Whilst we are staying inside our homes, keeping ourselves and our families safe from the COVID-19 pandemic, this also means a lack of exercise and healthy activity. For some, this has proven both physically and mentally challenging. Being in the home environment also offers abundant opportunities to be sedentary. You may be in your activewear, but have you even left your bed for the day? Self-isolation is necessary, but our bodies and minds still need to function well to prevent mental struggles and weight gain. While we may not be able to go to the hairdresser, get fotona laser, or see our friends and family, we can still go out for daily exercise.
Keeping our spirits up during these challenging times is also important, and most people find that exercise can be their outlet for stress or boredom. Not only does exercise ensure our immune system becomes strong, but it also helps to fight off any disease if we do fall ill. Performing regular exercise can give us the strength to recover quickly from sickness. Exercise also releases chemicals in your brain, like serotonin and endorphins, which are great for your mood. It can lead to better sleep, which in turn, gives you more energy. Mental health is extremely important during this time, and individuals have been prioritising this. Whether it is through calming home office interior design, or physical activity, it important to find ways to stay on top of mental health.
Daily physical movement also helps to ease tightness in your shoulders and neck, which might come from stress or anxiety. If you are working from home every day, sitting at a desk for too long can also cause aches and muscular pain. By getting up every couple of hours and moving around, you will be able to prevent this. You will also prevent having to get liposuction or gastric band surgery later on down the track, as sitting is said to be the new smoking. It is easy to become lazy and complacent in the current circumstances. However, we must remember that this will not last forever. Breaking all of your good habits now will make it harder to re-gain them in the future. Any activity is better than none, whether it be as a simple as a walk, run, or cycle.
With the increasing use of social media and obsession with Tik Tok, although a great time-waster, it means we are sat at our computer, tablet, or smartphone for hours. Setting regular alarms to take small breaks from continuously sitting can make a world of difference. For example, taking a few minutes to walk around the house, getting some fresh air in the backyard, or even playing with your dog can be extremely beneficial. Alternate periods of standing whilst working and studying are also important.
Something as simple as housework can help to get in some movement. It will kill two birds with one stone, as cleaning will create a more enjoyable environment to be in and at the same time, it is a workout! Gardening can take around 30 minutes and burn up to 200 calories. Other housework like vacuuming the floors for 30 minutes can burn up to 300 calories. You would be surprised how breathless cleaning can leave you. Another creative fitness hack is making stairs your best friend. This is an extremely time-efficient way to maintain fitness. Something as minor as a minute of fast stair climbs every day can see an improvement in fitness in under six weeks. Internal stairs also offer the opportunity for strengthening exercises. Various exercise routines can include stair push-ups, stair lunges, step-ups, sidesteps, stair hops and yin yoga poses to build strength.
As mentioned earlier, the new Tik Tok craze has seen several different dancing routines become popular as a way to cure the boredom of self-isolation. The stress releasing magic of music and dancing at home, like nobody is watching, is a great way to maintain fitness whilst having fun at the same time. Dancing has so many mental health benefits and can help to prevent the iso-blues. With such advanced technology in the 21st century, there are hundreds of thousands of YouTube videos you can follow. Other alternatives include live classes that you and your friends can join through Zoom. Sharon Strzelecki, otherwise known as ‘Magda’ from the famous Australian show Kath & Kim, filmed her own version of her ‘iso dance’. She took to social media as a tribute to the healthcare workers on the frontline. The actress danced in her netball gear, alongside doctors and nurses who also filmed their own versions.
The global recommendations outline that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of intense physical activity per week. Coronavirus has proven a massive hurdle in achieving these recommendations. In many countries, people are only allowed outside once during the day, for a short period. There are many alternative options that can be carried out indoors. From relaxing body flow yoga to Zumba classes, there is a lot of variety.
Many local gyms are struggling due to closures and have taken to apps and other platforms on social media to ensure they can maintain a relationship with gym members. Get in contact with your local gym to find out if they are doing online classes. This is just like having a virtual PT and can serve many benefits in keeping you on track whilst in self-isolation. By attending online classes, you will be encouraged to maintain healthy eating habits and to drink plenty of water. Often, people are reluctant to exercise because they do not feel as though they have the right equipment available to them. Some local gyms are eliminating this fear by providing clients with a range of exercises that don’t require equipment. Those that are in desperate need, however, can request to borrow some equipment from gyms for the duration of the isolation period.
Even though we are stuck at home, we can still get creative when it comes to keeping fit. Stay social and FaceTime your friendship group to do some exercises around the house. If you are feeling unmotivated, put on one of your favourite custom basketball jerseys, plan a workout, and keep each other motivated. Fitness should be lighthearted and positive. If keeping active is done in a way that is fun, you will be more likely to keep up with your exercise routine. We all must learn to make the most out of a bad situation. Let’s encourage each other to stay positive and stay safe.