As we work through the current climate of social distancing, it can be challenging to follow a healthy routine. Most workout facilities are closed, and many of us are dependent on what we can do at home to ensure we stay healthy.
Here are a few tips to help you THRIVE...from anywhere.
1. Take a daily walk
Make it a priority (and part of your routine) to walk for at least 15 minutes a day. Better yet, make it a full mile or more to continue your participation in the ongoing Mile a Day challenge. Whether it is before or after work, or during a lunch break, just take a brisk stroll around your neighborhood. It will get the blood pumping and kick-start your metabolism. Have some more time on the weekend? Get outside. Go for a hike, and enjoy that fresh air and exercise.
2. Watch your caloric intake
If your activity levels drop, or you find yourself staying home instead of going to a gym or pursuing other activity, it’s important to consider what we eat to balance caloric intake with caloric burn. Stick with healthy snacks like fruit or vegetables instead of fat or sugar-laden options. If you’ve never used calorie tracking, there are free options like www.myfitnesspal.com to help you track your calorie and hydration intake as well as your activity.
3. Don’t sit or stay in one place for too long
Make a point to move around at least once every 2-3 hours for at least 10 minutes. It will give your body the opportunity to stretch and help your posture. Just getting up will break the monotony of being in one place for hours on end (and help you fight those urges to snack). Feeling extra motivated and have access to stairs? Walk up and down your stairs a few times during each break. Moving briskly can help elevate your heart rate for beneficial aerobic conditioning.
4. Utilize bodyweight exercise
Just because you can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Here are 10 exercises you can do anywhere. Try 3-5 sets, doing 10 of each exercise for each set. You can scale up if you are used to regular exercise, or scale back if this is new..
- Reaching “good mornings” - Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands behind the head with elbows out. Start bending at the hips, push your hips back and bend over to near parallel. Return to the starting position and reach high overhead. Modification: Bend over as far as comfortable before returning to stand.
- Push-ups - From a plank position, keeping body straight, and back aligned with hips and shoulders, bend elbows to lower chest to ground. Straighten arms to return to starting position. Modification: Keep knees on floor.
- Planks - Essentially a push up starting position, keep arms stationary, hold the plank position for as long as possible, then lower gently to ground. Modification: Knees down or flatten forearms to ground for added support.
- Squats - Extend arms in front of you as you bend knees until thighs are parallel with floor. Be sure to keep your knees aligned with ankles, they should never be in front of your feet and you should be able to see your toes through the entire motion. Think reaching back with your glutes to find an invisible chair. Modification: Hold on to chair while squatting.
- Hollow holds - Lie on back, pressing spine to floor, gently raise straight legs and shoulders off the ground, keeping lower spine pressed into the floor. Hold 10 seconds. Modification: Place hands under rear to stabilize and/or lift legs and shoulders in separate motion.
- Stair climb - Run up and down a flight of stairs 10 times. If your stairs are less than 5 steps, walk out 10 paces at the top and bottom before turning back to the stairs, this will help prevent dizziness that may occur when doing short flights too quickly. Modification: Walk instead of running. If you don’t have stairs, replace with a brisk marching walk of at least 500 steps.
- Stork balance - Stand with feet slightly apart and raise one knee until thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, lower and repeat with other leg. Modification: Have chair within reach to steady if needed.
- Inchworm - Stand up tall with legs straight, making sure your knees aren’t locked. Slowly bend at waist toward the floor, then walk hands forward. Once in a push up position, start taking tiny steps so feet meet hands. Modification: Bend knees slightly when reaching for floor, walk hands forward to comfort level, then move them back to original position and stand.
- Burpee - From a standing position, bend and squat so knees are bent and hands are on the floor. Next, kick your feet back to a push-up position. Complete one push-up, then immediately return your feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible, reaching overhead. Modification: Move legs into push up position and back to squat one leg at a time. Finish by standing instead of leaping.
- Wall sits - Stand with your back against a wall, slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure knees are directly above ankles and keep back straight. On this one, try for 60 seconds per set before sliding back up to start (or however long it takes to turn those legs to jelly) Modification: Keep hips in slightly higher position during hold.