Call it what you want. A lockdown, quarantine measures, or shelter-in-place orders, they’re all supposed to do one thing: get you to stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It’s not easy to do, and many are still resistant to the idea, but health experts agree that it is something we need to do if we want to be free of this virus earlier.
If you’re the type who’s used to working outdoors, such as running and hiking, it’s understandable that these orders would have made you feel claustrophobic (and, in some cases, even depressed). A sudden change in your physical fitness routine would certainly derail your goals. Still, it’s essential to remain active during this time, not only for your physical health but also for your mental well-being.
Why You Need to Stay Active
We all know that exercising has many benefits. It helps us maintain a healthy weight, boosts our immune systems, so it lowers our risk of getting sick, and it aids in our bodies in keeping a healthy heart and blood sugar. Working out also helps us be well mentally. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, or happy hormones, that keep you stress-free. Many psychologists recommend people suffering from depression and anxiety work out regularly for this reason.
Apart from all of that, staying active could also help you manage body aches and pains. Our bodies were not meant to be sedentary. Think of your body as a machine, a piece of equipment. You need to keep it constantly moving to remain in good, working condition. The less you use it, the stiffer it gets, and the more difficult it will become to move. Even simple stretches are known to relieve pains in your neck, back, and joints.
Start With At-Home Walking Workouts
Walking is the simplest form of exercise. It’s a low impact way to keep your heart healthy and your body strong. They say you need to do 10,000 steps a day to achieve peak health. That is difficult to accomplish for anybody unless you are an athlete, or your work requires movement. Many experts now recommend that you use the figure as a baseline. Invest in a simple pedometer and see how many steps you take in a week. If it’s significantly less than 10,000, then you need to up your activity level. If it’s relatively close, try to maintain that number for succeeding weeks. When you start getting more comfortable moving around, that’s when you can begin to exceed the 10,000-step limit and burning more calories.
Do Modified Yoga and Pilates Workouts
If you’re a runner, but you can’t jog nowadays, nor do you have a treadmill, chances are you’ve been feeling stiff from all that inactivity lately. Many runners believe in the “runner’s high,” that feeling that’s almost akin to an addiction. That is not something you can quickly achieve during a lockdown, and if you’re used to jogging daily, you’ve probably been feeling low these days.
Start with a modified yoga or Pilates workout. These modifications will help you get used to moving again. And, as a bonus, when you do either or both of these workouts regularly, you can look forward to achieving a more zen-like high. It’s similar to what you would feel from running, albeit a little more subdued.
Staying active and exercising during these times is essential for our health and well-being. Schedule your workouts on your calendar as if it’s another thing for you to do. The more often you do it, the less inclined you are to stop and become sedentary.