The Coronavirus outbreak in Spain has led to many flight cancellations and travel restrictions. Trips to the Camino de Santiago are being cancelled and postponed. We have increased our flexibility in changing your booking dates as things develop, so we can move our clients’ trips to later in the year, or next year.
In the meantime, it is important to stay fit and healthy for your Camino. Staying fit has many health benefits, and can help your immune system as well.
Here are some steps you can take to stay fit at home while you wait for your Camino de Santiago trip.
Walk outside in isolated places
The world is huge and there are plenty of places you can go that don’t have many other people in them. The WHO is advising people to keep social distancing to avoid the spread of viruses. The hills and outdoor trails that are a bit further out and harder to get to are about as distant as you can get! Search online for outdoor walks near you that you can cycle to or drive to.
If you think there will be people there, then stay home and try one of these other options –
Do yoga at home
Yoga is an excellent way to develop core strength, balance, and flexibility – all of which will help you when you walk the Camino. There are plenty of videos online that you can follow from the comfort of your home. All you need is comfy clothes you can move in and an area big enough to lie down in. There are even special videos for small spaces if you need them!
If you are new to yoga, a fun place to start with YouTube yoga is Yoga with Adriene. There are plenty of other channels too, so have a look and see if anything interests you. If you are looking for a faster-paced yoga routine try searching Power Yoga.
Use your stairs
If you live in a home with stairs in it – they are a great tool for home fitness. Aside from running up and down them to get your heart pumping you can also do loads of exercises using them. Step routines can help maintain your strength and fitness for your Camino.
Here are some options for moves you can do –
1. Stair pushup
- Firmly place your hands on a step. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders.
- Push your toes into the floor and extend your legs into a plank position. You should feel your core (stomach) muscles working.
- Lower yourself into the pushup and then push away from the stairs.
- Keep your neck and back in a neutral position during this exercise. Don’t let your hips drop.
2. Stair crawl
- Begin at the bottom of the stairs, on your arms and legs.
- Your arms should be under your shoulders, knees below your hips, and feet resting on the ground.
- Begin crawling up the steps by moving your opposite arm and leg forward at the same time to the next step.
- Alternate this cross-body pattern to the top of the stairs, then walk down and repeat.
3. Stair lunge
- Facing away from the stairs, move your left leg back to rest on a step.
- Inhale, bend your knees, and lower your body.
- Exhale, extend your legs and return to a standing position.
- Your front knee should be over the centre of your front foot. Don’t let the knee bend beyond your toes.
- Switch legs.
4. Step up
- Stand at the bottom of the stairs. Hold your core tight.
- Step onto the bottom step with your right foot.
- Bring your left foot up onto the step, too.
- Step back down to the ground with your right foot.
- Bring your left foot down onto the ground as well.
- Repeat 5 times and then switch the leg that you start with.
- To increase the difficulty, speed this process up, or step up 2 stairs instead of 1.
- Stand with your feet parallel (sideways) to the stairs. The right side of your body should be closest to the stairs.
- Step the right foot onto the first step, followed by the left.
- Continue this stepping motion until you’ve reached the top of the stairs.
- Always lead with the high foot. Don’t let your feet cross while climbing up the stairs.
- Walk back down the stairs and repeat the sequence with the left leg leading.
6. Crab walks
- Sit at the top of the stairs with your feet 2 steps below you and about shoulder-width apart.
- Bring your arms behind you and place your hands on the top step.
- Slowly raise your hips off the ground, tightening your glute muscles as you do so.
- Press your hands into the step to keep your shoulders from rising upward.
- Begin crawling down the steps by moving your opposite arm and leg forward at the same time to the next step.
Try some bodyweight exercises
Bodyweight exercises use the weight of your body to help you build muscle and stay fit. That means you don’t need any fancy gym equipment to get your heart pumping and stay Camino-ready. Try this quick workout as an example – and remember to listen to your body. If something is too hard or causing pain – stop and look for a more gentle variation.
Mentally, as well as physically. This is a tough time for everyone. Try to remain calm and stay in touch with friends and family. Trust the experts, and remember to only listen to official sources of information. This includes the WHO and your national health organisations.
Take some time to look after yourself, make yourself a nice cup of tea, maybe take a few minutes to meditate.
Enjoy your home workouts!
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Originally published on 16th March 2020