Through the COVID experience people have needed to find new ways to stay healthy. With the risk of opening facilities such as gyms, fitness centers, and other amenities some have had to become more creative than others. Here are some suggestions for types of activities you can do in your community, creative ideas for types of equipment that you might want, and how to access an unlimited selection of resources with technology. The great outdoors offers a wealth of natural methods to exercise but consider that some of them can also be brought indoors.
Types of activities that have become popular again might take you back to some of your childhood roots. Consider activities that don’t require equipment or a facility such as walking, trail hiking, running, aerobics, dancing, body weight strength training or high intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, and stretching. Re-visit your basement or storage shed and dust off those collector’s items that you’ve been avoiding for so long! Pull out those old roller skates or blades or try getting back on that bike and do some cycling. Tennis has been a great sport to socially distance and still interact with others. Grab any type of ball and practice your skills by kicking, throwing or hitting with someone else at a distance. Swimming typically requires a pool but consider visiting all of the lakes and rivers in the Washington Metropolitan Region.
You might consider the activities mentioned but you say to yourself, “I can’t because I don’t have any equipment.” The fitness equipment industry has been booming since the pandemic began and basic machines or weights have been sold out or might get very expensive. Fitness buffs have been forced to think outside the box. If you’ve never lifted weights before then look around your home and start with everyday items. Consider cans of soup, water bottles, save the gallon jugs from milk, juice or laundry detergent and add water or a heavier material such as sand. I have one friend who even set up a system in his trees with rocks, ropes and pulleys to serve as weights. The important thing is that adding weight will test your muscles. Do you have a small child or pet? They make perfect additions to a workout when you lift them over and over again. Grab that old egg timer from the kitchen and use it to keep track of how long you repeat or hold a certain position. The bottom step of a flight of stairs makes a terrific riser. A desk chair can serve other purposes like doing squats or use it as a balance bar. Furniture like a sofa, coffee table or countertop can serve as a bench for pushups and tricep dips. If you don’t own sliders for the floor, then try using two paper plates. Stretch cords offer a variety of resistance but if you don’t have them think about trying bungee cords to add that extra tension. Grab a simple rope and start jumping. It’s a great workout and it gets your heartrate going!
Are you thinking “I like to move but I’m not sure where to start”? With technology today the possibilities are endless! Most people have one or more of the following items handy such as a computer or laptop, tablet or iPad, cell phone or cable television. The internet has videos for everything you can imagine. If you want to learn to meditate, do karate, practice yoga, or do aerobics check out YouTube or social media for free classes. Is accountability the hardest part for you? Coordinate workouts by Zoom, FaceTime or Skype with friends. Are you trying to watch what you eat or improve your sleep? There are apps for that. If silence makes it tough for you to get motivated stream your favorite tunes on your cell phone or “Ask Alexa” to be your disc jockey. Are your kids addicted to their electronics? Turn their Wii game into your home fitness center. Remind yourself often that any movement is better than sitting idle all day long. Most importantly have fun!
By Kara Permisohn, EBP
Kara has worked in business development for Minkoff Company, Inc. since 2004. She is a past president of the Chesapeake Region Chapter of CAI (CRCCAI), has served on both WMCCAI and CRCCAI Boards of Directors, is an Education Business Partner (EBP), and is active on committees in both chapters.