First things first, your typical day and schedule will be anything but typical. These are some seriously atypical times. Take a really deep breath and settle into some peace with that. It’s okay that you are being pushed to change your routine, change your mindset, and slow down a bit. Second, remember that movement comes in many forms from actual workouts to walks around the block to tricep dips on the kitchen counter. They all count. Count towards what, you ask? Towards you staying calm and healthy while also staying home. Now, we all have different living situations and lifestyles, which means we have varying needs and options. But there are plenty of things that many of us can do throughout our days to get little bouts of activity aside from our normal workouts. Here are some ideas for how to move your body when you’re stuck at home.
1. Get outside for a walk, bike, run, skip, whatever.
With all this confinement, fresh air will be good for all aspects of your health, if you take the proper precautions. If you live in a place where you are able to go outside while still maintaining social distance (6 feet), take advantage and go for a walk by yourself (or with those that are already living within your home boundary and also practicing social distancing).
Even if you’re practicing social distancing, and as long as you’re not sick, you can continue to walk, hike, run, and be outside (as long as you’re practicing proper social distancing and hygiene). You should also be allowed to spend time outside if you’re sheltering in place; read up on your city’s rules about how to do so safely before heading outside. And read up on how to safely play outside with your kids here.
Make sure when you return home, you remove your shoes (many do that already), you partake in some of that magical hand hygiene, and you launder your clothes.
Note: If you live in a super crowded city, this will be far more challenging for you to accomplish while still abiding by the social distance or shelter-in-place recommendations. If you can find a time where fewer people are outside and you’re able to maintain distance, I would adjust your schedule to try to make that happen at least a few days during the week.
2. Set a recurring alarm to do 10 reps of 10 exercises.
How about 10 jumping jacks, 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 10 lunges (each side), 10 burpees, 10 tricep dips, 10 glute bridges, 10 single-leg deadlifts (each side), 10 sit-ups, and 10 mountain climbers. There are also a ton of ideas for bodyweight exercise moves here so you can invent your own routine.
Whether you are WFH and sitting in front of your computer or you are “WFH” and sitting in front of Netflix, your body needs to stand up, stretch, walk around, jump up and down, dance, something. If you don’t like the above, come up with any short sequence of movements or stretches that you can do between meetings or episodes of that current binge.
Create something that gets you moving, but that doesn’t overwhelm you. Keep it short and sweet.
3. Any time you take a call, move around for the duration.
I unconsciously do this all the time. This can be a walk around the block or just around your house. If you have stairs you can walk up and down those as long as you trust yourself not to trip! I’m not saying I’ve taken non-video conference calls that I didn’t really need to speak up in while running or biking, but I’m also not saying I haven’t.
4. If you’re sheltering-in-place with young kids, play with them.
They cannot sit still, as I’m sure you are aware. Play with them the way they play. They get up and down off the ground constantly, let that count as your burpees for the day. They will give you a great little workout if you actually do as they do.
5. Have scheduled and impromptu dance parties.
In your kitchen, in the hallway, up the stairs. Or wherever. End your day or celebrate finishing a task or a meeting with a three-minute dance party. Play your favorite song and just go for it. Music will help you tremendously throughout this whole thing, so if you keep some good playlists going, you will likely be moved to move. Go with it. Again, if you have kids, get them involved. Have them teach you a dance!
6. Give yourself a challenge for the duration of your shelter in place/social distancing.
Maybe you want to be able to do a certain number of push-ups or pull-ups or you want to practice headstands or be able to plank for a certain number of seconds or minutes. Now is a great time to give yourself a new little challenge that you can work at every day. Chart your progress (either in writing or in video/photo). This gives you something very specific to work on everyday and also will give you some self confidence and self-efficacy as you actually watch your progress.