With most of our daily movement restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to maintain an exercise routine. If you enjoy gym classes, you’re probably missing the camaraderie and gym atmosphere. And even if you are making a move, you may feel frustrated that you are not at your usual level of activity. But now, more than ever, exercise is important. It can have a big impact on the anxiety you feel due to the coronavirus and help relieve stress and depression.
It is normal to feel crazy, but also less motivated to exercise, since his routine has been turned upside down. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Even a small amount of movement, like walking around the block, can make a difference. Here are some tips to stay active, even during quarantine or a stay-at-home order that can be done, whether you’re just starting to exercise or an experienced exercise buff.
Can exercise help protect you from the coronavirus?
While staying in shape won’t stop you from getting the virus, it does have many other protective effects. Physical activity helps improve all aspects of your health, including strengthening your immune system. It also reduces stress and anxiety and improves mood, which in turn helps you sleep better and prevents exhaustion. Exercise also releases endorphins, chemicals in your brain that revitalize your mind and body. If you exercise to maintain your energy and spirit in difficult times like these, you may be less inclined to resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking too much, which wears down your immune system.
Tips for doing the exercise you need during COVID-19
Get outside if you can
Check your government’s latest guidelines for details in your area. If you can walk, jog, or bike outside, just keep a safe distance from others. If you have a dog, you already have a reason to get out. Gardening Gardening and gardening are also good options. Fresh air and sun will also benefit your mental health.
Make it a social activity.
Including people you are quarantined with can make exercising more fun. Play an active game like tag or hopscotch with your kids, or put on music and dance together. You can also use your neighborhood list server or sites like Nextdoor to coordinate fun things to see on your walks with your neighbors. Plan a remote treasure hunt or wear Halloween costumes.
Track your workouts
Using fitness trackers, apps, or even keeping a journal can help you stay responsible and motivated. Seeing your progress and your ability to stay active during this difficult time will give you a sense of accomplishment and an emotional drive to continue.
“Sneaky” movement in your routine
Although most of us are homebound, you can still find ways to incorporate movement into your day. Try to think of physical activity as a lifestyle choice, rather than as a designated event. This can help you sustain yourself at times like these, when your schedule has been altered.
- Use your chores. Household chores like scrubbing, sweeping, dusting, and vacuuming can add up when done at a fast pace. The muscles of the arms and legs also work.
- Exercise during commercial breaks. Many of us are watching more television. Make commercials and credits count by adding a few squats, jumps, push-ups, or lunges.
- Take advantage of breaks during the day. Take advantage of the moments when you expect something to end or start. You can shoot some arm exercises or practice some yoga poses while dinner is in the oven or during those 15 minutes before a Zoom meeting.
- Move around the house more. Walk while 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 a few times during the day.
Take advantage of technology
Many personal trainers and gyms offer virtual sessions and classes, which can help you be responsible and give you a social connection. For free trainings, YouTube is a great resource. You can find virtually any type of exercise at any training duration or intensity you are looking for. There are also many apps, both paid and free, that offer routines and guided workouts.
Turn it into a game
Activity video games like Wii and Kinect and Dance Dance Revolution can help you increase your heart rate while staying home. There are also many options for “exercises” that simulate dance, skate, soccer, bowling or tennis. These can be excellent alternatives if you miss the real thing.
How much exercise do i need?
Especially during periods of uncertainty and fear, it is important to remember that something is always better than nothing. Taking a walk down the block will not only stretch your legs, it will also help clear your head. It might even inspire you to walk a bit more the next day.
That said, current recommendations for adults are to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. They are about 30 minutes of movement, 5 times a week. It’s also okay to split it up. Two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts can benefit you just the same. A shorter interval might even adapt better now, since that’s about the duration of many workout videos or the time it takes to do a round of exercises.
Staying motivated to exercise
It can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise at best. The additional disruption and stress of the coronavirus pandemic only makes it more difficult. That being said, there are things you can do to support yourself.
Plan a plan for success
Put it on your schedule. Just as following a routine helps you maintain a sense of normality, scheduling your workouts can prevent you from delaying or avoiding them.
Follow the rhythms of your body. Since you may have a more flexible schedule right now, try to plan your workouts for when you have more energy. Taking a short break during the work day could revitalize you, for example.
Use your social networks. Announcing your plans to your partner or social group, online or offline, will help you meet your goals. If you are alone, post your workouts on social media to motivate others. If they give you positive feedback, this will also give you a boost for your next session.
Our current situation may have made it difficult for you to participate in your favorite forms of exercise. While you’re at it, it’s normal to feel that exercising isn’t so nice, maybe even frustrating. If this is the case, don’t hit yourself. Instead, try to focus on how much better you will feel after moving around a bit. It also helps to give yourself an extra treat. Take a long, hot bubble bath, for example, make a fruit smoothie or call a friend or family member.