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Health and Fitness During Covid-19: Movement

While in quarantine you may find that you are sitting more and moving less. Unfortunately, this can lead to many chronic health problems including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Even if you are engaging in structured and planned exercise, it's not enough to cancel out the ill-effects of extended periods of sitting. The good news is that you can improve your overall health by performing as little as a few minutes of physical activity frequently throughout the day.

If you're ready to reap the benefits of becoming more physically active, you can start right now. Here are some quick and easy ways to sprinkle movement into your daily routine:

  • Every hour on the hour. Set your phone’s timer to alert you every hour (while you’re awake) to get up and move. Some suggestions: perform 10 jumping jacks, 10 glute bridges or walk around your house for a minute or 2. 

  • This is your cue. Every time you visit the bathroom, perform 10 box squats (sit down on the toilet seat and stand back up--that’s one repetition); Each time you go to the kitchen, perform 10 countertop or wall pushups

  • Take a walk. Start with 5 minutes and work up to a 10+ minute walk after each meal and snack. If you eat 4 times a day, you'll be walking 40 minutes a day.

  • Fidget. Bounce your leg or tap your foot while you’re sitting. Pace the room when you’re on the phone. 

  • Play. Play tag or Twister with your kids, throw a frisbee to Fido or challenge your partner to a game of table tennis. This is a great way for the whole family to connect and relieve stress together.

  •  Prepare your own meals from scratch. Moving around the kitchen, chopping up vegetables, cooking the food and cleaning up give you some physical activity and a quality meal to enjoy.

  • Dance break. Put on that one song that compels you to dance. You know the one. . . Or search Youtube for a tutorial on a dance style you’ve always wanted to learn and pick up some fresh new moves. 

  • Do your chores. If you have lots of rooms, complete just 1 or 2 areas per day. Couple this with dance breaks and you’ll end up with a decent workout, a cleaner house and a good mood.

  • Skip the elevator, take the stairs. When you’re out and about, park farther away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is enjoyable and easy to work into your schedule so that you are more likely to do it. Start incorporating these practices now and they will become habits you continue and benefit from long after quarantine is over.

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