Stuck in the house and can't get to the gym? Out of your usual routine due to COVID-19 restrictions and can't get motivated to exercise? Even though your world may be topsy turvy right now doesn't mean you should just sit on the couch to ride out the wave.
Being physically active during these unprecedented times will provide a number of benefits. Staying active may boost your immune system, will help you avoid gaining weight when your only diversion seems to be your fridge and also boosts your mental health. Plus, it'll give you something to do as you pass the countless hours of your new but not very structured routine.
Even if exercise isn't your thing, being mindful of ways to incorporate extra activity into your daily routine adds up in the long run. The goal is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, but how you do that is up to you. If you can't fit in 30 minute blocks of time for exercise or you haven't been very active recently and don't know where to start, here are 5 easy ways to move more while going about your day:
- Move every hour. Aim to get up every hour to move your body for a few minutes. Stand while watching television, march in place while on the phone or go for a short walk outside, just stay at least 6 feet away from anyone you pass on the street.
- Get creative. Find new ways to be more active. Use household objects as weights, such as canned goods or laundry bottles, to do bicep curls. Use your countertop to do modified push-ups. Play an active video game with your family. Join a virtual workout or watch a YouTube video to learn new yoga positions. Anything that gets your body up and moving helps!
- Be enthusiastic about chores. Cooking, cleaning and doing laundry already get your body moving. And the more enthusiastically you do them, the more you'll do your body good. Dance while you're in the kitchen, squat while folding clothes and clean with gusto.
- Take the stairs. If you have a flight of stairs in your home, spend some time walking up and down throughout the day. You can burn up to 10 calories per flight!
- Start with small goals. If you have been sedentary up until now, you can't expect to immediately commit to being active all day long. But you can set small goals. Commit to walking around the corner each day. Spend 5-10 minutes before breakfast stretching. Do some exercises like planks or modified jumping jacks during TV commercials. Then when you feel ready, add some time, distance or intensity to your activity. Before you know it, you'll be moving more and feeling better.
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Date Last Reviewed: March 30, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor