With 75% of Americans currently self-isolating or under quarantine at home, the majority of us have seen a drastic reduction in our physical activity levels over the past month. Gyms are closed, team sports have been cancelled, and parks can no longer host groups of people enjoying a walk together. We’re moving less and sleeping more, and everyone is struggling to find healthy ways of coping with mounting anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s well known that even light exercise can seriously improve your health and your mood – two areas where we could all use a boost right now. But how can we stay active while staying home and maintaining social distancing? Good news: There are many options to help break the monotony and get your blood pumping!
Practice yoga. Yoga is great way to improve flexibility and endurance while also promoting mental wellbeing through mindfulness techniques. It’s also simple and perfect for home – all you need is a mat and a little bit of space. There are also hundreds of online yoga classes and YouTube videos to choose from; you’re sure to find something that works for you! And speaking of online classes:
Join an online class. Thanks to the internet, social distancing doesn’t have to mean being cut off from taking a fun new class. Online fitness classes are booming in popularity, and they a huge range of categories – cardio, Pilates, calisthenics, weight training, Zumba, spin, and more. There are plenty of free options, and many subscription services if you want to dive deeper.
Have a home dance party. Clubs are closed and Pride is postponed, but that doesn’t mean the dancing has to stop. Take a break from sitting at your computer to throw on some music and get moving. Even if it’s just for one song, you’ll feel so much better after grooving to your favorite hits. If you live with other people, encourage them to join in and make it a house party! Or, set up a FaceTime or Zoom date with friends and hit the floor together from your own homes. Dancing is great for the body, and music is great for the soul.
Find a hobby that moves you – literally. There are a lot healthy ways to entertain yourself that don’t fit the classic exercise mold. Examples of hobbies that work your body and mind are gardening, baking, cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, home improvements, pottery, painting, drawing, furniture restoration, writing, playing music, reading (not the news, please), puzzles and board games, and even cleaning. Speaking of household chores, this is the perfect time to get some serious decluttering done. Maybe get to know Marie Kondo?
Take a cue from Fluffy. Pets everywhere are rejoicing in the fact that their humans are suddenly home all the time. Take breaks to give these furry friends some love and some exercise throughout the day. Throw a ball for your dog, wiggle a string for your cat, build an elaborate new maze for your hamster – get creative! Take nice long walks with the pup (while maintaining social distancing, of course). If you don’t have a pet or have room for some new critters, consider fostering. Many shelters are seeing increases in their number of adoptable animals, as adoptions have slowed and more people may be forced to give up their pets for financial reasons. Contact your local animal shelter or rescue and find out of they need foster parents. We all need to help each other now more than ever, and that includes those of us with fur, wings, or scales.
We hope you find these tips helpful! Please stay healthy and be kind to yourself and one other.