With most of our daily movement restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to keep up an exercise routine. If you enjoy online fitness classes, you can but you’re probably missing the atmosphere of the gym or your club
And even if you are getting some movement in, you might be feeling frustrated that you’re not at your usual level of activity. But now, more than ever, exercise is important. It can have a huge impact on the anxiety you’re feeling due to coronavirus and help ease stress and depression.
Here are some tips to stay active even during quarantine or a stay-at-home order that are doable whether you’re just starting to exercise or a seasoned fitness buff. Maintaining a routine such as getting up and getting dressed and doing what you usually do, can positively affect mental health. You don’t need fancy equipment or a lot of time; you just need to weave exercise into your schedule.
There are ways to add resistance even when lacking proper gym equipment. Come up with games you can play with children. Anything where you’re crawling, jumping, and skipping could work. If you have access to stairs in your home or apartment, going up and down those stairs is a great way to get your blood pumping.
For a great full-body home workout, you can do an entire circuit sequence for up to 30 to 45 minutes. If you are working movement into your daily tasks, she also suggests creating more activity while doing things you already need to get done.
For example, if you’re carrying laundry upstairs, take an extra lap or two up and down the stairs to work in extra steps. Everyone should all aim for 150 minutes of physical activity every week, he said, but the amount of time you walk each day can vary. What counts is that you’re moving your body. Also, you should wash your hands carefully and try not to touch your face.
If you need to touch your face, he recommends using a clean towel. And if you’re using any kind of gym equipment at home, clean it with soap and water or any household cleaner before and after so that if you’re sharing it with others, you’re not spreading germs around.
Get outside if you can
Check the latest guidelines from your government on the specifics for your area. Take a walk, jog, or ride a bike outside if you can—just maintain a safe distance from others. If you have a dog, you already have a reason to get outside.
Make it a social activity
Including the people you’re quarantined with can make exercising more fun. Play an active game like tag or hopscotch with your kids or turn on some music and dance together. Plan a social distance scavenger hunt.
Track your workouts
Using fitness trackers, apps, or even just keeping a journal can help you stay accountable and motivated. Seeing your progress and your ability to keep active during this difficult time will give you a sense of accomplishment and an emotional boost to keep going.
Move around the house more
Walk around while you’re making calls. Take an extra lap or two around the house if you have to put something away. If you have stairs, go up and down them a few times throughout the day.
Take advantage of technology
Many personal trainers and gyms are offering virtual sessions and classes, which can help keep you accountable and give you a social connection. You can find virtually any type of exercise at any workout length or intensity you’re looking for. There are also many apps, both paid and free, that offer guided workouts and routines.
Staying motivated to exercise
It can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise in the best of times. The added disruption and stress from the coronavirus pandemic only makes it harder. That said, there are things you can do to support yourself. Follow your body’s rhythms. Since you might have a more flexible schedule right now, try to plan your workouts for when you have the most energy. Taking a short exercise break during your workday might re-vitalize you, for example.
Use your social networks
Announcing your plans to your partner or social group, online or off, will help you stick to your goals. If you’re alone, post your workouts on social media to motivate others. If they give you positive feedback, this will give you a boost for your next session as well.
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