Andrea Lawrence has broad knowledge on various subjects from fitness, relationships, to money. She has worked on Hubpage since 2013.
Focusing on Wellness during a Pandemic
It's perfectly normal to gain a few pounds or lose a few pounds during any stage of life. During a pandemic, you might be panicked that your wellness routine has been drastically interrurpted. You might not have a gym to go to anymore and your priorities have likely changed.
This hub isn't intended to scare you into getting into shape, instead I'm trying to help you so you don't fall into a sedentary trap. It's really easy to do while in a quarantine related to the ongoing pandemic. This hub will go over a few things to make it easier for you to stay within the kind of normalcy you crave. This way you can stay on your wellness plan, not gain or lose too much weight, and keep your sanity and positivity about you.
Health Recommendations during Pandemic
But before we get into what you can do at home to stay fit and in shape, there are some important things you need to do or consider while in a pandemic.
- Take temperature daily
- Wash hands with warm water and soap
- Use hand sanitizer when sink and soap not easily ready
- Stay six feet away from people
- Don't share objects like clothes, razors, toothbrushes, sheets, towels, bedding, coats, keyboards, gloves, needles, etc.
- Wear medical masks, scarves, or other materials over face when in public areas.
- Take off clothes and put in laundry after coming home.
- Change bedding regularly.
- Cook fresh foods and avoid leftovers.
- Regularly clean toilets.
- Use protective gloves when cleaning or dealing with outside objects.
- Avoid handshakes, hugs, fist bumps, and the like.
- Avoid gatherings of 10+
- Stay at home.
- Do not go to multiple places.
- Brush teeth.
- Don't leave windows open.
- Avoid directly touching handles or doorknobs. Avoid skin to object contact.
- Avoid having guests.
- Avoid wearing the same clothes day after day.
- Improve general hygiene.
The Seriousness of the Coronavirus Outbreak
Not only is exercising important doing a quarantine, it can also help boost your metabolism and help keep your immune system strong.
The coronavirus is a new strand that researchers, doctors, and medical professionals are learning more about every day. It's more contagious and more deadly than the flu, but it's not as deadly as say ebola or near as contagoius as the measles. One thing is certain: it can be deadly, and it's not a joke.
The coronavirus is somewhat of a giant roulette. It's hard to say how the virus will interact with each person's body. Scientists says there is about a 2-4% death rate associated with it, but if you look to Italy that number can jump up to 9-10%. COVID-19 is no laughing matter. It's serious, it's dangerous, and again, it's hard to say what will happen to you. This is why governments small and large are ordering people to stay home and for only essential service employees to travel to work to get their jobs done whether that's because they're in the medical field, journalism, or behind necessary utilities.
Some people who get the coronavirus show no symptoms at all, and they have no idea they even have it. For others the symptoms can be far more severe including:
- Difficulties breathing and need for hospitalization and ventilators
- Organ damage
- Severe diarrhea
- Lung damage
- Organ Failure
The pandemic in 2020 is highly serious causing issues in the economy, travel, famlies, and abroad. It's going to take awhile before we get back to normal -- or to a new normal. A situation this stressful can cause people to overeat or undereat. You may find it harder to deal with the stress or even have trouble sleeping. What you need to prioritize is a wellness plan to keep you healthy and as happy as possible during a global crisis. Resilience is key. Those who put their best foot forward now will benefit more.
This is also important, but pace yourself. You might not have the kind of lifestyle you used to have. You likely have obstacles in your way from having the perfect or ideal exercise routine you love. This article isn't about scultping the perfect body at all. It's about creating momentum and positive energy. A sedentary lifestyle according to some doctors can be just as dangerous if not more so to smoking or drinking alcohol. It's hard on your brain to just sit there -- so we're trying to get you to put more activity into yourself despite having to stare at the same blank walls or general interior design.
Calories Burnt for 30 Minute Exercises
|Exercises||125 lbs.||155 lbs.||185 lbs.|
General Weight Lifting
Stretching | Hatha Yoga
Aerobics, Low Impact
Stair Step Machine
Weight Lifting Vigorous
Aerobics, Step: low impact
Bicycling Startionary, Moderate
Rowing Stationary, Moderate
Elliptical Trainer: general
Walking: 3.5 mph (17 min/mi)
Walking: 4 mph (15 min/mi)
Dancing, Ballroom, Square, Disco
Dancing, Belly, Twist, Ballet
Walk/Jog: jog <10 min.
Bicycling: 12-13.9 mph
Running: 5 mph (12 min/mile)
Running: 5.2 mph (11.5 min/mile)
Martial Arts: judo, karate, kickbox
Running: 6 mph (10 min/mile)
Avoid the Sedentary Life: Get Some Movement in Your Body Now!
The number one thing you can do to stay healthy during a quarantine, lockdown, or stay at home order is to make sure that you keep moving.
No matter the space, you don't want to sit on a couch all day, eat, food, and the like. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to other health problems that can take awhile to alleviate.
- One of the easiest ways you can combat a sedentary lifestyle is to get up off the couch. While watching TV or reading a book, try walking in place. It may seem silly, but if you're home all day, you can easily get 10,000 steps, which is a great benchmark to hit or to stay on track with a wellness plan. Try pacing yourself if you have never reached 10,000 daily steps prior. Most phones have fitness trackers or odometers to keep track of your steps -- try looking in the Health section in the iPhone settings. Walking or running in place is good for your legs, building strength, your cardiovascular system, and doing it consistently can help you develop a sensible sleep schedule.
- Yoga is easy to get into and can help you release tension while also lift, tone, shape, and tuck different parts of your body. There is a wide range of yoga videos on YouTube and the like that you can easily get into now. Yoga is also good for meditation, relaxing, and focusing on breathing. This is a very sane and smart practice to take up now to help control your thoughts and body. Flexibility is also something that's easy to focus on while doing other things like listening to your favorite podcast, watching your favorite movie, playing videos games, and the like.
- It's time for some spring cleaning, and going around vacuuming, mopping, and the like we'll get you moving while also sanitizing your home and avoiding the possibility of spreading germs. There are lots of places in a household that can do with some tidying. You have closets you can go through and shrink. Put together boxes of stuff for donating down the line. Get rid of the clutter, clean out the dust, and say goodbye to things you don't need. If you live in an area where there isn't an outdoors ban, yard work will also put a lot of energy into your body. Try planting some flowers or trees, mow the lawn, rake leaves, start a garden, and the like. A garden can sustain you and also help you get off the couch.
- Set scheduled times for when you eat and cook what you have instead of ordering food. The less exposure you have to the outside world, the less likely you'll run into the coronavirus. Going to restaurants where there are lots of additives can actually be where your sneaky pounds are coming into play. For some people, stepping away from restaurants might actually cause you to lose 5 pounds or so. Now is the time to plan ahead with groceries, avoid ordering a pizza or takeout. Try cooking a meal rather than relying on TV dinners or soup cans. The more complicated recipe, will get you moving the kitchen more and using your motor skills.
- While watching TV or maybe while doing language lessons on a Rosetta Stone, try using dumbells or walking with similar weighted items. Something that's 1-5lbs can stay in your hands if you don't have a home weight set. This can help you tone without having to think too much.
- Check out your app store for workout apps. Some of these can give you really simple workouts without the gym and usually at a low cost. You can kill 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or a whole hour this way.
- Turn on the music and dance for an hour. It doesn't matter how good of a dancer you are, especially if you are by yourself just get up, move, and try to get into the rhythm. You can burn a lot of calories this way, and it's a good way to take your mind off the pandemic. Give yourself guaranteed time to get up and make yourself happy. There are lots of websites, YouTube playlists, and the like if you need help finding good dance music or if you are new to this idea. You can also ask Siri or Alexa to play some dance music for you, or something upbeat.
- Sleep is important for maintaining a healthy weight. Try to go to bed on time at the same time each night and drop out the caffenine by about 3:00 in the afternoon. Also, drop out sugary sodas or other stimulants.
- Try doing yoga while taking a shower -- obviously, don't do anything crazy, but try some basic stretching moves and balance moves while you wash your hair. Touch your toes while you use body wash. Stretch out your legs in the tub and touch your toes. Count to 30 for each new move. Maybe give yourself a goal of 20 moves while in the shower / tub. If you can't find time to stretch, streching while in the shower might be the easiest way to go about it.
- Instead of just walking up and down the stairs, try going up and down the stairs with weights in your hands, and do this for about 20 minutes. Using the stairs to your advantage will get your heart and lungs pumping. It'll also build strength in your legs.
Adding Steps and Adding Strength
When it comes to home exercise, the key is to get creative so you don't get bored and drop out.
- Try writing out on slips of paper some exercise routines you want to try and put them all in a jar. Draw out a slip when you need a creative idea to shake things up.
- Play different music with different speeds and try to keep up with the pace whether slow or fast.
- Exercise in different rooms each day.
- Focus on one part of your body and do exercises around it like your legs, abs, arms, butt, or thighs.
Friends Help with Exercise
You can also use technology to your strength. You might have another friend who also wants an exercise buddy. Try posting a status on Facebook that you would like to have someone keep you accountable to exercise. The two of you can use Skype or Zoom while you both work on the same yoga routine you found on YouTube. Heck, send your friend this link to let them know this is something you got from here that way they get motivated too!
You can also call up a friend and pace around the house while you talk, that way you're still getting the social aspect your brain craves and the walk your feet crave.
If you've got a pet, take them for a walk if it's okay in your city or neighbohood at this time.
If you have a family, romantic partner, roomate, or others living with you try doing exercise group activities together.
Maybe you have something like Dance, Dance, Revolution in your house. Now is the time to wipe off the dust on these old activities and games get them working again so that you stay ACTIVE and not sedentary. Some other things in your house you may have forgotten about: ping pong tables, a pool table, jump ropes, weights, an old bicycle machine, Skip-bo, hackey sacks, roller skates, slip-n-slides, using a stick and doing a limbo line, climb up and down a ladder, setup a maze for your kids, setup a scavenger hunt for your spouse, setup a surprise Easter Egg hunt.
Some other ways you can add steps into your day:
- Pace while you cook food. Keep your feet moving unless you have something serious to do, like holding a hot pan or cutting vegetables.
- Vacuum, mop, dust, wipe down surfaces, clean off kitchen table, organize, do laundry, clean out closets, fold clothes, chase around the pets, get the mail, rearrange furniture.
- Pace while you do bathroom chores like putting on lotion, brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.
- Pace behind your couch instead of sit on it while you watch TV, play video games, or even read books.
- Go the long route to get to where you need to be. When you go to buy groceries, park far away from the storefront. Use the furthest bathroom from you.
- Get competitive with your family about who can get more steps on their smart phones.
- Look for apps that challenge you to get more steps. HealthyWage does just that. You can put down a wager for how many steps you think you can add to your routine over a certain time frame.
- Another app to try: FitCoach.
- While working from home, try standing instead of sitting. Every once in awhile try pacing in place. Don't just stare at your screen the whole time to get the work done.
Don't Be Hard on Yourself
Your priorities may be out of whack right now. You may have a relative who is in the hospital or you just lost your job. These are things that are pressing that you'll have to face and give your attention to. When things are difficult, it's important to avoid just sitting and wallowing in it. Get up and move. Don't be sedentary because this is what can lead to a whole host of health problems. Take your sorrows out in dance, walk out your anxious thoughts, take out your frustrations and angst on the stairs, take out your worries and fears with yoga, and don't fall into a trap that takes away your hopes with a bag of potato chips and seven sodas.
You can still be active at home. Successful introverts know how to stay active within their own space. You don't have to be around a large crowd of people or in a gym like space in order to take care of your body.
It may take time before the gyms start opening again and you can go in and get some good miles on the treadmill. That doesn't mean you don't have enough space to run, sprint, squat, jump, or do jumping jacks.
Exercises You May Have Forgot
It's easy when you're at the gym to get onto a machine and just go. It takes a little more creativity to get your muscles and brain flowing to create an exercise fitness plan that fills up your time. This is why streaming videos and looking for fitness apps can really help. I'm also here to give you some guidance. I've got lists of exercises you may have forgotten. Here's a few you can try while you avoid the sedentary trap.
- Old School Push-ups
- Knee Push-ups, which are a lot easier if you haven't done push-ups in awhile.
- Crazy 8s
- Touch and Hold Your Toes
- Windmills, stand up and take your arms and go around in a complete circle
- Warrior 1
- Warrior 2
- Downward Dog
- Hands to Knees
- Balance on One Leg
- Balance on One Leg with other Foot Resting above Kneecap
- While sitting, stretch out legs and touch with hands
- Sit Butterfly Style
- Back Bend, Hands to Ground
- Cat Stretch
- Jumping Jacks
- Push-ups on a Wall
- Squats with Weights in Hand
- Run in Place with Knees High Up
- Crab Walks
- Shoulder Circles
- Roll Shoulders Back
- Side Lounge
- High Kicks
- Low Kicks
© 2020 Andrea Lawrence