Even as the country starts to open back up slowly, people are staying home more, for their safety and health and the safety and health of frontline workers. Still, staying home so much can be tough on mental and physical wellbeing. If you’re struggling with maintaining positive mental health and your typical exercise routines have fallen to the wayside with the closings of gyms, here are some tips for staying active, heart-healthy, while keeping a positive mindset during this pandemic.
Go on Walks
There are only so many hours you can sit in your house or do chores or read books before you start to feel like a caged animal. That’s why we encourage you to take walks. First thing in the morning, over lunch, mid-afternoon, or early evening are all great times to get out there and learn the sidewalks of your neighborhood a little better. If you’re worried about coming into contact with other people, we recommend early in the morning or mid-afternoon when fewer people are likely to be out and about. Regardless of when you’re going for your stroll, you should follow social distancing guidelines and wear your mask.
Listen to Music
It’s scientifically proven that upbeat music improves our mood. Different tempos and musical keys hit our brains differently. So put together a feel-good playlist or put on your favorite record or radio station and enjoy it! If you dance around your living room, then, hey, you can even count it as a workout!
It might seem like the most natural thing in the world, staying hydrated at home. But because you’ve likely been even more sedentary than usual, you may not be feeling your thirst as often as your body needs water. Aim to drink 64 oz of water a day at a minimum. Are you having trouble keeping the habit up? Try a water bottle with hours assigned to the 8 oz tick marks. If you start at 9 am and drink 8 oz an hour, you’ll have those 64 ozs knocked out before dinner. Hydration is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing, so you’re doing your body and your mind a double-favor by ensuring you get as much water as you need.
Buy Healthy Groceries
Grocery shopping has become a little strange and a little more stressful during this pandemic, but that stress is no reason to throw your best-laid meal plans out the window. Whether you are ordering groceries for curbside pick-up or venturing into the grocery store itself, make sure to stock up on leafy greens and vegetables packed with color. Buy whole grains, lean meat, and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Eating fresh while self-isolating will help keep your waist trim and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to regulate your moods, hormones, and energy levels.
Whether your gym remains closed due to state and local guidelines or you’re simply not comfortable with the idea of exercising around other people right now, you can still work on your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home. Search YouTube for the kind of workout you’re looking to do or invest in a pair of low-weight dumbbells to do some lightweight training from the comfort of your living room. From yoga to body-weight exercises to pilates, and more, the internet has endless possibilities that can be adapted for whatever your fitness level. Many of our regular classes, such as Silver Sneakers, at South Denver Cardiology, can now be attended virtually.
We know that this has been an extremely stressful time, that those already dealing with health concerns are understandably worried about the impact this virus could have on their health. Regardless of the adjustments you need to make to feel comfortable and safe, know that there are ways to maintain your healthy lifestyle while doing so. If you’re worried about any area of your health – mental, physical, or emotional – contact your primary care provider to discuss your options.