With the coronavirus forcing people to stay cooped up at home, often with young children bouncing off the walls, the need for ways to stay fit and active has never been stronger.
There is a direct relationship between your diet, physical activity, and health. Your nutrition is a key player when it comes to physical, mental, and social well-being. And it’s important for preventing disease.
Physically active individuals usually live longer than those who are inactive or may have a risk of heart disease. Inactivity is an important risk factor similar to high blood pressure, smoking, or high cholesterol. These are some benefits of exercise:
- Stress and anxiety relief: Stress and anxiety are rising with the current pandemic, and it can lower your immune response. Exercising releases chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin and endorphins which can help improve your mood, reduce the risk of depression and cognitive decline, and delay onset of dementia.
- Immune support: Regular PA helps your immune system function.
- Weight management: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that regular PA paired with a balanced nutritious diet helps with weight management. Excess weight is associated with higher health risks.
- Reduces health risks and prevents diseases: Regular PA reduces blood pressure as well as risks of serious health issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke when it’s paired a balanced nutritious diet.
- Bone, muscles, balance, and flexibility: PA also improves bone and muscle strength, and increases balance and flexibility. This is important for everyone, especially older adults because it can prevent falls and injuries. As for children, it aids with growth and development and sets healthy habits for the future.
- For children, PA can lessen behavioral issues such as ADHD and help with concentration during schoolwork which is important now that they’re at home all the time.
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Steps to start being physically active at home:
Focus on weaknesses
As a general rule, you always want to have an intention before starting a workout routine or program. This pinpoints what you’re not good at, and therefore what you are trying to improve. I summarized a few abilities I think people at home, both young and older populations, should focus on.
Go through them and analyze which ones you excel at, which ones you are moderate at, and which ones you lack the most. I would start working on the latter, and progressively move towards the rest. This doesn’t mean when you’re working on one, you’re completely ignoring the rest, but rather is a tool to have a specific intent with your PA.
- Strength and core strength: This is the amount of force a muscle can produce against some form of resistance. This resistance can come from external objects or your body weight. Your core is a set of muscles that play a key role in many movement patterns. Improving core strength may improve motion.
- Aerobic capacity and endurance: This is the ability of your heart and lungs to get oxygen to your muscles for their use.
- Flexibility, Mobility, and Stability: Flexibility is the capacity of moving through your full active and passive range of motion. Mobility is moving your joints and muscles properly in an active manner through their range of motion (ROM). Stability is maintaining control of the position and movement of your joints. People usually lack mobility and stability in their joints and lose overall movement.
- Balance and coordination: Balance is the ability to stay in control of your body’s movement and coordination is being able to move two or more body parts with control.
Remember that just because it feels like the world is ending doesn’t mean you have to eat only food that could survive the apocalypse. Even in an emergency situation, grocery stores should stay stocked and open. Try to keep your eating healthy and your body active and you should weather the storm while staying fit.
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