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When we need to stay home due to COVID-19, it isn’t as easy to stay fit and active. You may be working online, trying to keep kids doing schoolwork, or caring for someone who is sick. It’s likely that your gym is closed or dance class is canceled. But even though our schedules may have changed, it is still important for your overall physical and mental health to stay active during these stay-at-home days.
These can be stressful times and regular exercise can also help you handle stress. Staying active can keep you fit and help you feel better overall. "The connection between your brain and your body is a two-way street and that means movement can change your brain, too,” says Dr. Srini Pillay, Harvard Medical School.
The World Health Organization has set up a website to share ways to keep your body healthy and active while at home full time. It includes examples of home-based exercises you can do and healthy eating tips.
It doesn’t have to take a long time to get a good workout. WebMD offers a 7-minute workout. Some of the moves may be very familiar. Remember jumping jacks from your elementary school days?
Most of the time, adults should aim to move more and sit less. Adults who do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits. For more health benefits, aim for moderate movement for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week. It’s good to spread that out over the week.
There are some great resources online and on your smart phone:
Check out the online exercise library at the American Council on Exercise for information on routines and tips for doing things safely.
If the weather is good, boost your mood and fitness by getting outside. Do stretches and light exercises on the back porch or beside the pool. Exercise on a yoga mat on the lawn. Even working in the yard or washing the car are good activities that count toward staying fit.
Talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness plan. And don’t exercise if you are sick. It won’t make you better and can use up energy you need to get well.
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