The Korea Herald


Simple exercises to do at home to boost immunity

By Lim Jang-won

Published : March 26, 2020 - 16:38

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As the new coronavirus infections continue to spread, people have been stuck indoors without physical activity for many days, if not weeks.

A report by the US National Institute of Health said the virus can stay on stainless steel and plastic surfaces up to three days, leading people to avoid gyms.

Trainer at Body Spectrum Kim Yu-jin, MVP winner of 2016 World Body Classic who started a one-person fitness center, shared six simple moves beginners can follow at home to help strengthen their immune system.

“Although there are studies which say that excessive exercise reduces your immunity because of the increase in stress hormones, moderate exercise up to 70 to 80 percent of your maximum capacity is beneficial. There is more blood circulation and waste is excreted from your body,” said Kim.

“There aren’t many exercises specifically for boosting your immune system, but those that do require you to use your entire body muscles, especially you lower half, as they are more beneficial,” said Kim.

Kim presented some simple moves that even beginners can do at home, suggesting using a foam roller to stretch out muscles before exercising.
Lean scapular pull down -- works muscle around your wing bone (Park Su-bin / The Korea Herald)

The first move is the lean scapular pull down. While leaning against a wall, make a W-shape with your arms against the wall. Repeat lowering your elbows toward your body and raising them again. Make sure your body does not lift from wall. This works the muscles around your wing bones and is easy to do.
Wide squat -- works inner thigh and hip muscles (Park Su-bin / The Korea Herald)

The second move she demonstrated was the wide squat. Bring your hands in front of your chest and spread your legs 1.5 times the width of your shoulder, with feet at a 45-degree angle. Lower your hip, pressing down on your heels with knees pointing outward, to feel your inner thigh and hip muscles stretch. This way of squatting puts less pressure on your knees for beginners.
Knee-up twist -- works abs and back muscles (Park Su-bin / The Korea Herald)

The third move is the knee-up twist that works the abs and the back. Stand with your feet waist width apart with your hands behind your head. Lift your left knee and twist to right while your right elbow twist right and do the opposite for your right knee and left elbow.
Superman -- works your erector spinae muscles (Park Su-bin / The Korea Herald)

The fourth is the classic superman which works on your erector spinae muscles, or muscle around your spine. For beginners, she suggests making your arm in a w-shape rather than extending them forward. While lying down on your belly, try to raise your chest from the ground, while squeezing your butt cheeks and inner thighs.
Bridge -- works your hip and thigh muscles (Park Su-bin / The Korea Herald)

The fifth is the bridge which works on your hip and thigh muscles. While lying down on your back, raise your knees and put your feet shoulder width apart, and put your arms and shoulders on the ground. Raise your butt and hold still.
Side kick -- works your lateral hip muscles (Park Su-bin / The Korea Herald)

The final move is the side kick which stretches your lateral hip muscles. Lie down side ways with your left hip towards the ground and hold your head with your left arm while your right arm presses on the ground to stabilize your body. Put your left leg at 90 degrees on the ground so that the body stays firm. Try to lift your right leg toward the ceiling and repeat. Do the same lying down on your right. For beginners, the leg facing the ceiling can be bent in an angle to make the move easier.

“Everyone’s body is different, but continuous exercise is important. To have motivation to do it at home, I suggest turning on fast paced music along with setting a doable time frame. Some of my trainees even turn on trot music to get in the mood. I usually count down toward zero when I set workout timers to persevere until then,” said Kim.

“I also feel that along with exercising, getting good sleep is a key factor in maintaining health and good immune system. When some of my trainees are not lifting as well as they usually do, they usually cite lack of sleep the day before,” added Kim.

By Lim Jang-won (