Pandemic life is unpredictable to say the least, but staying active during this time certainly adds to the complexity. Even while we look forward to the restrictions being lifted in Toronto, there are effective ways to stay active outside of the gym. Rather than giving up on your new year resolutions, consider revising them to counteract your current reality. Whether you’re working from home, helping your children learn from home or on the frontlines, a little creativity goes a long way.
The benefits of staying active
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle typically includes various factors, but being physically active tops the list. According to the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, adults 18-64 years old should be active at least 150 min a week to achieve health benefits. Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine is a proactive approach to supporting your total well being.
Exercise increases the hormone serotonin which is responsible for boosting your mood and supporting your nervous system. Exercise can also be an effective way to counteract depression and anxiety while supporting your mental health.
The risk of heart disease and stroke is also decreased through regular physical activity. Some of the risk factors that lead to disease can also be greatly reduced, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Improved sleep and increased energy are among the many other long-lasting benefits of being active.
Types of exercises
Finding what type of exercise works for you is an essential step in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. What works for your friends or even other family members may not be as effective for you. With an open mind and some creativity, you can find an effective activity that you actually look forward to every day.
One of the most cost effective types of exercises is walking. No matter where you live, there is always an opportunity to go for a walk. You can walk around your neighbourhood or venture as far as your legs will take you. This free physical activity is a great way to burn calories, lower blood sugar and ease joint pain.
If you’re spending more time sitting in front of a computer, you have a greater risk of developing common foot issues like Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, or Metatarsalgia. Walking helps to relieve the tension caused from excessive strain on your feet and joints.
Even if you already wear orthotics or have an ergonomic work space at home, walking works in tandem with these important measures. While walking may not be as intense as running, it is still important to support your feet with proper shoes and supportive gear. Dress according to the various temperatures that are typical throughout each season in Toronto. You can still work up a great sweat whether it’s cold, hot or mild outside. Layering your clothes can help you stay warm when needed and you can always remove a layer during the warmer months. Walking for a few minutes per day is also a great way to be physically active and soak up some natural vitamin D.
Over the past year, there has been an abundance of access to online fitness classes of all kinds. Many gyms have moved their classes to an online format providing a temporary alternative to in-person visits. While this may not be the ideal, it does provide another option for anyone who needs a virtual instructor. Often these classes are scheduled at certain times which can help you stay on track each week.
If you prefer creating your own schedule, choose a free fitness YouTube channel to use at your leisure. There is literally
something for every fitness level online. The videos range from intense cardio, strength training and even low impact to support your joints and feet. Although there is a variety of exercises to choose from, use an abundance of caution when starting something new. If you have been inactive or unfamiliar with a particular fitness class, watch the video first to get a good grasp of each move. Once you become comfortable and find the class that interests you the most, be intentional about participating regularly. With a simple internet connection and a smart device, you can achieve your fitness goals by logging on as much as you like.
Also, keep in mind that these fitness classes require the same amount of effort in your home as they would at a gym. Just like you would at the gym, be sure to wear appropriate shoes to support your feet every time. Online fitness classes will have you jumping, stretching and generally moving like an in-person class would. Your feet will carry you through it all, so they need to be protected to support your healthy lifestyle.
HOME FITNESS EQUIPMENT
If you need an added challenge, consider personal fitness equipment for your home. You don’t need to have a personal gym filled with thousands of dollars of equipment. There are plenty of ways to break a sweat and stay physically active through inexpensive equipment that doesn’t take up a lot of room. Resistance bands, jump ropes, and stability balls are just some of the small and cost effective equipment suitable for all abilities. Free weights and a quality exercise mat can also help you with strength training. You can also combine your favourite online fitness class with your equipment at home to help you with proper form and technique.
If you choose to invest in large fitness equipment, like a treadmill or spin bike, be sure to do your research. Not all equipment is created equal, so consider all the factors before purchasing. Think about your fitness goals, the space in your home and be realistic. Remember, consistency is the key to reaping the benefits of physical activity, even at home. Purchasing fitness equipment won’t guarantee a healthy lifestyle, but your resolve and determination will help you succeed.
Whatever exercise you choose to engage in, think about your feet first. Whether you’re walking, running or working out at home, your feet will take the brunt of the pressure. If you’re experiencing pain in your feet, it’s critical to get help before you engage in any physical activity. Work related strain is possible whether you’re sitting for long periods or on your feet all day. Getting help from the right health professional could save you from effects of ongoing foot pain.
ingrown toenails and plantar fasciitis. Chiropodists can also prescribe custom orthotics based on your specific condition if needed. Regardless of your fitness level, getting the support for your feet is also a vital part of maintaining your health.
If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, you have access to certified practitioners that are available for in-home appointments. Discover the full suite of mobile healthcare services, including massage therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and chiropody. Stay active and healthy this year with a little help from HealthCasa.
Appointments are available online and in person 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Greater Toronto Area and adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols according to Toronto Public Health guidelines.
To learn more and to book an appointment, visit: //www.healthcasa.com/