As the days get shorter and the temperature continues to drop, many of us are wondering how we can continue to stay active during a global pandemic. During the summer, it was easier to enjoy a brisk walk outdoors or get some exercise while working in the garden. Physical activity is not only important for our physical health, but it also has immense benefits to our mental health. Read on for a few helpful suggestions on how to keep your body moving through the remaining weeks of fall and throughout the winter months.
Lean on your peers!
Research suggests that your peers can help you stay active. Peer-led exercise programs and peer-support programs can help keep you accountable and motivate you to continue to exercise. While we may not be able to physically attend a fitness program together at the moment, it is possible to participate in an exercise class virtually at home. Creating a schedule and committing to attending virtually with a friend can help you stay on track while making you feel like you are part of a community.
Try Nordic walking
Nordic walking is a safe and very effective form of exercise that is particularly well-suited to older adults. There is evidence that this form of walking provides a better total fitness result relative to regular walking and resistance training in healthy, older adults as the use of poles during walking can help build arm and upper back muscles. It can be undertaken in a variety of settings, including urban and outdoor locations and on surfaces such as concrete, grass or artificial track.
Turn your living room into a yoga or Pilates studio
Yoga and Pilates both have many positive benefits to your overall health. They can improve strength, balance and mental wellbeing. They are also generally safe exercises to do from home using digital aids like DVDs, online classes and videos, and mobile apps. Roll out a mat, grab some water and a towel, and make sure you clear some space around you to move. If you’re new to either exercise, remember to start slowly and be mindful of your health status, abilities and limitations.
Staying physically active is important for our mental, cognitive and physical health while at home. While we have had to adapt during the global pandemic, thinking outside the box and trying something new can help keep us healthy throughout the winter months.