How to be Physically Active While Social Distancing

Apr 16, 2021 | Wellness

Getting physical activity can be a challenge while staying at home. However, it is possible—and important—to be physically active while social distancing. Physical activity reduces blood pressure and anxiety and helps you sleep better. It can also help to improve mood and energy level.

Adults need 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking for health benefits. Children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years need at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity daily. Children aged 3 to 5 years need physical activity throughout the day, every day for growth and development. Regardless of your age, some physical activity is better than none.

Why is it important for me to be active?

Physical activity can provide immediate benefits. Physical activity can help to boost your mood, reduce stress, improve sleep, and sharpen your focus — benefits that can be especially important during stressful times. Physical activity can also help you live a longer, healthier life by reducing the risk of many common chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

How much activity do adults need?

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need a mix of activities to stay healthy, including at least:

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week
  • 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity a week

During stressful times, it’s important to remember that some physical activity is better than none! Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. If you’re working from home, try taking activity breaks throughout the day or walking around your house during conference calls.

How can I be active without a gym?

There are all kinds of ways to get active at home. Workout videos, dancing, and even active video games are great ways to get moving. Many gyms and organizations across the country are offering free streaming or on-demand fitness options. This might be the perfect opportunity to try something new!

Household chores and gardening are also good ways to get moving, and a great way to multitask. If you can distance yourself from others outside — and it’s allowed under local guidance — take a walk, run, or bike ride in a quiet neighborhood, or hike on a trail away from others.

Having a pet can also increase opportunities to exercise and get outside. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.  Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. 

Here are a Few Music Activity Videos and Workouts You Can Try

Sources:
https://health.gov/news/202004/staying-active-while-social-distancing-questions-and-answers
https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/initiatives/resource-center/pdf/Workplace-Physical-Activity-Break-Guide-508.pdf#page=9
https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html

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