While the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to evolve, no one knows how long we will be at home for, or having to stay inside.
Even if you can’t get out, it’s essential to get some play (exercise) no matter what age you are.
As a health coach and play expert, I help people understand how play has the bonus of adding quality to your life. It will help you feel happier and younger, keep your memory sharp, improve your sleep, strengthen your heart and muscles, and preserve your mobility, not to mention improve your immune system.
Rather than sitting on the couch or surfing the internet, how can you start a routine, or play “habit” where you’re moving your body now so that it will pay off for the weeks to come? Here is your chance to do something different than you’ve done before!
Set a timer on your phone or alarm clock to go off every 55 minutes and play for five minutes
Spending time at home can mean that the hours pass by quickly without any movement. Set a timer on your phone or alarm clock to go off every 55 minutes and play for five minutes. Therefore, every hour, you are getting five minutes of movement, and by the end of the workday, you’ll have gotten the blood flowing for 35 minutes total! Here is a video to explain a little further.
Voila – an EASY way to play more during the day when you are stuck inside.
You get the idea – variety and fun. For an extra challenge, every other 55 minute period stand up instead of sit while you are working.
Ultimately by moving your body, play helps to support your mental health by reducing stress, something we all need in a time of crisis.
The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes a week (or 20 minutes a day minimum) of a variety of physical activities. Much of the population views exercise as a tremendous effort – the first thing to get moved to the bottom of the “to-do” list, especially when we are in a “busy” routine of everyday life. But now we are not so busy outside of our homes.
Every break, you can focus on a different body part.
The first break you can do squats; the second break, jumping jacks; third break push-ups on a counter or back of a couch; fourth break run up and down the stairs or march on the spot; and the fifth break you can have a dance party!
Rather than thinking it’s something you HAVE to do, why not look at breaking your day into movement breaks as something you GET to do.
What if play were simply the freedom to move your body in any way that brings you joy, makes you sweat a little, and smile a lot?
What are the benefits?
Play is an incredible opportunity to find joy in life and to engage our mind, body, and spirit in the relentless pursuit of happiness.
Moving your body isn’t about losing weight as so many people think exercise is – this is about keeping up your energy and focus all day long.
And it’s FREE. Why not FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangout with friends or family and get playing (at a distance) together?
Here are 15 EASY ways to Play more during the day when you are stuck inside.
- Dance parties – Spotify has a great playlist called “5 Minute Long Songs”. Pick one and get dancing.
- Yoga – there are a ton on the internet, but my personal favourite is “Yoga with Adriene” on YouTube.
- Strength Challenges – try a wall sit, squat, balance on one foot, planks (side, front), push-ups, supermans.
- Cardio Challenges – run up and downstairs, fast feet on a step, high knees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, jumping back and forth over a line, skip rope, jump on the bed like a trampoline!
- Obstacle courses in your house – climb over beds, crawl under chairs, step on couch cushions placed apart on the floor.
- Cleaning challenge – vacuum, scrub, clean windows or the car, folding laundry.
- Nature walks as a scavenger hunt. Find a rock, sticks, leaves, bugs, anything novel.
- Make a game around cleaning your yard – picking up sticks or raking.
- Sidewalk chalk. Get creative with games like hopscotch or draw a ladder and jump, run, or hop.
- Skip rope.
- Kick a ball.
- Golf drills – putting, chipping, short distance shots (you can buy wiffle balls on amazon for this).
- Bike ride, scooter, or skateboard.
- Don’t step on the cracks on the road or sidewalk.
- Walk – to the stop sign and back or around the block several times. Or try walking on a street in your neighbourhood you’ve never been on before.
If you are feeling well, whenever possible, spend time outside.
Fresh air is proven to reduce stress and increase happiness, which boosts your immune system.
With self-isolation, just remember to keep your distance & be safe.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to PLAY (please look after yourself)
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. The information provided is for general educational purposes and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional. You are solely responsible for your health care, and activity choices, and this information does not constitute a client-coach relationship.