Living Healthy in the World of Isolation and home Offices.
August 22, 2020
I am an outdoor fan and a road runner, always eager to see a new skyline, the flowers bloom, the fall and many more, the sceneries are always a rewarding view to us road runners. However the extensive social distancing policies put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 mean most people will have to spend much, if not all, their time at home. Self-isolation means far fewer opportunities to be physically active if you are used to walking or cycling for transportation and doing leisure time sports. But equally worryingly, the home environment also offers abundant opportunity to be sedentary (sitting or reclining)
The irony of isolation and staying at home is that no Iron Man will ever be discovered while sitting in his home and more so we need the exercises so as to boost our immune system, be less susceptible to infections and their most severe consequences, and better able to recover from them including the Novel Virus. So we should consider ways to limit the effects of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as its wider impact of contributing to the long-term chronic disease crisis, and one of the ways is getting the society to exercise again.
I recently noticed that the gyms are reopening, but if you’re not comfortable going back yet or your gym hasn’t reopened, there’s no need to fret about losing your hard-earned fitness and endurance. It might be more challenging to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight, but there are many ways you can stay fit at home or outside, avoiding more contacts.
Always remember that ‘moving is what counts’, Simple exercises are sometimes the best and you can do them at home. In my opinion the key to staying healthy is to keep moving and stay active whenever and wherever possible. Here are some tips:
Making a lot of phone calls throughout the day? Unless you’re in a Zoom or other type of video meeting, try moving around while talking. Movement can be light stretching, walking up and down the hallway, anything that moves your muscles without making it hard for you to talk. You may want to make sure your end is clear though!
You can choose form hundreds of options to exercise in the house, skip rope, push-ups and stretches and if you are lucky enough to have stairs in your house, you don’t need a stair-climbing machine at the gym? Just go up and down your own stairs a few times throughout the day. And as much as chores aren’t usually a fun thing to do, you can also up your exercise game while you vacuum, sweep, or clean the different areas of your house.
If you like to cycle and enjoy spin classes, you can still do this at home. Spinning bikes are becoming increasingly popular, and some offer online coaching or videos, to make your spinning as close to a class as possible. If you can’t afford a spinning bike or exercise bike – or you just don’t want to buy one – you can always turn your outside bike into stationary one. Many sports stores sell bars and other devices on which you can mount your bike so you can pedal for miles, but not leave your neighborhood.
Find a fitness app you like. Not all apps are alike, so it can take some trial-and-error to find one that fits your needs. Some provide live and on-demand classes, others just prompts and timers. Using any of these apps can give you a psychological boost since you won’t feel alone in your fitness journey, remember even the most difficult exercise or race will always feel easy if someone is cheering you up or with you.
Strength training & weight lifting is commonly done in the gym or rather a controlled environment to safety reasons however you can always find some weights in your house that help you to help you to increase muscle strength but many people may find this type of exercise overwhelming and challenging. But did you know that strength training actually does more wonders to the body than just strengthening the muscles? Doing this type of exercise lowers your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The stronger the overall muscles get, the better your heart can perform since your body is able to distribute oxygen and nutrients in the bloodstream to different organs.
Always stay connected. It can be hard to stay motivated during disruptions to our usual routines, especially when we need to keep our distance from other people. Talking on the phone while you take a walk or take care of chores around the house, or starting an online group with your friends to hold each other accountable for staying active can help with isolation. Now is not the time to meet up in person for group exercise, but you can still stay connected virtually.
Lastly don’t forget good nutrition. In order to feel our best and maintain our health it is very important to continue to eat well. It may be difficult to get out as often for groceries, but you should still try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Look for frozen options that last longer and check the internet for creative ideas for meal preparation. Also avoid eating from boredom or stress. Planning ahead and having healthy options available can help you stay on track.