Our new reality means we’re spending more time at home these days. For many, that may involve fewer trips to the gym or spa, less time on the soccer field or baseball diamond and limited in-person interaction with family and friends; all activities that helped relieve stress and improved our overall well-being.
We can put a pause on many of our normal routines, but we can’t put a pause on our health. Even while at home, it’s vital to maintain pastimes that allow us to relax, improve our overall health and make meaningful connections with others. The good news is, it’s easy to do.
Here are a few fun and simple ways to stay physically and mentally fit at home.
Online fitness classes
YouTube and other streaming services bring online workouts to your living room. Follow along with instructors who demonstrate proper form and posture, live or pre-recorded at a time that fits your schedule. Online workouts are a great way to try new programs – like Tabata, Zumba or Yoga. Most require minimal equipment, are free of charge and can be enjoyed either individually or with others in your household. CBC has a great list of options to try.
Track your workout progress
As you focus your home workout efforts, the lack of proper exercise equipment and an enthusiastic trainer can decrease your motivation. Using a fitness tracker, a mobile app or simply jotting down your progress can inspire you to maintain your fitness journey. People continue to find motivation in tracking their distance, exertion, sleep and heart rate. You can even start a friendly competition with a family member or friend.
Squeeze in a stretch, or two
If your schedule makes it difficult to block off a solid 30 minutes or more for daily workouts, try exercising in snippets. When you find five or 10 minutes of free time, fit in some light activity like stretching, stair walking or anything from the “up” family (sit-ups, push-ups, chin-ups). A few of these activity breaks can equal to your daily workout target.
Take an evening stroll
Unless you have a treadmill or a big backyard, this tip requires leaving your home – but not your neighbourhood. Walking, one of the most underrated forms of exercise, is a great way to burn calories, lose weight, get some fresh air and wind down after a long workday. There are many other health benefits, too.
More people are adopting the practice of mindfulness in their everyday lives. Whether it’s putting your phone away while eating meals to really chew and enjoy every bite, or taking a few minutes out of every day to meditate, practice deep breathing or listen to nature sounds, people are benefiting from being more conscious and fully present in any given moment. There are many great apps out there to get you started.
Connect in new ways
With in-person hangouts limited, it’s important to include more human interactions into our daily routines. Many platforms allow for interactive video chatting where you can catch up with a group of friends, read a bedtime story to your grandkids or have a board game night with extended family. Online options won’t work for everyone, so don’t shy away from calling a relative or a friend you’ve lost touch with to reconnect with an old-fashioned phone call.
These tips were created for informational purposes only, based on readily available guidance, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, as circumstances will vary from person to person. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and treatments.