This may be the first time in history that so many people are required to stay at home. But with every downside that COVO19 has presented, there are some benefits that many of my clients are seeing.
The first is the ability to get a little more sleep. Without a commute to and from work, the morning rush just went from a 400 yard dash to light walk from the bedroom to the home-kitchen office. Improved sleep will help everyone to feel more refreshed and maybe experience some of the benefits of getting enough sleep like: feeling more alert, reducing inflammation, improving memory and may help with weight loss.
However, being at home in a confined space without people’s interaction can increase stress levels and anxiety. Exercise has been proven to help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of many cancers and type II diabetes, and can help increase your energy. However, there are many proven mental health benefits from exercise as well. Research shows exercise, even a brisk walk, can help ease symptoms of depression, reduce anxiety, and can help improve self=esteem.
Here are five ways to be less stressed and move more in your days in the at-home workforce:
- Take a walk outside.Although we are ordered “stay in shelter” at this time, you are allowed to go out for a walk or run Walking for thirty minutes or running for 10-15 minutes can give you the same health benefits. You can try the 10-minute rule: walking 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch and again 10 minutes after dinner, adds up to the same 30 minutes of continuous walking.
- Stretch at your desk.Set a timer on your smartphone to buzz every 60 minutes. You might find that you’re glued to the screen or Zoom meetings for hours at a time. A simple stretch or walk around the house can help reduce blood pooling in your legs and give you a little more oxygen to the brain to stay sane. Here are some quick moves you can try: Take a break at your home office – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTA8qQhK_Uw
- Try the 7-minute workout! Many people do this exact 7-minute workout as featured years ago in the Wall Street Journal as a regular addition to their morning routine. The exercises are old school favorites like jumping jacks and pushups. Other than a chair, wall or box, you won’t need much equipment.
- Try virtual workouts. Studios across Chicagoland are opting for online classes to keep their members engaged and moving. Many studios like, Studios FUSE in Lincoln Park, are streaming free classes via ZOOM and Instagram LIVE. At home developed workouts include Pilates Sculpt, Yoga Sculpt, and even Barre classes. Morning workout links weekdays at 9 am: https://bit.ly/2xsezac Evening workout links weekdays at 5:30 pm https://bit.ly/2vNUGK0
- Take a deep breath. Focused breathing and mediationare a great way to reduce stress and calm the mind. Simple breathing techniques like counting your breath for one minute can help slow down the heart and bring focus to your body. Start by breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Set the timer for 1-5 minutes and sit up straight with feet planted on the ground and shoulders relaxed. My favorite app is Insight Timer but there are many more including, Calm, Mindful meditation, and MUSE.
As a health expert with more than three decades of experience, I hope you take the time to start a simple exercise routine while we have more time on hands than ever before. If you would like personal FaceTime coaching or counseling, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our business is currently but we are online to help! www.StudiosFUSE.com
Andrea Metcalf is a celebrity fitness expert, best-selling author, and owner of Studios FUSE. She has over thirty years of experience in fitness and a dozen appearances on the NBC Today Show as well as other local media.