For some of you, staying home will be a luxury that you don’t have the opportunity to enjoy much during your standard lifestyle. Commuting to work, the hectic workdays, shopping, and other activities can be draining. It is only natural that once you get the chance to spend some time at home you will most likely prefer to lay down on the couch in front of the TV or sit down in your favorite chair for some reading time. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, under circumstances that require you to stay at home, such as the current global COVID-19 situation, you may want to consider a change of routine while staying in. With no option to visit the gym or even the park in some parts of the world, it is easy to become physically inactive, which may cause a bag full of problems.
Risks of spending a lot of time sitting down
Now, sitting down doesn’t necessarily have to take place only when you’re at home. If you think about it, most of us spend the majority of the day at work sitting at a desk. However, chances are that you still have to move once in a while, either to talk to a colleague, go into a meeting, or speak to a client. At home, especially if you have comfortably positioned yourself on the couch for your favorite movie marathon, it could be easy to forget to move.
Well, as pleasant as this may be, too much sitting down does have its negative consequences:
- Weakened muscles – Forgetting about the importance of movement can lead to the weakening of your leg and gluteal muscles. They are of essential importance to your ability to walk and remain stable while carrying your body. The good news is that you don’t have to go to the gym or regularly workout to strengthen them but some movement is required.
- Gained weight – Even if walking around is not a cardio exercise, it does involve a range of muscle groups in the process. This, on the other hand, helps with the digestion of fats and sugars that you have consumed. Therefore, too much sitting also exposes you to the risk of obesity or other dangerous health conditions.
- Back problems – The human back is one of the most important areas of the body as it is considered the balance point, centering all of the body parts and carrying the weight of the body. Sitting down with an improper posture can significantly affect the spine and compress the discs, resulting in painful degeneration.
- Negative mood – Can you believe that spending too much time sat down can also lead to depression? Physical activity has a ton of positive effects on the mind and body. Failing to experience those effects at least once in a while can lead to overall negativity, depression, or anxiety.
And these are just a few; there are so many other drawbacks of sitting down. However, the purpose of this article is to share with you how you can prevent all of the mentioned above from happening, even if you are stuck at home for a while.
Home activities that can help you stay active
Before we continue with the actual suggestions, we encourage you to set a weekly target for yourself to work towards to. It is best to do some research based on your age and weight to see what the best amount of exercise on a weekly basis is for you. For some, this may be around 60-75 minutes of intense workouts during the week, while for others, usually more active people, the amount will be higher.
Sign up for an online class
Thanks to today’s technology and digital space, working out is so much easier! All you need is a laptop, TV, or even a smartphone if you are super dedicated. Choose your favorite type of exercise or workout and let the professionals guide you. All you need is some free space in your home and potentially a comfortable mat. You’ll notice that a lot of these workouts have been designed to save you money and don’t require much equipment. The best news is that there is something out there for everyone!
Depending on your goal, body type, and preference, you can choose from cardio workouts, relaxing yoga classes, martial arts, dance classes, and so much more. You can even find some tips and suggestions on YouTube as well!
Take regular walks
That’s right, walks can also be done indoors. You could make things fun by playing a Spotify mix with nature sounds to help you forget that you’re at home. Instead, imagine that you’re in a green and lush forest with birds singing and the sun shining bright. Regardless of whether your home space is large or not quite, you can plan out your trajectory according to the possibilities.
It may be useful to set an alarm every couple of hours to remind you that the time has come for a short walk around the house. You will notice that this small and at first meaningless activity will not only help you keep your body moving and healthy, but will also have a positive impact on your mood and mental state. Especially if you are working during the rest of the time, this is a nice restart button that will help your mind’s productivity.
Don’t forget to stretch
Stretching is another important factor to remember while staying at home. Spending too much time in the same position, especially if it is sitting down, can easily make your body stiff and inflexible. You may be surprised to discover how quickly this can happen, even if your flexibility was great before. To prevent this from happening, you could form a new habit of regularly stretching throughout the day while at home.
Get a comfy yoga mat and split your stretches into different body zones. For instance, during the morning hours, you could set aside 15 minutes to stretch the upper part of your body. You could dedicate the evening to the lower part and release all the tension in the hips and legs. If you have previous experience, simply combine all of your favorite stretches to form a mini routine. If, on the other hand, this is all new to you, there are plenty of materials online that can guide you towards a healthy and productive stretch session.
There is a reason why so many people dance. It is purely therapeutic. There are so many benefits of dancing that the length of this article won’t be enough to list them all. Apart from therapeutic, it is mood-boosting, fat-burning, and a great way to stay healthy and happy. Especially if you need to spend some time at home without engaging in any other activities, dancing could be your savior. Play your favorite tunes and let go of any barriers. It’s just you and your perception of music and movement.
It is advisable to warm up in advance. Even if you’re not planning to turn your dancing time into a cardio activity, you never know how things may evolve. Make sure your knees and ankles are ready to go and avoid making drastic movements that can cause damage to your body. If you have previous injuries, equip yourself with supportive equipment like a knee brace or compression socks.
Stand up once in a while
That’s right, standing up also helps, as unbelievable as this may sound. This simple task is a great way to decrease your sedentary time. And this is not only useful while spending time at home. If you normally work in an office, where the majority of your day takes place at a desk, this tip could come in handy.
Experts reveal that it is best to stand up every 30 minutes. Your work may not always allow this but whenever possible, try to turn this into a healthy habit. You could also use your standing up time to do a mini stretch, move your ankles and knees around, and get some blood flow throughout your body.
As you can see, staying active and moving while at home is not really that difficult. All it takes is making the first move and setting your food on the road to physical activity. As with anything else, the first step is always the hardest, but remember how rewarding the outcome will be.
The provided examples above are just some ideas of how you can achieve physical involvement at home. For those of you that live in larger spaces, you could even turn part of your home into a special fitness area to support your workout needs. Feel free to experiment until you find what best works for you. The only important thing is to remember to stay active and healthy.