Updated: Jun 20
What You need to Know...
Taking part in physical activity can make you feel good, create routine, and foster social connections. In addition to improving physical health, physical activity is also beneficial to mental health. Physical activity can also improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, enhancing predictability, and providing pleasure, fun, and joy.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, being physically active during this time is especially important. In this section, we provide examples and tips about physical activity.
Examples of Physical Activity
It may not be possible to participate in team sports or go to the gym at the moment. The good news is that there are many other ways to exercise during this time. Among these activities are climbing stairs, walking around your home, taking online exercise classes, dancing, Zumba, yoga, walking or jogging, skipping, and hopscotch. Taking part in household chores such as cleaning, vacuuming, or gardening is also a great way to get exercise. You can also be active by doing pushups, situps, jump jacks, and squats with your body weight.
Since we are spending a lot of time at home, one activity that might be fun is to play a game of bowling. For a challenge, line up some empty plastic bottles or fill them with water. Use a mini soccer ball, tennis ball, or mini basketball as the bowling ball and knock down the bottles. You can add a competitive element by keeping score.
Activity As A Family
Family activity can be fun and an excellent way to keep everyone active. As a family, set a goal together. One goal might be that everyone goes out together for a 15 minute walk each evening after dinner. Depending on how that goes, try to build up the amount of time (e.g., 15 minutes to 20 minutes). You may also want to keep track of how many days per week you went out for a walk as a family and try to increase the frequency of the walks if interested and if possible.
Physical activity is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Breaking up activity into chunks is a great way to be active. Try to include exercise breaks throughout the day where you do something active for 5 minutes, instead of doing 30 minutes of activity all at once. Do something active for five minutes after finishing a board game, puzzle, or watching TV.
Exercise can also be incorporated into a task you do often, such as using the washroom or washing your hands. For example, each time you go to use the washroom, do 5 squats or 5 jumping jacks. Without even knowing it, these small chunks add up throughout the day to 30 or more minutes!
Create A Routine
Being active at the same time or place can be a helpful reminder for some individuals. As the timing and type of activity become more predictable, creating a routine can make activities more enjoyable. Setting an alarm can be a helpful reminder and a great motivator. You can also have an exercise buddy- every time you complete your activity, you can call or text him/her and let them know you are done.
Your chances of doing physical activity increase when you make it fun and a part of your daily routine. Feel free to share how you and your family are staying active, and we look forward to hearing from you.