#CentennialTips on staying healthy when you can’t exercise
With everyone staying home while they work and learn online, new health issues have come with it, namely the weight gain that’s been nicknamed the “Quarantine 15.” However, there is still a lot you can do to stay fit and active while you’re stuck at home. In fact, the extra time you have now is perfect for taking control of your health. Me, I borrowed an old exercise bike from my family and set it up in my garage, so I could ride it and work up a sweat. Here’s some other things you can do, according to CNN, Live Strong, Popsugar and the American Cancer Society.
Get up and get moving.
First thing’s first: You want to avoid sitting around. Coronavirus may make you want to spend all your time on the couch watching Netflix, but there’s dangers to that. Regular activity is essential for preventing weight gain (obviously), supporting a healthy immune system and boosting your mood – something that’s incredibly important.
Do some physical activity from home.
If you manage even 30 minutes of activity a day at home, your physical and mental health can improve. Cardio is all about getting your heart rate higher, so, for example, getting a brisk walk outside can help get you breathing deeper and make your heart beat more. Walking, jogging or doing jumping-jacks in place are all good ways to start. You can turn on some music and get active to it, or do it during the commercials and credits of whatever media you’re watching. If you’ve got stairs, you can engage in stair-stepping while you watch television or web videos. If you have some free weights sitting around, you can do a little weight training. And if you don’t, you can make some by filling up water bottles or milk jugs to add weight to them.
Consult the internet for videos.
If you’re confused about how, exactly, to work out at home, there’s plenty of resources on the internet to help you out. YouTube is loaded with free workout videos for you to follow at any level of difficulty and fitness. And if you want something written, here’s an example from CNN of a good home workout to follow. Meanwhile, at Centennial College, you can check out our Centennial Colts Instagram page for a daily dose of videos, livestreaming and workout tips to get you moving.
Chores count for something.
If you already do a lot of cleaning, scrubbing or vacuuming at home, you know that it can be a workout. And if you don’t, you can start, to get some activity in. You get exercise and your home gets cleaner in the process. Consider venturing outside more to take part in lawn mowing, gardening or other yard work, or cleaning out your garage. You’d be surprised how many calories you can burn when you get out into the summer heat.
Go outside whenever you can
On that topic, the summer heat will help you burn calories faster, so if you can go outside to walk, run, bike or exercise, and maintain social distance, do so. On top of that, it means sun exposure, which will boost your Vitamin D levels, which helps your immune system and your mood.
Cut your stress.
Speaking of your mood, your mental health is just as important as your physical health, both for its own sake, and because the two are linked together. That means that stress can impact both your mind and body. It’s legitimately good for your health to take some time each day to do the things you enjoy. Some good ways to reduce stress and take care of your mind include maintaining links to your friends and family, even if it’s online only, as well as spending time with a dedicated hobby and getting enough sleep – at least eight hours a day.
Balance your diet.
When you’re not as active, it’s particularly important to pay attention to your nutrition. Also, eating healthy shouldn’t be temporary, but a constant life choice. As a simple starting point, make sure your plate has plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits on it, and reduce the amount of meat, pasta, rice and bread in your diet. An important part of this is to remember that it will give you more energy and a better metabolism, making you feel better as a result. And if you’re home all day learning online, it’s the perfect time to try new recipes and food, anyway.
Don’t hit the gym too hard when you get back.
Once the gyms safely reopen, it’s tempting to go back and hit the equipment hard. But you need to make sure you don’t overdo it. Too much exercise all of a sudden, in one go, can actually suppress your immune system. But only worry about that if you’re hitting the gym. When you’re at home, don’t let that stop you from doing as much as you’re capable of doing.
By: Anthony Geremia