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Sharp Health News

5 ways to stay physically active while at home

April 2, 2020

5 ways to stay physically active while at home
Many of us enjoy working out in a gym because of its social nature, availability of exercise equipment and support of personal trainers, if needed. But if going to a gym is not an option, a fitness routine from the comfort of your home can be as productive as working out in the gym.

Olga Hays, an American Council on Exercise-certified wellness promotion specialist at Sharp HealthCare, shares five ways to stay physically active while at home:

  1. Stick with your strength-training routine using online videos or fitness apps. YouTube, for example, offers hundreds of free videos ranging in difficulty, length and body focus. You will most likely need to invest in some basic fitness equipment, such as a set of dumbbells, resistance bands, a mat and a medicine ball. But you don’t necessarily need fitness equipment to throw in an extra challenge to your routine. There are plenty of great body weight exercises you can try. You can also get creative and use household items — water bottles, bags of rice and laundry detergent bottles — instead of dumbbells to get fit at home.

  2. Try at-home yoga. Just like with strength-training, there are plenty of online yoga videos to keep your body and mind strong.

  3. Pick up hiking, walking or running. If you have a fitness device that tracks steps, you can step it up a notch by starting a walking or running challenge with your friends and family for additional motivation and encouragement.

  4. Learn new dance moves with the entire family.

  5. Start using that elliptical trainer, rowing machine or treadmill that has been collecting dust in the garage.
“Physical activity is key if you are working from home,” says Hays. “Not having a commute and being sedentary for hours at a time can have detrimental effects on your health. That’s why it is so important to stay active and take breaks when staying at home for prolonged periods of time.”

Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, and taking micro breaks and stretch breaks every 60 minutes, provide the following benefits:
  • Reduced risk of developing a life-threatening disease
  • Feeling less pain and discomfort
  • Improved posture
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced risk of falls and injuries
  • A greater likelihood of maintaining or reaching a healthy weight
“When staying home or working from home, don’t fall prey to a sedentary environment design,” adds Hays. “Proactively plan movement into your day and foster regular exercise habits as they can improve your overall health, sense of well-being and productivity, and decrease your risk for disease.”

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