Staying physically active is important for a healthy lifestyle. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, more people are quarantined inside their homes. Even during Covid-19, staying active still offers many great benefits to your health! The first one that normally comes to mind is loosing weight, but physical activity can also improve your mood, your ability to sleep, your immune system and help to decrease stress! The Canadian activity guideline recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Moderate intensity exercise is any activity that makes you breath a little deeper or makes your heart beat faster but you are able to still talk while doing the activity. Vigorous activity takes more effort, you feel yourself breathing much deeper, and your heart rate is faster.
During Covid-19 there are many stressors, including the virus itself, changes in work or daily routine, worrying about family and so on. Using physical activity is one way to help combat these stressors! When you’re active, your brain releases a chemical called endorphins. Endorphins can help relieve stress, help to reduce pain and make you feel happier by boosting your mood. Being active can also give you a distraction from work, school and daily stress, which can have positive affects on anxiety and depression.
So lets talk about some things you can do at home to stay active, not only during quarantine but anytime! For starters, if you’re working or studying from home, taking frequent breaks to get up from your chair and walk around helps to stretch your legs and gives your mind and eyes a rest from your screen. Setting a timer on your phone is one way to remind yourself to get up and move. You can grab a glass of water, play a quick game with your kids or simply walk around your home to stretch your legs. Involving your family is another way to make physical activity fun and there are lots of different options to choose from. Going for a walk near your neighborhood or on a trail (while social distancing) is a great way to get out of the house to get some fresh air and Vitamin D. YouTube is also a great resource to help you stay active as well. It has hundreds of exercise videos including yoga for all levels, high intensity, cardio and full body workouts. Many of these videos do not even require equipment. There are videos at different lengths so you are able to fit it in the day when it works best for your schedule. This is also a great way to try different activities and types of workouts to see what you like best.
Even if you’re not normally an active person, now is a great time to start. Any activity is better than no activity so you can always start small and increase as you go! Have fun and enjoy any form of physical activity!