Creative Ways to Stay Active at Home

April is National Move More Month, an opportunity to increase activity in your daily routine to improve your physical health and mental well-beingThis campaign is organized by the American Heart Association who encourages individuals to stay active at home by offering daily virtual workouts and exercise challenges.  

Many Americans are working from home and finding extra hours in the day to incorporate more movement. Whether you are reconnecting with an old passion for running or trying virtual yoga class for the first time, dedicating 30 minutes of your day toward moving your body will provide positive benefits on your mental and physical health 

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Benefits include:  

  • Brain health – immediately following physical activity, individuals experience better thinking and a short-term reduction in anxiety. Regular exercise over time keeps thinking, learning, and judgement sharp while reducing risk of depression and anxiety. Plus, exercise is proven to improve sleep quality.  
  • Weight management – proper diet and exercise play an important role in maintaining or reaching your healthy weight. To achieve this, you’ll need to balance calories, anburn more calories than you consume.  Overeating can be triggered by feelings of anxiety, especially when dealing with a global pandemic. Avoid snacking due to stress or boredom and try stretching, walking, dancing, jumpingor stair-climbing instead

woman stretching to stay active at home

  • Reduced disease risk  Being physically active lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers including breast, colon, kidney, and lung cancer.  
  • Strong bones and muscles –  Research shows that engaging in aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening physical activity on a regular basis can slow the loss of bone density and help with arthritis. 
  • Better mood and energy levels  physical activity releases endorphins which “are our body’s natural hormones that get released when we are doing something that requires a burst of energy — they are the things that make us perform,” explains Dr. Robert Gotlin, DO, a specialist in sports medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.  

happy man looking at his phone while working on a laptop

Creative ways to stay active at home 

  • Participate in daily virtual workouts and challenges hosted by the American Heart Association. Encourage your friends and family to join in as well.  
  • Make morning or evening walks part of your daily routine  
  • Download a yoga app. Down Dog is offering free classes through April 30.  
  • Find a Facebook group or Instagram account that hosts live workouts and doesn’t require the use of gym equipment. 
  • Eventbrite is another great resource for live workouts  
  • Register for a virtual 5k and start training. 
  • Consider purchasing exercise equipment online if you are able. A treadmill, stationary bike, weights, resistance bands, or even a jump rope will serve as tools to help you stay active.  

blue dumbell weights for an at-home workout

Whether you’re running, stretching, walking, or dancing, moving your body for 30 minutes each day will have profound benefits on your physical and mental health. Now, more than ever, it is important to prioritize our personal health and well-being so we can continue to support our communities through this challenging time.  

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