It is always important to have a balanced diet, exercise, and to get enough sleep. This balance can lead to a level minded, rational, and productive day. During a pandemic when our routines and structure are gone, it's important that we find ways to adapt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition, the pandemic is a great opportunity for you to focus and improve your habits to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., explained on Mayoclinic.com, that everyone should partake in “… at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity… a week”. He goes on to say that you should, “Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least 2 times a week”.
Following Edward R. Laskowksi’s advice, here is a sample plan:
Monday: 30 minutes of brisk walking
Tuesday: 30 minutes of riding a bike
Wednesday: 45 minutes of core focused yoga
Thursday: 30 minutes of running
Friday: 30 minutes of swimming
Saturday: 45 minutes of lifting weights
Sunday: 30 minutes of running
If these activities do not interest you, you can substitute the aerobic exercises and strength exercises below:
Brisk walking, swimming, mowing the lawn, running, aerobic dancing, riding a bike or self powered scooter
Lifting weights (click here for what to use if you do not have weights), kayaking, paddle boarding, rock climbing, or strengthening yoga
Many of the ways we used to exercise are no longer possible or safe. Many gyms, yoga studios, dance classes, and even races are closed or canceled. While this can be frustrating, it's important to remember that these places and events will eventually open again! In the meantime, here are some apps and videos that you can follow along with that can help you stay active while social distancing:
Experts say that it takes between 21 and 66 days of consistency for activities to become a habit. That amount of days can be daunting and intimidating but you can make small changes everyday to begin a healthy lifestyle. If you need to, you can make your goal of exercising 4 times a week, or instead of 30-45 minutes a day, try 15-35 minutes a day. You can also try to sit less. Take frequent breaks from sitting down or laying around. Set a timer of your phone or watch for every 45 minutes and take a 5 stretch break or a 5 minute walk outside/around the room. This will help get your blood flowing and may even help you focus when you get back to work. If you are watching TV, every time there is a commercial break, hold 30 second planks with 15 second breaks in between each rep. Below is the correct form for a plank. Make sure that you clench your abdominal muscles and your back and butt are parallel to the ground.
This article is not an exhaustive list of apps, exercises that you can do during the pandemic and there is a lot more on the internet you can search for. You can search for more free workout videos on Youtube and by reading through websites on Google. Remember to always stretch before and after you exercise so that you do not hurt yourself. If you need someone to keep you accountable, have questions or concerns about adopting a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic or beyond, then click here to book a consultation with clinician, Danielle Feerst, OTR/L. In addition, you can connect with us on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Written by Madison Gies, Summer 2020 Intern