5 Tips to Stay Active & Injury-Free While Staying Home
Let’s look at how to stay active during the COVID-19 Crisis. Are you missing your regular work outs at your favorite gym? What about regular runs or walks on a local trail or track? How about that fun dance class with friends?
National experts (American Heart Association) recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week to promote a healthy lifestyle. For many of us, we get that exercise in gyms or workout studios. For others, we use parks, tracks and other outdoor facilities to get the recommended amount of exercise in.
Unfortunately, the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has meant that our favorite locations for exercise have temporarily closed. Additionally, we’ve been asked to reduce how much we travel to further reduce the potential spread of the virus.
It is important, now more than ever to stay active as much as we can. And, there are plenty of ways to get a good workout within the confines of our homes.
Here are 5 tips to help you stay active while sheltering in place:
Create a Plan
Before starting to work out, it is important to create a workout schedule to prevent overuse injuries common with exercise. Our equipment and exercise selection options are limited. Without proper planning, certain common exercises can be repeated throughout the week, increasing the risk of conditions such as shoulder bursitis, tennis elbow and Achilles tendinitis.
Remember the Fundamentals
Many of us rely on group classes for our exercise consumption. These classes have instructors or coaches leading us through the various portions of the workout and pointing out proper form for our exercises. Without your coach/instructor, make sure to include 5-10 minutes of warmups and cool downs to help prevent injury. Additionally, working out in front of a mirror can help you catch technique flaws that can also lead to injury.
Novices to the world of exercise can feel overwhelmed when trying to put their own workouts together. Fortunately, there was this marvelous invention called the internet. When in doubt, utilize its vast expanse to search for already designed workouts.
DISCLAIMER: Be sure to select workouts matching your fitness level, skill level, and available equipment (if any).
Do not hesitate to use other workouts as a base and change the volume of reps, intensity and/or exercises to suit your situation. In addition, items around the house can be used to augment the workout. Canned goods can serve as 1-3-pound weights. Remember from science class that 1 liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds. Filling a larger container with water can provide a larger variety of weights for the workout.
When everything else fails, remember something is better than nothing. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Every time a commercial comes on, walk up and down your stairs a few times or do 10 sit ups. Bring back out that Fitbit you haven’t worn in a year and start counting your daily steps with the goal of doing more today than you did yesterday.
Regular physical activity not only helps you feel good and look better, it helps to relieve stress. (American Heart Association Stress Relief) There is no doubt this is a stressful and anxious time. So, just keep moving using the tips above, follow the guidelines recommended by the CDC and we will all get through this together.
Stay active and remember to call our office, if you need help with a chronic injury or if you experience pain from doing something sports related. We have incorporated updated policies to keep our patients and staff safe. We’ll determine if it’s something that needs to be treated now or can wait until later.