Ok, so it's been about a month now that we've been staying home, keeping our distance and getting ourselves organized to do things differently. Last time we talked about how important it was to establish a new normal and some tips on what you can do to make that happen. Hopefully you've adopted those strategies, or put your own into place and are now feeling a little bit of normalcy creeping back into your everyday. And with those new adjustments, hopefully you've also scheduled in some time everyday to get up and move.
Even for those who are usually very active, just the fact that we are all staying at home, moving around in the world less, increases the likelihood of becoming sedentary. Especially if your daily workout involved going to a gym, a class, meeting with a personal trainer, etc., and you haven't really found your new “groove” yet. Or telling yourself, “It can't last much longer, I'll just wait and start back up then...”. Big mistake.
The powers that be have us maintaining minimal contact for our physical health. And while we need to follow the rules, giving in to binge-watching Netflix with a bag or chips, scouring the internet for hours on end checking the latest statistics, or even doing all those virtual meetings for work and pleasure can knock your fitness as well as your physical and mental health on its a$$. Because now you're sitting on it. For hours on end. I spoke to a friend just this week that said he had a five-hour zoom meeting one day. And that was just one of his meetings.
Sitting is the new smoking. In fact, experts say that walking fewer than 7000 steps per day is as damaging as smoking two packs of cigarettes per day. So, yes, we need to organize to work from home, yes we now need to meet clients and have business meetings online and yes we need to have those video chats with family, but also yes you need to also schedule in some time to get up and move. And I do mean schedule it.
Especially in these uncertain times where things are not as we would like them to be, we are more likely to do things “later”, or “this afternoon” or “when I have time”. The problem is “later o'clock” never comes. Think about it for a minute. Aside from the usual personal hygiene and the usual feeding-the-kids-stuff, how many things that were not in your calendar that you said you'd do, did you actually accomplish? Intentions are great, but scheduling them as appointments is what will make sure they actually get done. Same goes when it comes to exercising and staying active.
Ok so now that we're all on the same page about scheduling what and when will you do? Great question. The best answer is always, “...the type you enjoy and the time you will be able to do it.” First, choose your favourite exercises or types of workout. Then check your calendar and note all unscheduled blocks of time, regardless of how long they may be. Ideally you'd choose one every day, but you can even start with just one and work up. Another idea is to structure your at-home work day/meetings with fifteen minute breaks in between and do 10 minute blasts and/or stretch breaks throughout the day. You don't need to have an hour to get results.
Whether you decide to follow an online class, get outside for a walk, do some yoga in your home office, run the stairs in your house and do burpees between meetings, or work out as usual in your home gym, set it as a priority and schedule it in. And if you're saying you don't have enough time to exercise once each day, you need to schedule it in twice. I'm totally serious here. Dedicating time each day to get up and move will not only keep your muscles strong and joints flexible, it will relieve any stress that's accumulated up until that point in the day.
Exercise is also more effective than most drugs in helping with depression and the deep breathing that happens when we exercise releases toxins and brings more oxygen to the body and brain. This gives you more energy, and allows you to think more clearly and be more productive when you do sit back down to work. Taking that time each day to do something good for you is the only thing that will allow you to take care of those around you. Like on an airplane when they tell you to put your own oxygen mask first before helping anyone else... there's a reason for that. Self care is not selfish, it's necessary. And with all this time at home, I invite you to emerge from all of this in better shape than before it all began. A #covidconqueror.
Apple Watch just reminded me that it's time for me to stand up and move. If you need some ideas on how or what you can do, check out my workouts on YouTube and join my 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook for whole lot of other free information to help you create optimal health in these unique and difficult times.
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