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25Mar

The secret to getting fit is to use every opportunity to be active.

In normal life, that may seem like an easy mantra. You could walk to work, turn your meetings into walk-and-talks, spend your lunch break getting to know the area better.

When you’re under lock-down, however, it’s a lot harder to get more active. But it is possible.

It’s vitally important to keep moving so that you’re able to resume an active outdoor lifestyle once the restrictions lift an dit’s important for maintaining good mental and physical health in the meantime.

Sure, you might struggle to get in your 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, but you can aim to move as much as possible every day.

Follow these very simple tips for getting active at home:

Spring clean

Being stuck at home indefinitely means that maintaining a clean and tidy abode is really crucial.

As well as making your home more bearable to live in, cleaning is actually great exercise. You can burn up to 170 calories an hour from dusting, straightening etc, while tougher jobs like scrubbing and cleaning floors and surfaces can burn nearly 200 calories an hour.

Even tasks like ironing and vacuuming are big calorie-burners. So there’s never been a better time to give your gaff a good going over!

Get gardening

There’s literally never been a better opportunity to turn your garden into an oasis. Sure, you can’t get to the garden centre, but you can make sure that no weeds are growing, your bushes are all trimmed and the grass is mowed. All of those activities involve moving around – lifting, squatting, walking. 

Oh, and you can still order plants and saplings so once you’ve laid the ground work, you can start planting.

Get out there and channel your inner Alan Titchmarsh. Most avid gardeners won’t even notice the lockdown at all but if you’re not naturally green-fingered, now’s the time to get some new skills and to get fit while you’re at it.

If you can, get walking

It’s all very well aiming for 10,000 steps a day when you can leave the house but if you’re house-bound, it’s a lot more tricky.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t try to walk as much as possible.

Go up and down your staircase, round the garden, make cups of tea – not pots – so you’ve got to walk to the kitchen more often, keep your snacks away from your workstation or armchair so that you’ve got to move to get them.

Set yourself ten minute breaks during which time you’ve got to stay on your feet. 

Attach exercises to your daily habits

Survive on tea during the working day? Find yourself snacking throughout the afternoon? Try to add in pockets of exercise around these habits.

If you drink six cups of tea a day, why not challenge yourself to do ten star jumps or squats before each one? Eventually, that’ll add up to 60 star jumps or squats a day. The best bit is that no-one will see you because you’re at home. 

Maybe come up with different exercises for different daily habits. If you squat before each cup of tea, you might a 30 second plank before brushing your teeth or practice push-ups before making a meal.

Play with your kids

Seeing as they’re not at school and able to see their friends, your kids are probably crying out for someone to play with. How about playing hide and seek, or setting up a game of catch in the garden?

Children naturally move so much more than adults so let them be your guides.

Get on the mat

Never tried yoga before? Why not give it a go now? All you need is a mat (and if you don’t have a mat, you can use a towel) and a laptop. Set yourself up in your living room, balcony or garden and follow a beginner’s flow on one of the thousands of yoga channels online. 

Older and less mobile? Try Yoga with Adriene’s seated yoga flow. What about diabetes? Adriene also has practice for that. Got arthritis? Have a go at this sequence from Johns Hopkins Rheumatology.

Just search on YouTube for whatever condition or type of yoga you’d like to try and take it away!

Set your timer

One of the problems with working from home is that you can go for hours without realising that you’ve not moved. 

Grab a timer or download one and set it to go off every hour. When it goes off, get up, have a stretch and go for a walk around – even if it’s just up and down the stairs or a couple of times round your garden.

It doesn’t matter how much you do, you’ve just got to move.

Keep your alarm out of reach

Keep meaning to get up early to do a home workout but somehow seem to wake up moments before your shift is due to start? 

Move your alarm clock away from your bed and next to your kit. Once you’re out of bed to turn it off, you may as well keep going. 

  

talkhealth

This is the talkhealth blog spot, where we post on a wide range of health conditions, topics, issues and concerns. We post when we see something that we believe is of interest to our visitors. Our posts do not reflect any particular view or standpoint of talkhealth, but are merely to raise attention and awareness.

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