If we step back and take a look at the current action taking place within our country involving the COVID-19 pandemic, we see a recipe for sedentary lifestyles. If we follow the CDC guidelines, which we all should, we are staying home during times of sickness and avoiding all travel that isn’t necessary. This sounds like a lot of screen time, whether it’s working from home or crushing Netflix.
Physical activity has been at the heart of the health and fitness industry over the last 10 years with epidemiological studies coming out annually proving the benefits of simple movement. Activities like walking the dog, gardening, hiking, taking the kids to the park, going grocery shopping or chucking a frisbee with our friends all play pivotal roles in maintaining our overall health and wellbeing.
These activities are rapidly getting tossed to the side in light of social distancing, rightfully so in many cases. However, health and wellness should be prioritized during these uncertain times.
So the question is, how do we maintain the levels of physical activity we once knew while being on lockdown in the house waiting for the world to crash down around our ears?
We get creative.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that we complete 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Moderate physical activity is the simple stuff like walking the dog or gardening. To get the minimum amount, we need to be moving around for about 20 minutes a day.
Walking a flight of stairs takes about 5-10 seconds, which means that we would have to use the stairs about 240 times a day to get our minimum required physical activity. While physical activity may have come easy for us prior to this pandemic, it will take conscious effort going forward to receive any legitimate health benefits.
I think we’re all smart enough to understand how to move our bodies. The challenge is in planning. If you’re living at home with someone quarantining or by yourself staring at the walls, plan your physical activity on a day-to-day basis. Make it fun and consider turning the news off while you do it. This pandemic isn’t going anywhere but our mental sanity might if we avoid making an effort to control what’s in front of our faces.
5 physical activities to stay active at home
- Walk the stairs for a few minutes
- Find a yoga video on YouTube
- Dance with your pet
- Invest in online training programs
- Walk around the block (respect social distancing)
5 physical challenges to battle mental stress during the pandemic
- 10 Push-Ups every time you check the stock market
- Hold a Plank every time President Trump answers a reporter’s question
- 30 seconds of Bear Crawls every time you check your email
- One minute of Glute Bridges between every Netflix episode
- 30 seconds of Side Planks every time you laugh at the newest meme on Instagram
This is meant to provide a little fun. Go ahead and be creative with your physical activity and exercise but make it a priority. During this time of fear and isolation it’s important to remember that we are still human beings in need of daily movement and mental space. We are all in this together.
Stay healthy, stay safe.
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