Exercise in place: How to stay active while staying home
While many of us might know the benefits of staying physically active – such as managing blood pressure and anxiety levels and improving sleep patterns, mood, and energy – maintaining pre-pandemic activity levels can be difficult. Many people are spending more time at home seated at the computer instead of biking to the office or visiting the gym.
However, it’s important to still make time to exercise, even if your options are limited. Plus, staying active isn’t just good for your health ¬– it’s also important for the health of everyone in your family. Regular exercise can help stave off the risk of childhood obesity, which has been on the rise for the past three decades. And active seniors are can help build strength and better maintain their independence.
The good news is there are still plenty of ways to get your heart pumping, your biceps flexing, and your hamstrings stretching while sheltering in place. Consult your doctor before implementing any new exercise routines into your lifestyle. Depending on your needs, your doctor might want to perform an in-person physical or blood work or offer preventive care before making a recommendation. Be sure to follow any guidelines your doctor’s office might have for scheduling screenings and visits to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Other resources for health support, depending on your Blue Shield plan, include Shield Support and the Find a Doctor tool.
Additionally, here are some tips on exercising from home so you can find the best ways to stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online workouts and programs you can do at home
While you may not be able to take a yoga, dance, or Pilates class in person, there are a variety of classes available right in your own living room. Many gyms, studios, and private instructors have moved their live fitness classes and personal training sessions online – so you can still stay physically fit while social distancing. Some instructors also offer pre-recorded workouts you can follow on platforms like YouTube, although it’s important to know your physical limitations before following along with an unsupervised session. You can ask your doctor if the at-home workouts you’re interested in are a good fit for you.
If personalized support is your thing, then your health plan might be just the ticket to help you stay active. Blue Shield helps make self-care easy through health and fitness programs such as Wellvolution® and SilverSneakers®. Wellvolution is an online health program that can help you reach your health goals, such as preventing and treating chronic disease, losing weight, quitting smoking, and managing stress. For seniors who want to stay active, SilverSneakers is available to most Medicare-eligible members and provides access to fitness and well-being tools at no additional cost. Your access to these programs will depend on the type of health plan you have.
Socially distanced outdoor workouts
Even though you can’t sweat it out in the gym, by following social distancing rules, you can safely work out in the great outdoors. You can bike around your neighborhood, a park, or a lake. If wheels aren’t your thing, taking a hike on nearby trails could help you get your blood pumping while enjoying a daily dose of nature. Your outdoor workout can be as simple as taking a walk in your neighborhood with your dog or your family.
If you want a change of scenery from your neighborhood blocks, many parks, beaches, and recreation areas are still open for you to enjoy. As with all things during the pandemic, the CDC recommends that you limit your exposure to crowds and take precautions such as wearing a mask and washing your hands. So, consider your risk if you visit crowded parks or campgrounds or choose to play in playgrounds (or follow your local ordinance if these areas are currently off-limits).
Quick activities for getting your body moving around the house
No time for an hour-long exercise class? No problem! Any physical activity is better than none at all, according to the CDC. Mowing the lawn, catching up on chores, vacuuming, gardening – anything that gets your body moving can help you get the recommended 150 minutes of weekly moderate physical activity.
You can also shake up your sedentary lifestyle with some movement breaks. Dance to your favorite song or stretch for a few minutes every hour at work (we’re all guilty of hunching). You can even do some jumping jacks during commercial breaks or take a few extra laps up and down your stairs. What matters is that you’re moving your body and having fun.
We hope these tips have inspired you to get moving. We know it can seem daunting at first, but no matter what your level of physical activity, we’re here to help you stick to your health and fitness goals.
Ready to get moving and take better care of your body? Find an exciting Wellvolution program to start today!