How and why to stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic

With COVID-19 becoming a worldwide pandemic causing many group activities to be postponed, it is quite easy to fall into the trap of becoming a couch potato and wanting to binge-watch all your favorite Netflix series to pass the time.

 

Physical activity has been proven time and time again to not only be vital for our physical health, but for our mental health as well. Research continues to show that physical activity is directly correlated with having even more health benefits than previously thought. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “80 percent of adults are not meeting the key guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity, while only about half meet the key guidelines for aerobic physical activity.”

 

Both the Department of Health and Human Services and the American Heart Association have reported that adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes a week of  activities exerting moderate or greater intensity. It is also recommended for adults to participate in muscle strengthening activities of that same intensity which involve all major muscle groups at least 2 days a week. The table below lists some of the benefits associated with regular physical activity.

The current pandemic presents some challenges to maintaining a physically active lifestyle, but we shouldn’t give up!

 

The good news is that there are still plenty of ways we can maintain social distancing guidelines while continuing to stay active. Below I have listed some suggestions for staying active both inside and outside the house.

 

 

The Great Outdoors

 

With the weather getting warmer, it opens the door to many more fun outdoor activities. Following social distancing guidelines, here are some outdoor activities you might want to try:

 

  • Going on a run or walk
  • Frisbee, tennis, passing a ball, ect.
  • Jump rope
  • Bike riding
  • Gardening
  • Fishing
  • Flying a kite
  • Rock climbing
  • Bird watching

 

These are not the only outdoor activities that are available to you! Find ones you enjoy doing as a family or in small groups that will help you get moving and stay active.

 

 

Indoor Activities

 

 

Growing up, my mother hated it when one of my siblings or I would say we were bored because she felt that there was always something for us to do! It turns out my mother was right. Here are some useful indoor activities you might not have thought of:

 

  • Dance to your favorite music
  • Cook or bake something new
  • Paint
  • Follow a work out video
  • Stretch
  • Yoga
  • Some chores seem like they never end. Some examples might be dishes, laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, etc.

 

Avoid long hours of idle time of merely watching T.V. or using your cellphone. Even if you decide not to leave your house, get up and stay active!

 

How I am surviving the pandemic:

While staying indoors, I have been using body weight exercises and my new pull up bar to replace my workouts at VASA gym. In attempt to keep my homemade workouts more interesting, I enjoy watching YouTube and Pinterest videos to come up with new ideas for different things I can try. Aside from this, I also have been using the extra time at home to try cooking and baking using new recipes. When in need of fresh air, I enjoy going on a run or playing tennis with my husband.

 

If you have any fun ideas you would like to share, feel free to send them to me!

Although many of us feel like we are in survival mode, continue to take care of your physical and mental health. We are open and here if you need help or have questions!

 

Please share

If you have any fun ideas you would like to share, feel free to send them to me!

 

Although many of us feel like we are in survival mode, continue to take care of your physical and mental health.

 

We are open and here if you need help or have questions!

Charlene Nordhoff, Physical Therapist Assistant