Even as COVID-19 restrictions keep many of us from visiting gyms and participating in group activities as we have in the past, healthy habits are only an easy stretch away from your daily routine.
No need to purchase fancy equipment or build a health club in your basement to turn your home or workspace into a calorie-burning spa oasis. Instead, just don some comfortable clothes and take advantage of these ideas:
The Great Outdoors
Let Mother Nature lead your own personal cardio class. A brisk hike or fast walk can be just what your metabolism ordered. Leash up the pooch or grab a friend and take a long walk through your neighborhood.
Breathing in fresh air is a great way to rev up your lung capacity. Take deep, diaphragmatic breaths and work to increase the length of your inhalations and exhalations to strengthen and boost lung function. Oxygen saturation and shortness of breath are an issue at the onset of COVID-19. The better condition and shape your lungs are in, the lower your risk for any kind of respiratory infection and pneumonia.
We can’t always find time to exercise, especially during a busy work schedule. You can get creative by multitasking – performing work and exercise simultaneously. On a conference call, you can march in place for the duration of the meeting and add steps to your productive minutes. Having a safely-distanced meeting with co-workers? Stand instead of sit. Standing can strengthen your leg muscles, improve balance, eases strain on your back, and burns anywhere from 100-200 calories per hour, versus sitting which burns 60-130. Upon standing, your heart and circulatory system works harder to maintain blood flow to the brain, countering the effects of gravity.
Make better use of the in-between minutes and free time. Set aside no more than two minutes each hour and engage in spontaneous micro-training sessions to elevate your heart rate and shed calories. Whether powering up and down a flight of stairs or doing isolation exercises with cans of crushed tomatoes, brief moments of movement will add up. Two minutes over an 8-hour day is 16 minutes. Do that five days a week, and congratulations, you just put your body through an extra 80 minutes of activity!
Mind and Body
Don’t neglect your mind. By putting aside time in your busy schedule to embrace meditation, mindfulness and yoga, you can increase flexibility and muscle strength while freeing any stress and anxiety that can weigh just as heavily on you as your waistline. Find a quiet place to decompress and reap the rewards of your inner and outer self in complete synergy.
Get Social, Safely
Use your social media channels or internet connection to tap into the large community of certified personal trainers, university educators, organizations and other experts who are offering free workout routines, wellness classes and activities to immerse yourself in. Many have built massive followings, inspiring people through their own personal wellness journeys and connecting people with much-needed resources for self-care.