With the constantly changing situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, many will find that they have to adapt more than just a few aspects of their everyday lives. Working from home, kids aren’t going to school, restaurants are closed and you might be stuck inside.
Through all of this, you may be wondering how you can stay active while practicing social distancing and staying in or around your home.
Edward Nyman, Ph.D, chair of the Health and Human and Human Performance Department, and Stephanie Born, Ph.D, assistant professor in Health and Human Performance, shared some great advice about why staying active is so important right now and just how simple (and easy!) it can be.
- Why is staying active important?
- Being physically active improves your mood state, which makes you more mentally resilient to stress and generally have a more positive outlook. That is definitely important right now! Physically speaking, exercise, especially aerobic activity, improves immune function and cardiorespiratory function.
- What is the difference between “working out” and “staying active”?
- “Working out” implies a plan and semi-rigid structure, where “staying active” is much more open-ended. It is quite possibly more important to stay active throughout the day, rather than simply workout for a small part of the day. Staying active will keep your mind occupied and stimulated, as well as provide low-intensity physical activity throughout the day.
- What advice do you have for someone who doesn’t usually exercise?
- Sedentary behavior can lead to decreased mood state and other negative behaviors, such as overeating and weight gain. Beginning a habit of increased physical activity now will help offer mental stimulation and an outlet for stress and anxiety relief.
- How do you suggest people stay active when they can’t go to the gym?
- There’s a lot of room for creativity here! There are a wide-variety of options available for free on YouTube, Instagram and even downloadable apps. If you belong to a gym or YMCA, check your email or social media as they are likely already providing some new (and free) content! If you have a roommate (or family) who is also in the home with you, now’s a great time for some partner exercise or challenges. Who can do the most pushups between commercials? Or squats? Or jumping jacks? If you have kids in the house, they are always up for some challenges like this! If none of that appeals, spring cleaning is a great option. It occupies the mind and provides a great sense of accomplishment.
- What “every-day activities” could be considered as being “active”?
- Doing the laundry (especially if your washer/dryer is on a different floor than your bedroom)
- Vacuuming is a great way to get your steps in for the day and get your arms moving.
- Give your car a deep clean inside an out
- Take your dog for a walk
- Have your own, personal dance party
- Suck it Up – vacuum the house and see how many steps you can get!
- Take the extra step – make a few trips up and down the stairs to work those legs!
- Hold the wall up – who can do more wall pushups in 30 seconds?
- “Step-Up” your game – use a stair or stool to do step-ups. Can you make it to 50?
- Drop it like it’s hot! – do some squats while watching TV.
- Ready, set, freeze – when commercial breaks get you down, do some plank-holds to pass the time.
- Stretch and relax – relax your body and mind with some light yoga and let your stress melt away.
Need some inspiration? OilerFit is a workout class at the University that focuses on CrossFit training. Check them out on Instagram to see how they are staying active at home while practicing social distancing!