Our lives today, compared to what they were a short time ago, are very altered. Work, school, exercise, the way we socialize, have changed dramatically – and we are all still finding our way.
One of the important concerns we can have is how to maintain a physically active lifestyle while respecting distance. With limited space to maneuver, how are we going to keep moving?
Although it is still possible to exercise in the open air, many people cannot go out for different reasons, such as lack of time, weather conditions, family commitments, fear, or health reasons. But this should not prevent anyone from exercising.
As much as isolation and distance measures are necessary, it is also necessary to continue to move, to keep our bodies and minds functioning properly. Maintaining an active lifestyle is also a way of boosting morale in this difficult phase.
How to maintain an active lifestyle at home
First, it is important to choose the activities that we like the most. If you find something you like to do, doing it will never seem like a chore. Enjoying our time available for exercise keeps us on track and makes it more likely that we view this part of the day in a positive way. Whether taking care of the garden, cleaning the house, or just doing a few jumps, there are many types of physical exercise that can be practiced at home.
There is no fixed amount of time for how much exercise we should do per day. However, it is possible to find official guidelines that recommend people between 19 and 64 years old to try to do about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. It is important to note here that every minute counts, so you don’t have to worry too much about following the recommendation to the letter.
The NHS in the UK suggests that aerobic activities like brisk walking or cycling are perfect for increasing your heart rate and keeping you in shape. But what are our options when we can’t leave the house?
Here are our favorite ideas for staying active at home:
1. Sit less
It is very easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle when you spend too much time at home. If you are working from home, you are likely to sit at the computer all day, and perhaps spend part of the night reading or in front of another screen. All of this involves sitting in the same position for hours on end.
If you brought your work from the office with you to the home, remember to take breaks at regular intervals as you would at the office. Get up every now and then and take a walk.
Alternatively, you can also try using a standing table – a cabinet with drawers works perfectly for this purpose. A standing table reduces the strain on your back compared to a hard kitchen chair – and makes you move more.
2. Use the stairs
Does your house have a flight of stairs? Take advantage of them. Simply going up and down the stairs more often and at a lighter pace than normal can improve your physical condition. If you live in an apartment building, avoid the elevator (which at the same time also helps to obey social distance) and take the stairs. Try not to contact the handrail too much.
Climbing stairs is a good aerobic activity, which can be easily incorporated into your routine. Without the need for any special equipment, you can develop and tone muscles, burn fat and calories, increase your heart rate and raise your energy levels, all with the help of simple steps.
3. Do body weight exercises
When the rules for social distance and isolation were put in place, there was not much time to set up a home gym in advance. Fortunately, exercising with body weight can be just as effective.
This type of exercise does not require any special equipment. All you need is a little space and will. It will not cause a dent in your bank balance or in the agenda, because short series of high intensity exercises with body weight will undoubtedly be enough to make you sweat seriously – think about boards, sit-ups, squats, lunges and push-ups. Aim for a goal of 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps each, with a one-minute break between each set.
Who doesn’t enjoy moving to the sound of their favorite songs? And we just need to look at dance professionals to realize immediately that this represents a good physical training. Dancing is not only extremely fun but a fantastic way to keep in shape.
Depending on the music, you can adjust the intensity, from moderate to very vigorous exercise – as with electronic music. Dancing also helps to release endorphins, known as the hormones of happiness, which will help with the melancholy of isolation. You may prefer to dance alone, but there are also those who create virtual dance groups.
5. Child’s Play
If you have children, this is an excellent time to maximize their playtime, taking advantage of the opportunity to move more in the process. Playing actively in the garden is not only beneficial to our health, it allows us to spend more quality time with the family.
Jumping on the spindle, playing hide and seek, bag racing and even gardening are physical activities to do with children. And even if you don’t have kids, organize a flag game with family or friends – you won’t regret it.
There are many ways to maintain an active life without leaving your home – you just need to use a little creativity. Moving around more often can help reduce fears of isolation and at the same time ensure that you get adequate levels of physical activity.
The best part is that you don’t need any gym equipment and that everything can be done with a limited amount of space. So, what’s the excuse?