Strategies for Staying in Shape During the Pandemic
This is Al Waller, your host for ClearPath Radio – Your Roadmap to Health and Wealth. Throughout the pandemic, life under lockdown has presented a lot of challenges to our daily routines, such as fitting in physical activity. This may contribute to weight gain, or what has been dubbed as the “Quarantine 15.” In order to combat this, we need to take steps to keep physically active. Joining me is Mihaela Vincze, public health expert for nonprofit Transamerica Institute, here to offer simple strategies to increase physical activity while at home. Al: Thanks for joining me. Mihaela: Thank you for having me. Al: For those wondering, why is it so easy to become sedentary and how do we prevent this?
Mihaela: The pandemic has introduced new stressors for many people. This stress, if left unchecked, can make it challenging to want set time aside to exercise. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise may reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. It can even improve your sleep which in turn reduces stress. Keep in mind that to fully reap the benefits of exercise, it is important to do it regularly. You can accomplish this by scheduling time for it in your daily routine.
Al: That is wonderful! So, because fitting in physical activity has become more difficult, anyone who wants to become more active needs to be intentional about scheduling time for it? Mihaela: Yes, establishing a routine for physical activity and sticking to it is a great way to not only build a sense of normalcy during this time, but also to create healthy habits. When a task becomes a habit, it is easier to maintain it long-term.
Al: That is great-- what kind of exercise should individuals be partaking in?
Mihaela: Although hitting the gym may not yet be an option, there are plenty of other ways to add physical activity to your routine at home. Try doing some bodyweight exercises like planks or push-ups, taking a walk around your neighborhood, or finding a home workout routine online that appeals to you. I personally enjoy virtual yoga since it is an exercise I can pretty much do anywhere with minimal or no equipment. It also benefits my mental health.
Al: It is amazing when you can tackle both physical and mental health at once. Any other tips on helping individuals stay motivated to be active?
Mihaela: Try to go easy on yourself and make gradual changes to your lifestyle as you do not want lose motivation by overwhelming yourself with unrealistic goals. Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than not doing anything at all. Also, these activities not only burn calories and benefit our physical health, but they also help us manage our mental health, which is very important during this time.
Al: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Mihaela: Remember, you are not alone in this. It’s most important that you find an activity that you enjoy so that you can keep it up. If you’re looking for ideas, check out the World Health Organization’s #HealthyAtHome - Physical activity campaign for more information on how to be active from home.
Al: Those are great tips! Thank you again for joining us, Mihaela.
Mihaela: Thank you for having me. Al: This has been another episode of ClearPath Radio – Your Roadmap to Health & Wealth. I’m your host Al