Being stuck at home in isolation may have you feeling unmotivated and out of routine, instead of sitting on the couch and binge watching Netflix all day why not use this time to experiment with exercise and find movement that you enjoy doing!
The general recommendations for Australian adults include being active on most, preferably all days every week and doing 30 – 60 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 15 – 30 minutes vigorous intensity activity 5 days a week. This should include 2 days strength training as well as breaking up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
Being more active in the long term reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers as well as helping to manage and/or improve type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Other more immediate benefits of exercise include healthy weight management, weight loss, muscle growth, bone strength and improved mental health.
The best part about movement – it is guaranteed to make you feel better, immediately! Research has shown that regular exercise can have positive effects on our mental health, some studies have even shown that it has the same effects as a low dose antidepressant on the brain. During exercise our body releases a chemical called endorphins these make you feel good which improves mood and gives you more energy.
See below our tips on how to include more movement into your life while at home in isolation:
Spread your movement out throughout the day
- Start your day off with a workout
- Set reminders on your phone for every hour, get up and do a lap around your house to break up long periods of sitting
- Take a lunch time walk, this will help to clear your mind and give your eyes a break from the computer/tv.
- Kick the ball around with the kids or dog in the afternoon
There are many apps, websites and online programs that you can use to assist you if you’re unsure where to start, some that we are currently enjoying include
- Sweaty Soul Sydney Instagram Live Monday, Wednesday & Friday 7am
- The Studio Rozelle Online membership classes
- V&B Athletic Online membership classes
- ClassPass At home
Stretching and mobility
Stretching and mobility is very important for recovery as well as preventing injury from physical activity. Ensuring you activate and do your mobility before exercising, and stretching after each session will aid your recovery and help to prevent those sore muscles the next day! Also including 2-3 longer stretching sessions into your week is beneficial, and the good news is we all have more time at the moment to do things like this which are so helpful, but often fall off the priority list.
Get those steps in
Getting your 10,000 steps in each day can be difficult if you are spending the majority of the day sitting at your desk or on the couch. A sedentary or inactive lifestyle is linked to an increased risk of chronic disease, even if you do a workout each day you still need to break up your time sitting. Fitness watches are a great way to track your steps for the day, if you do not have one of these your iPhone also has the ‘health’ function and most of us have our phones on us at all times so you can always track your steps that way.
Here are a few helpful tips on how to increase your steps:
- Go for a walk each day, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, this is the best way to increase your steps.
- Set a reminder in your phone to get up and do a few laps of your house each hour
- Park your car further way from the grocery store and take the stairs if you are out and about.
- Walk to your favourite coffee shop to get a takeaway coffee.
- Organise a walk and talk meeting on the phone.
- If you live in an apartment, take the stairs not the lift.
So there you have our top tips on how to stay active and the reasons why this is so important for your health.