As more and more of us find that we’re isolated or working from home (WFH) due to COVID-19, we want to jump in with a reminder to not forget about your health!
The Australian Heart Foundation has shared tips for staying active while we’re stuck in confined spaces, because physical inactivity is a key risk factor for heart disease and continues to be the single leading cause of death in Australia. In 2018, 48 Australians died every day from heart disease, or about one every half hour.
Did you know that even before this pandemic, only a minority of Australians were active enough for good heart health?
Just 22 percent of 5-17 year olds, 15 percent of 18-64 year olds, and 17 percent of over-65s meet Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines.
Any physical activity is better than none
Move in as many ways as you can throughout the day, and build that to 30 minutes or more each day. The Australian guideline for adults is to build up over 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity.
Moving about while at home
• Catch up on gardening.
• If you’re lucky enough to have an exercise bike or swimming pool, use them!
• Develop your own short exercise routine and do it several times a day (adding up to at least 30 minutes).
• Use YouTube or phone apps to find a home workout that best suits your fitness needs. We love Yoga With Adriene, but there’s something out there for everyone! Chris Hemsworth also offered free workouts on his app (and we’re totally on board if he’s taking all the classes, right?! 😉)
• De-clutter and give away items to charity.
• Paint a room or restore a tired piece of furniture.
• Brush up on your golf-putting skills.
• Indoor bowls, if you have room.
• If you can access an activity tracker, count your steps. Aim for 10,000 a day and maybe introduce a challenge with friends and family members (most steps/active minutes) 👇
Our travel editor Sarah Blinco and her partner, Cooper, tested this type of walking challenge on a holiday last year – have a look at how they did:
Muscle strengthening exercises are also recommended on at least two days each week. Try:
• Water bottle weight workout – fill a water bottle, milk carton or similar with water and do some light weights with it.
• Do some resistance exercises against a wall or chair.
• Follow a simple program of yoga, step-ups using a makeshift step, modified push-ups or sit-ups, lifting weights, lunges, calf raises and half squats.
• Avoid sitting for long periods; break it up by moving about the house.
• On your mobile phone? Stand, or walk around the house as you talk.
• Set timers and reminders to get up and move.
• Do some exercises (push-ups, sit-ups or half-squats) in the TV ad breaks.
• Try standing for activities for which you may usually sit (TV, folding washing, phone calls).
Mental health is critical too
It’s easy to get lost in a haze of worry and isolation, so be mindful of your mental health now and always. The BBC has published tips on how to work well from home – read the five suggested strategies here.
Lifeline in Australia has published guidance too.
And don’t forget to turn to mindfulness and wellbeing apps like Headspace and Calm for resources and activities to help restore sanity in these unique times.
How are you getting on with this ‘new norm’ and the changes Coronavirus has thrust upon us? We want to help – have a read over more in our special digital series, and chat to us on social media 👍