If you find yourself packing on the pounds during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Working from home can mean more access to snacks and more time sitting.
Most adults spend an average of six to eight hours a day being sedentary, which includes driving, sitting, watching TV and computer use.
The goal is to move more throughout your day as there’s benefit to any physical activity, regardless of the length.
Theresa Ferdinand, RNC BSN American Heart Association Volunteer, says, “I think sometimes we get into it’s an all or nothing kind of thing and it really doesn’t need to be that way – 10 minutes if better than nothing.”
Set a timer to remind yourself to move around for a few minutes every hour.
Ferdinand says, “Activity trackers are nice, so you can actually set on your watches, your Garmin or Apple watch or whatever you have your fitness tracker, just to remind you, it will buzz every hour to get up and it will tell you to move.”
Active chores like vacuuming and cleaning up after dinner count too.
It helps to find forms of exercise you like. You’ll be more likely to stick with it and make daily activity a habit. Aim for about 30 minutes of exercise a day including cardio, strength training and stretching.
With some gyms not open or with limited access, a good substitute is at your finger tips.
“A lot of different things are online, there are a lot of free apps you can access for not only cardio but some strength training, yoga,” says Ferdinand.
Get creative at home, find more ways to get up and off the couch while you are watching TV. Get up during commercial breaks or in between episodes to do push ups or squats.
Grab items around the house to work out with, like sauce jars or jugs of milk to use as weights. Exercising as a family establishes good habits for children to model.
Adding physical activity to your life with help with mental health and much more.
Ferdinand says, “Not only heart health, but cancer prevention, obesity, diabetes- all of those chronic health care conditions.”
For adults, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity such as brisk walking, yoga or gardening or 75 minutes of vigorous activity such as running, jumping rope or swimming laps, or a combination of those activities.
In addition, the AHA recommends two days per week of moderate to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity, such as resistance training or lifting weights.
The American Cancer Society places more emphasis on increasing the recommended levels of physical activity to help prevent cancer, in their latest study.