrust: With your upper back on the edge of the couch and both feet on the floor, push through your heels to bring your hips in line with your knee and shoulder, hold for 2 seconds, and lower the hips back toward the floor. Do at least 15 reps.

6. Couch dips: Hands on the edge of the couch and feet out in front of you, lower your body until your elbows are level with your shoulder tucked in toward your body, push your body weight back up.

7. Couch mountain climber: Put your hands on the edge of the couch and pull one knee at a time, slowly and controlled, between your elbows. Keep it slow to increase your abdominal time under tension while in plank. Do 15-20 reps per leg (30-40 total).

8. Repeat the full sequence 3-4 times.

Follow with
a nice stretch.
The couch can help!

1. Child’s pose: On your knees with your hands on the couch, sit your hips down to your ankles and turn your chin to one side at a time. Feel the stretch through your lats. Can you smell your hard work? Hold for 20-30 seconds per side.

2. Kneeling pigeon:
Put one ankle and knee up on the couch and sit the hips toward the
floor. Feel it stretch the outer glutes. Hold for 20-30 seconds per side.

3. Kneeling hip flexor: With one foot on the floor and one knee pressed onto the edge of the couch, lower your hips to the floor while keeping them level. Hold for 20-30 seconds per leg.

4. Sitting shoulder stretch: Sit on the floor with your hands back behind you on the couch, lean forward. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

Like David Goggins wrote in his book, Can’t Hurt Me, “I earned the pain, now I’m going to enjoy it.” Get your workout in before you let yourself sit and enjoy your favorite shows. It will help your chances to fight off the virus and prevent the severity of the symptoms if you contract it. You’ll feel much better both physically and emotionally.  

~ Dave Jack has been a certified personal trainer for 13 years, specializing in a variety of areas from nutrition to performance. He believes in training properly to improve one’s ability in sports.

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