Since the COVID 19 pandemic hit, it has majorly impacted our exercise habits. While some have found it harder to stay active during lockdowns, many have found a renewed appreciation for being healthy and fit by exercising.
Are you one of those looking to jumpstart or reignite your fitness journey right now? This read is for you!
Table of Contents:
According to Move Your Way, adults need a mix of activities to stay healthy; at least 2.5 hours of exercise and two days of muscle-strengthening in a week. Clocking in 30 minutes a day for that sweat sesh delivers a ton of upsides for you. Aside from being physically fit, exercise is also good for your mental health. Boosting your mood, improving your sleep, reducing stress - these are just a few of the countless benefits that you can reap from exercising!
It is fair to say that everyone needs to keep it moving to stay healthy. So, here are some ideas on the best ways of staying active no matter where you are!
What activities can you do to stay active at home or during quarantine?
Given that staying at home has its perks, it is not always inspiring to keep moving - especially when the bed or the couch is just a few steps away. And, with the pandemic, it is doubly hard to stay motivated to move. Some - if not most of us - have had our share of "quarantine gains" - and it is not the kind that we necessarily want.
However, there are plenty of ways to increase that heart rate even when you are stuck at home. Coupled with a good diet, here are a few exercises that you can do indoors to swear off the " quarantine 15."
• Stand up while working-from-home.
Most companies shifted their work into a work-from-home setup when the quarantine started. While WFH, there are still some simple ways to keep active. Perhaps one of the easiest is to stand while working from time to time. You can even opt to purchase a standing desk to make things smoother for you! Plus, you can still enforce this healthy habit when you’re back at the office.
• Clean the house.
Hitting two birds with one stone, you can exercise by tidying up your home. Scrubbing the kitchen floor or vacuuming that old carpet that has gathered dust over the years, are just a few moves that are bound to work up a sweat.
• Home workouts/ Youtube workouts.
You don't need the gym or a personal trainer to stay active. When you open up Google or Youtube, all you have to do is type in "free online workouts," and you'll find thousands, if not millions, of available exercise moves that you can do at home. You can even find full workout programs depending on what you're looking to achieve.
• Sneak in some moves during TV commercials or when watching your favorite series.
You don’t necessarily have to be a total couch potato when watching television. Make those long commercial breaks more productive by slipping in a set or two of push-ups or squats. Or, what’s even better, you can also opt to use the treadmill (if you have the option) while watching your favorite show.
• Tend to your garden.
While still technically outside, another great way to move when at home is by tending to your garden. In doing this, you are taking care of your lush green babies while getting your fill of Vitamin D, all the while stretching out your muscles.
What are the best workouts for staying active at the gym?
There are lots of workout activities that you can do at the gym to keep your heart rate up. However, your routine should depend on what you’re looking to achieve. Avoid the habit of making those gym new year resolutions and bailing out two or three months in.
We highly recommend writing or clearly picturing out your goal before starting at the gym. With a clear goal in mind, it’ll be easier for you to stick to your routine especially when times get tough - and trust us, it will be. With consistent effort, it’ll be worth it in the end. We promise.
“Are you looking to lose weight? Tone those muscles? Are you looking to gain weight?” These are things to keep in mind.
So, when you're done deciding, here are some things that you can do to stay active at the gym. You can even mix it up and appoint days for certain types of workouts.
• Warm-up exercises.
Perhaps the most important activity not just for the gym, we can never stress enough how crucial warming up is every time you exercise. It decreases your risk for injury and signals your body to be prepared. This is why we are putting this on top of the list lest you be tempted to skip it. In this article, Healthline talks about dynamic warm-ups and stretches to help you get started.
While it is the go-to type of exercise for weight loss, cardio has a long list of benefits aside from helping you lose weight. It also strengthens the heart, improves your lung capacity, enhances your energy, and more! For cardio, you can work the elliptical, treadmill, stair climber, or even try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
• Weight or Strength Training.
While some find it intimidating, maintaining, or even building your muscles is integral to being healthy. What's more is that it doesn't enhance just your muscles, but it also helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis, helps with energy, and even lowers the risk for cancer. So, incorporating several reps of deadlifts, dumbbell chest press, or hip thrusts are good places to start. There are also volumes of resources for beginners online that'll help guide you.
• Yoga/ Pilates/ Barre.
Targeting flexibility, these exercises allow you to perform a full range of motion while reducing the likelihood of injuries. Not only that, but they also help improve your posture and balance.
• Join a class.
If you're new, perhaps choosing to join a class just to dip your toes into and get used to what it's like to work out in a gym is a good idea. It's proven that participating in group fitness classes even boosts retention rates, indicates an IHRSA study. So, make some friends in class so that you can have fun while sweating it out. Or, if it's too much out of your comfort zone, snag yourself a workout buddy or an accountability partner!
What are the best ways to stay active outdoors?
Although social distancing is still enforced in some places, some cities have loosened restrictions enough for people to spend time for some outdoor exercises or activities. Given that you have the right gear on you while observing proper precautions, here are a few simple ways to keep active outdoors:
An easy one to do when even with social distancing, running allows you to raise your heart rate as you get some sun while you spend time outside. Strengthen your muscles, burn some calories, and get that endorphin-high when pounding the pavement!
Pedal through some new trails to build your muscles while strengthening your joints. Bike rides are a great way to keep moving, it’s also a great excuse to discover new spots as you appreciate nature.
The woods, the birds chirping, the cool air - trudging along beautiful trails not only does you good physically, but it also treats you to some of the most amazing views possible that’s quite beneficial to your mental health, as well.
Just as relaxing as it is fun, heading to the beach for a swim is a way to boost endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. While a great full-body workout, swimming is also a great way to bond with friends and family. (Although, we would highly suggest waiting after the pandemic ends before hitting the beach with your buds).
• Skiing or Snowboarding.
If you’re a mountain man or woman, hitting the chilly slopes is another great way to get moving. Grab a buddy or two and improve your flexibility as you work up those core muscles while skiing or snowboarding.
It’s also important to note that staying active is half the battle. Having a proper diet and nutrition is just as important in staying healthy.
Stay protected as you stay active with these must-haves!
If you’re a wanderer and have a proclivity to stay active outdoors, it’s always necessary to wear the right kind of protection. To help give you an idea of what to bring with you the next time you stay active, here’s our list:
• Sun Hats or Visors.
Handy especially for those summer months, high-performing sun hats with UPF 50+ protection should be the first one in your backpacks! You can rest your worries about sun damage and premature aging when you check out our shop for all your wide brim sun hat needs.
Have 360-degree protection from the elements! Worry not about harmful UVA and UVB rays, wind and dust, and even protect yourself from bugs! Or, for an all-rounder and casual look, choose your style between the Wanderer, Navigator, Floater Series, or even our Reversible bucket hat for a carefree adventure! Take any which one with you when you're hiking, fishing, camping, or even when just spending time at the park.
Or, better yet, opt for a fashionable sun visor that'll be sure to turn some heads when you spend time at the beach!
• A good pair of shoes.
Having comfortable shoes with a great fit is crucial to performing your best and getting the most out of that workout. The right pair should keep blisters at bay while cushioning your feet.
• Face Masks.
The importance of face masks has since soared since the pandemic happened. However, secure face masks with earloops that'll stay in place when you keep active outdoors are also crucial. Stay protected from light winds, sunburns on your cheeks and neck whenever you're going fishing, hiking, or even running with a bandana face mask!
If you're off to the mountains or if you're looking for a breathable helmet liner, a balaclava ski mask that's wearable in many ways is here for your skiing or snowboarding needs!
• Resistance Bands.
There’s a reason why physical therapists also call resistance bands rehabilitation bands. These bands aren’t just great for exercises, but they’re also excellent for strength training for specific muscles. These elastic tools are great for working your chest, arms, back, glutes, and more!
• Touch Screen Gloves.
Are you looking to spend time in colder regions? Or, do you need an extra-secure grip when you're active? Then, a good pair of touch screen gloves are essential for you. Grab a form-fitting pair or even reflective ones when you're off to go running, biking, hiking, or even driving! These gloves are also great as glove liners for skiing or snowboarding. You don't even have to take off these pairs when using your phone!
• Foam Roller.
Sore muscles and body aches always come with the territory if you train constantly. This is why a foam roller is a must-have for the folks who love to sweat it out. Relieve those tight spots, release muscle tension, and improve your flexibility with this useful tool!
If you’re an avid runner or biker, a breathable yet sweat-wicking skull cap should be part of your repertoire! With a four-season feature, wear these no matter the season - keep warm during the winter and cool in the summer!
• Headband Sweatband.
Always distracted by sweat every time you work out? Well, a headband sweatband for men and women should be the easy solution! Great as a helmet liner or a sweat-wicking band that you can wear under your hat.
• Kinesiology Tapes.
Used widely to alleviate muscle pain while providing support, kinesiology tapes aren't just for the gym rats, personal trainers, or athletes. These skin-friendly and water-resistant tapes will help you perform your best whether you're completing tasks at the office or spending time doing chores at home!