During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it can be challenging to maintain a physically active lifestyle while we are spending more time at home. For all of us, young and old, regular physical activity is important for staying healthy! Compared to just sitting around most of the time, moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function. Regular physical activity can help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety (which many of us may be feeling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic).
7 tips for Staying Active during a Pandemic
- Get Into a Rhythm
Many of us have recently found whatever habits and routines we were in (whether they included movement or not) totally changed. We have had to rapidly adjust to staying home and practicing social distancing. While you can’t turn back the clock, setting a new regular movement routine can help you feel more settled. If it’s possible to keep your before pandemic workout time that’s great! However, it doesn’t always work that way. Maybe the best time for exercise now is to break up a long afternoon in front of a computer. Maybe it’s before dinner as an end to your day. Maybe you break up your typical workout into smaller ones you can do throughout the day.
- Find Connection
We might be social distancing, but social support is still more important than ever. Exercising with others (whether they’re members of your household or you’re connecting virtually) will help you feel more supported in both your workouts and life. Now, thanks to technology, you’ve got a lot of options for virtual group workouts. Consider exercising with a friend or family member via Zoom. Or check with your local gym, yoga studio or fitness center for online classes. Along with Youtube for numerous fitness and workout videos.
- Try Something New
Now is the time to think about getting stronger and more fit in different ways! Healthy movement doesn’t look just one specific way, and making sure we use our bodies in different ways can be a huge benefit in the long run. Now might be a great time to ramp up an area of fitness that’s easy to do at home that you may not have previously spent as much time on, like flexibility or body weight training, or aerobic activity.
- Pick and Choose what works for you
Social media is flooded with a lot of creative at-home exercises and workout options right now. But that doesn’t mean you have to do them all, take what you like and ditch the rest!
- Make Movement a Household Activity
Make movement a family activity! Play an active game like tag or even Twister. Go for a hike or a bike ride as a family. Getting outside is fundamental for mental health and further increases the mood-lifting benefits of movement. Check out these tips for outside activities.
- Break Up Sitting
Don’t sit all day! Sitting is the new smoking, it can lead to serious health problems. Even just the smallest movements can help. For example: If watching TV, get up during every commercial (or periodically) and do a lap around your home or an active chore. For example, throw some clothes in the laundry, do the dishes or take out the garbage. Feel productive after just one show!
- Reach Out for Help
Now is the time to use the tools that are still available to you to help bolster the motivation, accountability, or support you need to stay active and healthy. Download a Fitness App or sign up for a fitness challenge. These tools include a training professional, scheduled plans and even healthy recipe ideas.
While we’re adjusting to life at home, hopefully these activities bring back some normalcy into your life. Make exercise a bright spot in your day. Find ways to move that make you smile, help you sleep, and boost your overall health. Stay positive. Stay active. Be smart and safe.