The coronavirus pandemic has forced almost the entire world to stay inside their homes. There are a number of countries that are under complete or partial lockdown right now, and in numerous other places, most people have been advised to self-isolate themselves inside their homes to avoid being infected by this deadly virus.
Being quarantined at home is not just boring, but also brings with it many health risks. Working from home or being stranded there for a long period can lead to a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle. Therefore, we must be mindful of trying to avoid being inactive and do our best to perform as many physical activities from home as we can. Here are some tips that might help.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Since going outside right now is risky, it is important to keep your body moving. You can do so by walking inside your home for at least 30 minutes every day. There is sufficient research out there showing the benefits of walking daily. A study in 2011 stated that a half an hour walk every day can lower the risk of sudden cardiac death.
Another report in 2015 mentioned that three five-minute walks throughout the workday can reverse the harm caused to your peripheral arteries in the legs by extended hours of sitting in one position.
Thus, don’t take walking lightly, even if you are stranded at home. Make use of your home space (your balcony or terrace would be ideal for this) and try and walk in between breaks for at least 30-40 minutes every day.
If you get bored of walking or feel that it isn’t enough for you while in quarantine, then you can consider climbing up and down the stairs. A 2017 study found that stair climbing burns more calories per minute than jogging. It is a potent and intensive physical activity that can help you maintain a balanced weight while also building your bones, joints, and muscles. Don’t overdo it, though. Just ensure that you take out time for stair climbing at least twice a day for a minimum of 15-20 minutes.
If you are one of the many who are working from home right now and your job requires you to sit for long periods, then you must ensure that you stand up once in at least every 20 minutes. Sitting for long periods on your workstation is not good for your legs, and to keep the blood moving in your body, you have to make it a point to take a break from work and stand up.
Now, there will be many who will be so involved in their work that they will lose track of time. Thus, it is best to set up a timer or set a reminder using your calendar or phone.
Staying locked inside and working from home can often lead to laziness. To counter this, a simple measure like drinking water regularly can make a big difference.
Many of us undermine the value of drinking water regularly throughout the day. Drinking water every 30 minutes throughout the day will not just keep you hydrated, but it will also boost your activity and energy. The best way to do this is to keep a water bottle beside your work desk and set up a timer for 30 minutes. The moment the bell rings, you will know that you have to drink water. Once you have made it a habit of drinking water routinely, you will start noticing a positive difference in your energy and focus.
Getting a fitness tracker would be a great idea right now. A pedometer, especially, will help you keep track of the number of steps you take in a day and let you analyze your physical activity. This is especially important when you are isolated at home and tend to become less active. The fitness tracker lets you know exactly how active you are and will push you to indulge in at least some form of workout or physical exercise.
A good fitness tracker will also track calories in and out along with your day-to-day activity level, and help you in setting fitness goals. There are some trackers that even monitor your heart rate and sleep.
Many of you who are stranded at home right now should consider investing in some useful exercise equipment to keep yourself in shape and not become completely inactive. Since most gyms are currently closed owing to the coronavirus pandemic, you can get some simple home exercise equipment right now. A treadmill or a stationary exercise bike would be wonderful to keep your heart pumping and your body toned. You can also get light barbells if you are into lifting weights.
For seniors, some of the best home exercise equipment would be a Stability Ball that will be crucial for standing, balancing, and posture. A yoga mat would also be neat, as it allows seniors to perform low-impact exercises either on their feet, knees, or lying on the ground.
This is the perfect time to invest in planting a garden if you don’t have one already. Any gardener will tell you that gardening involves a lot of physical effort. In fact, the American Heart Association considers general gardening to be in the category of moderate-intensity physical activity. Not only this, but gardening is also an invigorating exercise.
You can start with a small garden in your backyard. If you don’t have enough space outside your house, you can even make a tiny garden in any corner of your home as well. Sowing seeds, trimming and watering the plants, and spending time with them every day, even for a short while, will be an enjoyable way to stay active. It should also keep you in a positive frame of mind.
Most of us who are quarantined at home right now have to take care of household chores, whether we like it or not. Since even maids aren’t allowed to leave their homes right now in several places, performing your daily chores is unavoidable. Do remember, though, that even the basic chore like doing the dishes and wiping down countertops will count as standing activities and will help you avoid being inactive. Then there are other chores like sweeping the floors, vacuuming and taking out the garbage which involves physical activity.
Also, make sure that you do some of your chores after eating. Performing physical activities after eating tends to help lower blood sugar levels. Thus, don’t ignore your daily housekeeping tasks. They might be very helpful in keeping you away from a sedentary lifestyle.
Not everyone understands the benefits of yoga, but it can be a really useful tool in these times in many ways. Being quarantined in your home for a long period can lead to undue stress as you won’t be able to venture out and we don’t know when the situation will improve outside. Furthermore, for people who are being forced to work from home right now, sitting on a chair for extended periods of time might eventually lead them to gain weight for the lack of any physical exertion. Following some simple yoga exercises will help in both these regards.
Yoga helps calm the mind along with your senses while also stimulating your body. Since it’s essentially a low impact activity and perfect to perform at home, yoga is a prudent choice as a tool to get into an active lifestyle while being quarantined. If you get used to it and feel its positive effects, it might serve you well even after the quarantine period is over. Follow the yoga techniques shown in the video below and try and incorporate at least some of them into your daily life as you stay at home.