April 11, 2020

Staying Active At Home

With fitness centres and other locations where people normally go to keep active temporarily closed, there is a larger need to support our physical health through activities we can do at home.  Sedentary behaviours and low levels of physical activity have negative impacts on our health.  Keeping active minimizes ill health risk factors and can go a long way at helping us manage our stress levels.

The World Health Organization recommends aiming for 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of high intensity physical activity a week.1  The challenge for many would be achieving this while staying at home.  However, this can be attainable with the following tips:

1)  Take “activity breaks” during the day

It is easy to lose track of time when staying at home, even more so when sitting in front of a computer or binge-watching Netflix on the couch.  Activity breaks may include playing with your children, cleaning, gardening, whipping something up in the kitchen or even an impromptu dance party!

2)  Try on-line exercise classes

The internet is full of easy-to-access and even free exercise classes.  Everything from yoga, HIIT, weight training and stretching can be found on YouTube or on apps you can download onto your phone.  Here are some great options:

Yoga with Adriene

Joanna Soh

CrossRope

Workout for Women Fitness App

Gyms and fitness centres have begun offering a lot of their classes online, so don’t forget to check them out as well!

3)  Walk

Even in small places, walking is a good activity to keep your body moving.  Whether it’s walking in place while chatting on the phone, or walking up and down the stairs on a commercial break, there’s no excuse!  You can also choose to take a walk in your neighborhood for some fresh air, as long as you maintain the proper physical distancing.

4)  Stand up

Sitting for long periods of time has been associated with harmful health effects.2  It is ideal to get up from sitting at least every 30 minutes.  Setting reminders on your watch or phone is a helpful way to break up the monotony of chronic sitting.  You may even want to consider getting a stand-up desk if you are working from home.

References

1.  World Health Organization – Physical Activity Recommendations

2.  Mayo Clinic – What are the risks of sitting too much?

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