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Healthy Living: Activity and Exercise

May 13, 2020

This blog is the second in an education series about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while following the Stay-at-Home order.  Healthy Living blogs will be released each Wednesday and will be made available at www.perrymemorial.org/healthyliving.

Don't spend quarantine on the couch

If COVID-19 has derailed your healthy living habits, it is time to get back on track! Last week’s healthy living blog discussed the importance of healthy eating. This week, I would like to address the healthy living aspects of exercise or activity.  COVID-19 has had an impact on so much of what we do each and every day and I am guessing that your daily exercise plan has also been disrupted. Most people start the new year with resolutions about exercise and what you hope to accomplish. These goals, like most resolutions, tend to be forgotten by the end of January.  I am hoping that you were still hard at work with your exercise plan when COVID-19 surfaced in our area. Whether you exercised at a local gym or with a group of friends, you probably stopped exercising until you could develop a new plan. If you are procrastinating on starting back with your exercise or lacking the motivation to keep on a regular schedule, this blog is for you!

Regular exercise helps prevent other problems from starting

This healthy living blog shares ideas on how to maintain or begin a healthier you while you Stay-at-Home. I encourage you to follow along for some healthy exercise tips. 

  • Tip One: Start by taking a tour through your home to see what space you have and what equipment you have which can become part of your daily exercise routine. If you have a treadmill or exercise bike or other gym equipment, you are ready to go! If not, then you can use items you have, such as putting 4 or 6 cans of food in a shopping bag and use this as weights for lifting. I have also seen people lifting their small children as weightlifting and this also entertains your children. You can use a garbage can as a basketball hoop to shoot hoops. You can utilize local walking paths for moderate intensity exercise and fresh air. You can also tune into your favorite songs and dance.

  • Tip Two: Start out exercising for 15 minutes at least 2 times/day and gradually increase the length of time and intensity of exercise each week.  Do not rush by increasing each day as that may be too much for your tolerance.  If you were exercising regularly before COVID-19, then you can probably start where you left off, regarding length of time and intensity. Keep in mind this is not the time to try a new exercise at a sprint pace.

  • Tip Three: If you are like me, you struggle with maintaining the daily exercise plan and end up only exercising a couple times/week.  I recommend finding an exercise buddy, so you both keep on a regular schedule and timespan of exercise. Your buddy can be on the phone with you while you are exercising, or via ZOOM or FACETIME.  Whatever keeps you honest.

  • Tip Four: Now that the weather is starting to warm up, include outside activities. Walking is easier at Zearing Park, since they have black-topped the walking path. Watch the weather reports so you don’t get caught in the rain, unless you happen to enjoy walking in the rain…

Exercise needs to be personalized to your routine and preferences.  Make up your plan, own it, and stick with it to maintain or improve your health. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise for at least 5 days/week. Your children also need to keep on a regular exercise schedule since they are not in school.  This will be a great new routine to start, so they continue to exercise through the summer.  Make your exercise a family time activity and challenge each other for a little friendly competition.  Keep in mind you don’t want to overdo it and injure yourself.  Have fun with it and encourage each other to be your best self! 

Make the most of your time at home and enjoy the great outdoors. Fresh air helps to clear your mind and your lungs. Include your family and friends in your activities to help everyone become healthier. When the Stay-at-Home order lifts, you may find that your new exercise activities are more fun than your old ones, so enjoy continuing your new routine. Keep up the good work and live life healthier!  

References

  • www.Heart.org:  American Heart Association Healthy Exercising Tips