Please keep in mind that the following tips for staying active at home are for people without symptoms or diagnosis of acute respiratory illness. If you have a chronic condition, check with your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you.
As you might find yourself at home more often than usual during this time of social distancing, you can find new ways to stay active. Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be useful tools for reducing stress and protecting your health. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults set a goal of 150 to 300 minutes (2.5 to 5 hours) of moderate activity each week. You can reach this goal by being active at least 30 minutes each day. And it doesn’t have to be all at once! Doing 10 minutes of activity at a time throughout the day is a great way to reach this goal. Here are some ideas to get moving while at home.
Follow an online exercise video.
Take advantage of all the free online exercise videos. You can try yoga, aerobics, or learn new dance moves with your family! Take it slow when learning the new exercises that you find and be aware of your own limitations.
Even if your space is small, walk around or in place. If you are able, walk outside while maintaining at least 6 feet from others. Walk or stand while on the phone. Stand whenever possible, for at least 2 minutes every hour.
If you find yourself getting sleepy midday, stretching can help! Try doing a few different stretches that will engage your whole body. Stretching is most effective when you hold it for about 30 seconds. You can also try dynamic stretching to really wake up those muscles! In dynamic stretching, you repeat a motion to warm up specific muscle groups. Some examples include lunges, arm circles, and high kicks. Remember to only stretch to the extent that you are comfortable. Find a video of simple dynamic stretches here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/dynamic-stretches
Keeping your muscles strong also helps with bone health, controlling blood sugar, and improving cholesterol levels. Try to incorporate muscle-strengthening activities into your routine 2 to 3 times a week. You can use weights, resistance bands, or just your body! Some exercises that don’t require any equipment include squats, push-ups, planks, and sit-ups. Both yoga and pilates can be done without equipment and do a great job of strengthening your core muscles, which can improve your posture and prevent back pain.
Hydrate and fuel.
Be sure to drink water throughout the day and especially before, during, and after exercise. Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated. For specific water needs based on your age, check here. If you plan on doing a high-intensity for an hour or longer, you may need to add a snack to replace electrolytes lost from sweating. A granola bar and a piece of fruit are a great after-workout snack. You can also swap a granola bar for whole-grain toast with peanut butter or unsalted almonds. Find a snack that works for you that includes both protein (like in peanut butter or almonds) and carbohydrates (like in toast or fruit)!
For more ideas on how to start being active, check here: https://onieproject.org/how-to-start-being-active/
Let us know how you are staying active at home by leaving a comment below!