How to Stay Physically Active Close to Home
Physical activity—which means any form of exercise or body movement that uses energy—has proven benefits for both physical and mental health. Experts emphasize that it is vital for people to make exercise a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic; and they say it isn’t hard to do, even while sheltering at home.
Turn Chores into Scores
“Taking walks, and doing active chores around your home and yard, are examples of ordinary activities than can bring extraordinary results,” said Jennifer Graham, DPT, a physical therapist with Lancaster General Health Physical Therapy. “Even a 10% increase in your normal activity makes a difference.”
“Taking walks, and doing active chores around your home and yard, are examples of ordinary activities than can bring extraordinary results.”
Graham suggests starting slowly and gradually increasing your activity level. She also emphasizes that it’s important to incorporate both aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (strengthening) activities into your routine.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes (30 minutes five times a week) of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking and bicycling, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity such as jogging.
“A common description of ‘moderate’ is to walk or move fast enough to find yourself a little out of breath if having a conversation,” explained Graham.
Also strive for two days a week of strengthening exercise at moderate intensity, aiming for 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise.
Ryan Huxta and Kyle Kloepfer, exercise physiologists with Lancaster General Health’s Healthy Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery program, have developed some creative ways to exercise with items people have around their homes. The two filmed a video to share with people who are sheltering at home.
Christopher Dupkanick, DPT, OCS, a physical therapist with Lancaster General Health Physical Therapy, shared that there’s also a variety of online workouts available.
“People can check out YouTube and the websites of local gyms and rec centers that often offer free yoga, aerobics, and other fitness classes,” said Dupkanick. Here are a few options he finds helpful:
“When people add a variety of activity into their daily routines, they just may come out of quarantine in better shape than they went in!” said Dupkanick.
For more ways to stay healthy during COVID-19, go to www.LGHealthHub.org.