When we are cooped up in our homes during this COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few things that become pretty important: staying healthy, keeping our mental health up, our anxiety and stress down, and of course generally thriving. An important component for all these things is exercise and moving your body!
Evidence shows that movement and exercise can help with depression, anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, and back pain as well as improve quality-of-life. To stay healthy, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardio exercise each week. This translates to about 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. You don’t need to run a marathon, you just need to make sure you move your body!
There really are so many options for exercising and stay healthy in your home during quarantine. Yoga, body weight exercises, qigong, weight training (if you have weights at home), running in place, dance, and martial arts (at least those aspects of training that you can do at home by yourself) are all excellent options for staying healthy, keeping lymph and blood circulating, and keeping your mood up.
I’ve personally been focused on bodyweight exercises and qigong so far while I have been in quarantine in New York City. We have still been allowed to go outside for exercise, so I have also been jogging a little bit as well (while keeping my social distancing in place and avoiding others on the street). When we are no longer allowed outside even for that, I will simply replace it with high-intensity jogging in place, and burpees (my favorite way to get my body working and my heart pumping quickly). I also usually do an inversion (this can be any position that puts my legs above my head) in the morning to wake me up.
There are other things I would recommend while you are at home as well. You may have heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking.” Indeed, too much sitting is bad for our health! While you are at home, you can stay active when you are not exercising as well. Instead of always sitting in a chair or on your bed, try more active positions! This can be standing, kneeling, sitting on the floor, avoiding slouching, and regularly taking breaks to move around. This can make a massive difference in your health, your energy, and your mood.
If you are dealing with stress, feeling anxious, experiencing depression, or concerned about your immunity, and you haven’t yet begun doing some exercise at home, I would highly recommend finding something you enjoy and adding one simple activity to your routine to get started. One of the great things about exercise is that even a little bit can increase your energy, mood and motivation, so that next time it’s even easier to do more! Who knows, maybe this can be an opportunity for you to build habits you’ve been wanting to create for a long time. I know it has been for me!
Here are 5 great resources for getting started:
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