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You don’t have to become a couch potato through the pandemic!

Tips on how to remain active under COVID-19

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Who would have expected to live through a pandemic!? None of us. And the best treatment is for everyone to stay at home.

Staying physically active has become a challenge. We know that sitting for most part of the day is not good and that it can have negative effects on our health, well-being and quality of life. Confinement can also cause additional stress and challenge our mental health.

Tips to maintain ourselves active at home with no special equipment and limited space

Here are some general tips…

Try to reduce long periods of time spent sitting, whether for work, studying, watching TV, reading, using social media or playing games using screens. Set up a regular routine to be active every day and stick with it, as this will help you adjust to new ways of working, study and family life under COVID-19 restrictions. Be active with your family and friends, as connecting with others can help you stay motivated. Set yourself and your family goals, by choosing a specific type of activity, time of day and/or number of minutes you will do every day.

More specifically…

Take short breaks during the day. Reduce your sedentary time by standing up and stretching whenever possible -every 30 minutes would be ideal. 

Walk. Even better than standing up, take a walk around the house, up and down the stairs, or into the garden. Even in small spaces, walking around or walking on the spot, can help you remain active. If you have a call, stand or walk around your home while you speak, instead of sitting down. 

Be creative. Dancing, playing with children, and performing domestic chores such as cleaning and gardening are other means to stay active at home. By just moving around and stretching you can improve your health and wellbeing. You can follow an online exercise class as a regular routine. Many of these are free and can be found on YouTube. If you have no experience performing these exercises, be cautious and aware of your own limitations.

Relax. Meditation and deep breaths can help you remain calm.

Tips to exercise for those who venture out

Do not exercise if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Stay home and rest and seek medical attention.  

If you are able to go for a walk or bicycle ride or if you go to a park or public open space to walk, run or exercise, practice physical distancing. Always wear a mask when social distancing is not possible.  

If you are not regularly active start slowly and with low intensity activities, like walking and low impact exercises. Start with shorter amounts, like 5-10 minutes, and gradually build up to 30 minutes or more continuously over a few weeks. Choose the right intensity according to your health status and fitness level. You should be able to breath comfortably and hold a conversation while you do moderate-intensity physical activity.   

Wash your hands with water and soap before you leave, when you get to where you are going, and as soon as you get home.  If water and soap are not immediately available, use alcohol-based hand rub.

As the country continues to open, don’t let your guard down.

Be safe, stay healthy, every step counts!

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