Kingsday special

The Dutch team of QuaranTrain wants to share some national traditions with the world! Therefore, on the 27th of April we will launch our Kingsday Special. This Special contains videos of traditional games, with which you can challenge yourself, your family, neighbors and friends to be active.  

Why Kingsday? No, this is not about the translation of the word Corona, which means Crown. In the 19th century this day arose to emphasize the national unity in the Netherlands. In the years that followed it evolved to be a celebrative event on the birthday of the queen. Until 1980 this contained a parade for the queen. Since Beatrix became the queen, the royal family visited a different town each year and participated in the locally organized festivities.  
2014 was the first Kingsday on the birthday of our new inaugurated King Willem-Alexander, on the 27th of April.  
Normally, we celebrate Kingsday all together by playing funny traditional games, selling the overflowing stored stuff from the attic at a local fleamarket and dancing at a music festival. And of course, all dressed up in orange!

This year would be a bit different, but Corona isn’t a reason to cancel a joyful day. So, feel yourself like a king or queen while waving from your balcony, have fun with our videos and make this day a positive one!


Oranje smoothie

Ook met Koningsdag blijven we op de gezonde tour! Deze smoothie is een combinatie van wortel, sinaasappel, selderij en citroen. Van de wortel, sinaasappel en bleekselderij doe je allemaal 1 stuk in de blender en draaien maar! Als laatste gaat het sap van een halve citroen er doorheen. Doordat (bijna) alle ingrediënten een mooie oranje kleur hebben krijg je de perfecte Koningsdag smoothie. Oja, vergeet niet de wortel en de sinaasappel te schillen 😉
Fijne Koningsdag! 👑🇳🇱

1 sinaasappel
1 wortel
1 bleekselderij
1/2 citroen (sap)


Taiji: Good exercise during COVID-19

Yifan Chen, Meichen Chen, Liwen Fu and Hui Wang

Taiji is an ancient Daoist philosophical term symbolizing the interaction of yin and yang, which are opposite manifestations of the same forces in nature. The dynamic interaction of yin and yang, underlying the relation and changing nature of all things, is epitomized in the famous “Taiji Diagram.”



Taiji is one types of Wushu rooted in the Daoist concepts of the interplay and necessary balance of yin and yang.

Some traditional schools claim that Taiji has a practical connection to the theories of the Song dynasty Neo-Confucianism (a conscious synthesis of Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions). These schools believe that Taiji ‘s theories and practices were formulated by the Taoist monk Sanfeng Zhang in the 12th century (Wile and Douglas, 2007).

Taiji appears to have received this appellation from only around the mid of the 19th century (Hennning,1994). History records that Luchan Yang, the founder of Yang’s Taiji, trained with the Chen family for 18 years before he started to

teach the art in Beijing, which strongly suggests that his art was based on, or heavily influenced by, the Chen family art. The Chen family can trace the development of their Taiji back to Chen Wangting in the 17th century. At that time, Taiji had already developed.


Photo from Dr. Jing Liu

Many studies report improvements in quality of life, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular function, pain, balance, and kinesthesia after learning Taiji. According to the data, Taiji is mostly performed in the form of semi-squatting, so it can improve the stability of lower limbs and delay aging. In addition, Taiji combines breathing with the body to effectively improve respiratory function. Furthermore, Taiji is a lifestyle practice, regular practice can improve immunity.


Photo from Dr. Jing Liu

With the growing number of people remain quarantined at home, we should take exercise choosing at a rather restricted environment into consideration with an attempt to stay active and be healthy. Taiji presents its unique values in such a special period and should be introduced to the whole world. As above, we know that Taiji is not just a kind of Wushu, but way more than that.

On the one hand, Taiji is a low-cost and easily implemented exercise without facilities, which makes it easy to persist in the quarantine state. And its medical value presents in various aspects, such as memory, digestion, balance, flexibility and so on.

On the other hand, people around the world are going through a tough spell and what happened around might make you feel stressed or restricted than before. The slow movement and concentration of Taiji will guide you to find your peaceful inner heart. It is exactly the right time to do Taiji!

Here is an action demonstration of Taiji. The character in the video is Dr. Jing Liu, an associate professor from Department of Wushu and Arts, Nanjing Sport Institute, China.


Henning, Stanley (1994). “Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan”. Journal of the Chen Style Taijiquan Research Association of Hawaii. 2 (3). Archived from the original on 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2009-11-23.

Lin, Z., 2016. On Chinese Tai Chi Culture: Contemporary Values and International Communication. Asian Social Science 12, p273.

Wile, Douglas (2007). “Taijiquan and Taoism from Religion to Martial Art and Martial Art to Religion”. Journal of Asian Martial Arts. Via Media Publishing. 16 (4). ISSN 1057-8358.

Yang, Y., & Grubisich, S. A. (2005). Taijiquan: The art of nurturing, the science of power. Zhenwu Publications.

Yang, Y., Verkuilen, J., Rosengren, K. S., Mariani, R. A., Reed, M., Grubisich, S. A., & Woods, J. A. (2007). Effects of a Taiji and Qigong intervention on the antibody response to influenza vaccine in older adults. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 35(04), 597-607.


Breathing Exercises

Staying healthy involves things like eating properly and staying active. At times like these it is even more important. By sticking to social distancing and quarantining at home, it is the perfect opportunity to focus on our physical activity and nutrition.

During these times, it is also important to keep our respiratory system, and more specifically, good lung function in mind. Covid-19 is a virus that can affect the respiratory system in even its mild and moderate forms. When speaking of the respiratory system, it is concerned with breathing and the lungs are the organs that enable this.

A group of breathing exercises largely adopted by physiotherapists worldwide are The Active Cycle of Breathing Techniques (ACBTs). These breathing exercises target the lungs and aim to maintain good and functional breathing capacity. This technique consists of three phases:

[throughout the exercises, it is recommended to position oneself in sitting maintaining a good posture by keeping shoulders relaxed and the neck supported]. 

1.  Breathing Control

Breathing control helps to relax the airways which is useful for bouts of coughing or episodes of shortness of breath. This phase is best performed with the eyes closed to aid in a sensation of relaxation. This phase alone is useful to be carried out in states of fear, anxiety, and even during a panic attack. It also serves as a precursor to the following two stages if done within the cycle. 

To perform this stage, the person should breath in through the nose and out of the mouth, if possible. If not, both through the mouth instead. Any tension in the body should try to be relaxed with each breath out focussing on head and shoulder placement. This phase is to be repeated at least 6 times, gradually trying to control the breathing rate with each repetition. It can be done as many times as the person feels they need to move onto the next step.

2.  Deep Breathing 

During this phase, focus on breathing deeply. As per the previous step, the shoulders and chest should be relaxed. A long, slow, and deep breath inwards through the nose (if possible) should be taken). The breath should then be held for 2-3 seconds before breathing out through the mouth. The breath should not be forced out. It should be gentle, like a sigh. 

3.  Forced Expiration

For this step, it is advised to keep a tissue nearby in case the need to cough arises. As per WHO guidelines, the cough should be directed into the tissue and immediately disposed of. This portion of the exercise aims to clear the airways. It is called a huff and involves exhaling with a certain force through an open mouth. When performing this step, it helps to imagine steaming up a mirror. To complete this phase of the cycle, a normal-sized breath should be taken to then be followed by an active, long, breath out. The sensation of the lungs should feel ‘empty’. This is to be repeated twice. 

This cycle needs to be repeated for three times every time, twice daily. If symptoms develop such as shortness of breath you may perform them up to 4 times a day or as directed by a physiotherapist. The exercises can be performed by people of all ages. Should any symptoms arise of any concern, please do contact your local GP or your local Covid19 helpline.


Active Cycle of Breathing Technique. (2020, April 7). Physiopedia, . Retrieved April 10, 2020 from

Bronchiectasis Toolbox. (2018, June 18). The active cycle of breathing technique. Retrieved April 10, 2020, from

WHO. (n.d.). Advice for public. Retrieved April 10, 2020, from