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.