Keep moving to keep healthy

Keep moving to keep healthy

We all know that activity is great for your overall health and even helps boost your immune system. Having said that, you would not be alone if most of your activity while working from home so far has involved short walks to the kitchen for a series of not-so-healthy snacks.

Making things more complicated is that your fitness routine may have involved a gym membership and, as we all know, gyms are not an option at present.

Before you get too settled into a new home-office routine, consider this a gentle reminder to ensure physical activity is still a part of your workday.

Keep it up!

If you used to work out before you went to the office, make a plan to keep doing so. If a midday run to the gym helped keep you energized for the afternoon, keep it up. If you needed to wind down at the end of the day, keep it up. This temporary situation is not exactly a new normal, so it’s best to keep operating as normally as possible.

For those with memberships, the GoodLife Fitness member portal offers at-home workouts. Apparently, they’re relaunching an app next week. Once you sign in, you’ll find a selection of video workouts from beginner to advanced, that focus on stretching, meditation, yoga, bodyweight exercises, core and so much more. Each Monday, members receive  a weekly workout plan by email showing which routines to do each day.

If you don’t have a gym membership, there’s good news. Walking is something humans are biologically engineered to do. Walking at a brisk pace for just 30 minutes a day can help reduce stress and improve heart health. Bonus, if you live in a hilly area or have a route with a series of stairs to climb for your workout intensity!

Feel free to invite the kids (unless, of course, this is your only break of the day). You can make it educational by trying to identify plant and animal species along the way. They can create a journal of what they’ve seen on daily walks or even do a research or art project about what they’ve seen. Or have your kids plan the route and calculate the distance you’ve walked or number of steps they’ve taken. They can log distance travelled or total steps taken at the end of our stay-at-home period. Another great activity, solo or with kids, is a bike ride. Now that things look to be warming up, it’s time to get your bike out of storage, tune it up and hit the road, enjoying less vehicular traffic while you can.

Start some new, healthy habits

If regular workouts were never your thing, maybe it’s not such a bad time to start something new. No need to overdo to start. Plan to do something at the top of each hour of your workday for just two minutes. Jumping jacks for 30 seconds, alternating with 30 seconds of rest. Walk up and down the stairs, do a few laps of the house, stretch. Get a drink of water. Whatever gets you out of your chair.

Here, by the way, is a backed-by-science 7-minute ideal workout from the New York Times. It’s only 7 minutes long (it’s designed to be at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity in order to produce “molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running”) so it is described as being “unpleasant” for the duration. Did we mention it’s just 7 minutes long? Do each of the following exercises for 30 seconds, take a 10-second break, then start the next.

There are endless fitness and wellness videos on the internet, not to mention a wealth of challenges. Get a group of your friends or co-workers together and consider committing to one together. Create a meeting request for all participants to remind you it’s time to get moving.

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Keep moving to keep healthy