By Bridgette Ruge Barlow, MA CPT RHC
Has social distancing got you wanting to curl up and watch Netflix all day? As temping as that may seem, your immune system will work better if you keep active! Even if you’re not laying around all day, you’re undoubtedly getting less steps and are overall less active when your entire day is taking place within your home.
Fitness Improves Your Immunity
A better functioning immune system means a better chance you can fight off illness. Not only will staying active boost your immune system, but it will also boost your mood and keep a sense of normalcy in your life, especially if exercise is something you’re used to doing on a regular basis.
If you find yourself with extra time on your hands or wanting to get out of the house, what better time to start some nice walks or bike rides around the neighborhood?
Fitness Improves Your Mood
Both nature and exercise also help to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression—which many of us are facing during this difficult time. If nothing else, take some nice walks outside and bring the whole family! Everyone will benefit and you’ll be getting in some quality family time too, which can increase family connection and dynamics too.
Get Fit Outdoors!
By getting active outdoors, not only will you feel better and get to breathe fresh air, but you’ll be getting vitamin D from the sun and connecting with the earth—also called “earthing” or “grounding.” “Multi-disciplinary research has revealed that electrically conductive contact of the human body with the surface of the Earth (grounding or earthing) produces intriguing effects on physiology and health. Such effects relate to inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.*”
So what should I do for exercise?
Great question! I’m glad you asked. The answers lie in your current level of experience with exercise.
The world of fitness options is HUGE and there is no shortage of online resources and videos to follow along with. The main thing is to find something that is FUN. If you like to dance, follow a dance workout or just dance around your house to your favorite music. If you like weight training, join an online weight training program or group. If you just want to ride your bike, then ride your bike! Do what YOU like—as long as you are moving!
Top ONLINE resources for fun and challenging fitness programs!
TOP *FREE* WORKOUTS
TOP SUBSCRIPTION WORKOUTS
Sweat with SELF (YouTube)
Yoga with Adriene (YouTube)
Popsugar Fitness (YouTube)
Move with Color (YouTube—learn to dance!)
The Daily Burn (60 day free trial; $19.95/mo)
Peloton App (90 day free trial!; 12.99/mo)
Beachbody on Demand ($40/3mo,$60/6mo, $99/yr)
FitBit Premium (90 day free trial; $9.99/mo)
Zombies, Run! App ($5.99/mo)
Seven App (7 min workouts; $9.99/mo)
Fit Fusion (Jillian Michaels; $9.99/mo)
Sculpt Society (dance; $19.99/mo; 14 day free trial)
But I have no exercise equipment at home
Don’t forget about the fact that fitness is FREE and requires no fancy equipment at all. Your OWN BODYWEIGHT is really ALL YOU NEED! You can kick it up a notch by using household items to create more resistance.
10 Ways to Turn Household Items into Exercise Equipment
- Stairs are great for cardio! If your home or apartment building has stairs, take advantage and run up and down a few times!
- Use a hand towel as a slider on a smooth surface floor. If you have carpet, use a paper plate.
- Use laundry detergent or water jug as a kettlebell.
- Use soup cans as small weights.
- Use a chair as a bench for triceps dips.
- Use a full backpack as a weighted vest.
- Use a heavy book as a weight.
- Use kitty litter container as a weight.
- Put your feet up on your couch for glute bridge raises or incline/decline pushups.
- Stand on a couch cushion to create the effect of the instability you get from standing on a Bosu ball (to activate core muscles more).