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  • Kelley Vargo, MS, MPH

7 Ways to Be More Active While Quarantined

We are in uncharted territory these days. From the numbers of COVID-19 cases rising exponentially daily, it is become more evident that for the first time in my life, every single human has a part to play in this battle. Whether we have the virus or not, we can play vital role in stopping the spread of the virus by staying home and practicing social distance. Being an extrovert and loving to get people moving through leading workouts in person, staying home and socially distance is definitely a “challenge” for me, however I know the world needs me to do my part in this. And besides I can still teach/lead workouts – in a different way.


But for today, let’s just start where we are and do what we can do now while we are playing our part in overcoming this pandemic.


1. Stand More. Over the past week I have realized how much more I have been sitting. No morning walk to the train, no walking around the city to get from one building to another, no taking stairs, etc. You may have heard it before but some studies have found that sitting is just as bad for our health as smoking. So rather than “smoking by sitting” we can make a conscious effort to stand more. One easy way to do this is to create or purchase a standing desk. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.



2. Body weight exercises*. Sure, the gym has some great equipment, but we don’t need it. We have what we need, and we can get in great body weight exercises with a little room and ourselves. Exercises like squats, push-ups, and planks are just a few examples. We can build them in throughout the day i.e. from 9 am – 5 pm on the hour do 5 pushups or 10 squats… you get the idea and it all adds up.


3. Jump Rope. * Less is more. Right now, we might not have a treadmill or bike at home for cardio, and that is okay – but a good old fashion jump rope can get our heart some great exercise! And if you don’t have a jump rope, you can still pretend you do and jump as if you do. Try 10-minute intervals throughout the day: one minute on, one-minute rest.


4. Chair exercises. When you’re not standing at your desk, there are plenty of exercises we can do while sitting such as calf raises, shoulder shrugs, leg extensions, and glute squeezes are just a few examples of exercises you can do while sitting down.


5. Plyometrics. These exercises minimize the amount of time our feet are on the ground and are a great way to improve muscular endurance as well as improve our cardiovascular health. Some examples of plyometrics we can do at home are jump squats, jump lunges, and burpees. Pick an exercise – do it for 60 seconds, resting when you need to. Get in 5,10, 15 rounds throughout the day!


6. Morning stretches. Many of us, especially while we age, need to work on our flexibility and mobility, but many of us don’t put in the time to actually stretch and improve our flexibility. With all of this added time a home, why not start out the morning with 5, 10, or 15 minutes of stretching.


7. Get in your steps. Before this scenario, I never really worried about my steps. Living without a car outside of Washington, DC, I walked just about everywhere. However, after spending a week in Ohio and then coming back here and practicing social distancing I realized I was barely getting in a couple thousand. So, while it might be a challenge to get in 10,000 a day in these times, it is important to make a concerted effort to get in more steps. Set a goal and work to move more. And if you're able to maintain social distance, maybe get outdoors for a walk and be present in nature.



An image from my solo social distance leisure walk.

I hope you found some if not all of these activities manageable and doable while you are playing your part in the world by preventing the spread of the virus. It is still important we take the time to invest in our health. We can keep moving while staying at home. Be intentional and invest in your health during this time.

Socially distant, virtually close in health and love,

Kelley


*these exercises are more intense, so please be sure you are in good health and cleared by a doctor for exercise before attempting.


#workout #athomeworkout #physicalactivity #exercise #fitness #movement #standingdesk

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