Gyms and community rec centers are closed, but that doesn’t mean you have to let exercise and physical activity fall by the wayside. You can still stay active at home.
Are you feeling lost without your daily trip to the gym or missing your morning laps at the community center swimming pool? You’re not alone. Although you may be used to weight machines, a treadmill or even a physical trainer, you can still get in a good workout at home. No fancy equipment required!
The American Heart Association recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate-to-intense aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. A good workout can also help improve your mental health, experts say. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that can help boost your sense of well-being. Plus, it takes your mind off any worries you may have.
If you’re trying to find ways to stay active at home, try one of these ideas.
1. Put some pep in your step. Social distancing doesn’t mean you’re quarantined to your house. Make an effort to take a walk around your neighborhood, while remaining a safe distance from others. If you’re used to the elliptical or weight machines, walking may not seem like a workout. However, research shows that walking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by 31%. It can also help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, and it doesn’t take as much of a toll on your body as running. Want an extra challenge? Incorporate interval training by speed-walking up a hill, then slowly walking back down.
2. Bend a little—or a lot. Think yoga is just for women? Tell that to Shaquille O’Neal; Ray Lewis, former linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens; or Evan Longoria, third baseman for the San Francisco Giants. Not only does yoga help improve heart health, flexibility and chronic pain, but it also has been shown to decrease stress, relieve anxiety and help fight depression. Not sure where to start? Do Yoga With Me offers online classes and tutorials, or you can search on YouTube for tutorials, such as Yoga With Adriene.
3. Get the family involved. It’s important to set a good example for your kids when it comes to physical activity. Most of the time, we find ourselves watching TV or playing video games instead of spending time being active. Head out as a family on a bike ride to enjoy the start of spring, or challenge your kids to a foot race. (Just be warned: You’ll probably lose.) Or download the GoNoodle app for dance videos, at-home exercises and more activities geared toward kids. Although this is still screen time, it encourages kids to be active.
No matter what activity you choose, it’s just important to keep moving. Your body—and your mind—will thank you.