1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – John Graham, assistant facility manager, Gordon Fitness Center, works on his triceps by doing dips. The bench can easily be replaced with a chair, coffee table, ottoman or other elevated surface. (Photo Credit: Laura Levering / Fort Gordon Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Household goods and furniture such as these pictured here can make for an easy “at home” workout. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Gordon fitness centers and others across the community remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that should not discourage nor keep anyone from exercising. And perhaps now more than ever, it is crucial to focus on one’s physical health.

Realizing that not everyone has access to exercise equipment, John Graham, assistant facility manager, Gordon Fitness Center, said that anyone can participate in physical fitness.

“There’s a lot you can do from home,” Graham said.

All it takes is some household items, a little creativity, and an open mind. Open the pantry and grab some canned goods, milk jugs or bottled water from the refrigerator, or detergent from the laundry room and use them as weights. The nice thing about milk jugs is once they’re emptied of milk, you can change them up with your workout.

“Fill them all the way up, fill them halfway up – you can vary the resistance with those,” Graham said.

The ottoman or coffee table that would normally be used for kicking back and relaxing can double as a surface for doing dips, squats and other exercises. Towels, T-shirts and ropes can be used in place of resistance bands. Try using furniture movers or paper plates instead of gliders for a challenging “plank to pike” exercise. Get some cardio in using stairs or strengthen your legs with wall-sits.

“I encourage people to just be creative,” Graham said. “Try to look at a piece of furniture or something outside that would kind of bring your memory to something that you’d do in the gym.”

As important as it is to be in good physical shape, it is also important to have good mental health.

“Work on a jigsaw puzzle, do a crossword puzzle to kind of stimulate your mind mentally, meditate … “It’s also a good time to start looking up some good healthy recipes and working on your cooking,” Graham said.

The main thing is to make time for physical activity even on days you might not feel like it. and not sit idle every day.

“I know this is a time of a lot of eating, being bored and sitting around the house, but use it to get into some things that you normally wouldn’t have time to do in a hectic lifestyle such as meal prep or trying new things on your menu,” Graham said.

Need a little push?

Graham recently recorded three virtual workouts – and has plans for more – that anyone can view and participate in from home.

“It’s not a total workout, but it’s different things you can do at home, and I speak of different items you can grab from around home to help with resistance if you don’t have any dumbbells and things of that nature,” Graham said.

He also encourages people to look for other workout videos and to reach out to their local fitness centers to see if they are livestreaming classes.

To view Graham’s workout videos, visit the Fort Gordon MWR Facebook page.