A new routine: Exercise at home

As shelter-in-place orders due to the coronavirus create a new normal, it’s important to make sure your new normal includes physical activity. Exercise not only helps you feel better, it also helps boost your immune system.

Start small – get up and start moving more.

It’s important to remember that some exercise is better than none. Your goal is really to move more and sit less  ̶  something that can be very hard if you’re one of the millions working from home. Walking up and down the stairs in your house can be a great place to start.

How much exercise is enough?

Government guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. That’s only 20 -45 minutes a day. And, best of all, many quarantine-safe activities like mowing the lawn, walking the dog, doing chores around the house and yard work all count. More traditional aerobic exercise includes brisk walking, running and swimming. Keeping track of your steps is easy with a hand-held pedometer or a combination heart rate monitor pedometer watch.

Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week. Strength training can include using weight machines, your own body weight or resistance tubing.

Find free workouts online.

If you’re interested in spot toning, targeted exercises or just want to add variety to your routine, you can find lots of free workouts online. Now that gyms are closed, many personal trainers and fitness experts are creating content they’re sharing for free. With just a little research, you can find instructor-led videos and workout routines designed for every fitness level and need.

Ready to step it up? Build a small home gym.

If you’re ready to take your workout up a notch, you can create a small, budget-friendly home gym. A compact pedal exerciser has a small footprint and can easily be stored in a closet when not in use. Exercise bands come in different resistance levels and are great for an all-around, whole body workout. Yoga mats easily do double duty for sit-ups, push-ups, planks, squats and leg exercises. Dumbbells are ideal for strength training.

Post-workout health and hygiene.

Common courtesy and cleanup are still important even if you’re just working out at home. Make sure to wipe up pools of sweat and wipe down any gear you use. And finally, don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.


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Resources:
Health and Human Services, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Accessed on April 15, 2020

Mayo Clinic, “How much should the average adult exercise every day?”
Accessed on April 15, 2020

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