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Don’t stop exercising just because you’re stuck at home. These ideas will keep you moving.

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Many people are spending lots of time at home these days, either due to the pandemic or because the weather is not that conducive to getting out much. But just because you’re in the house more than usual doesn’t mean you should use it as an excuse to not be as active as you used to be. In or out of the house, regular physical activity goes a long way in helping you stay healthy.

There are plenty of well-researched reasons to exercise regularly.

Here are 5 ways physical activity helps your body and your mind:

      • boosts heart health
      • helps maintain a healthy weight
      • keeps bones strong and healthy
      • reduces anxiety and depression
      • supports a healthy immune system

While the importance of physical activity is not disputed, finding ways to move your body can sometimes be challenging, especially when it’s cold outside or you are avoiding the gym due to the global pandemic.

So before you give into permanent couch potato status at home, try these five ideas for getting your heart pumping and your blood flowing:

      1. Go online. Thanks to the current state of the world, many companies are now offering free streaming workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home. From yoga and barre to bootcamp and spinning, you’ll find loads of virtual classes and enthusiastic instructors to keep you motivated.
      2. Take a walk. Cold weather doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors 24/7. As long as it’s not icy outside, bundle up and take a brisk walk around your neighborhood. Not only will the movement do you good, but so will the fresh air and the change of scenery.
      3. Just dance. Blast some of your favorite tunes and shake your groove thing! You may feel silly at first, but before you know it you’ll be working up a sweat. The beauty of dancing at home is you can really let loose because no one is watching. Don’t want to dance alone? Grab your partner or roommate – or schedule a Zoom call with family or friends to join in the fun.
      4. Deep clean. Kill two birds with one stone with this one! Deep cleaning your home will not only get your heart pumping but you’ll also be rewarded with a clean home! Vacuuming, mopping, and other household chores can be as strenuous as you want them to be by picking up the pace and increasing the intensity of your movements.
      5. Get creative. Can’t make it to the gym for weight training? No problem. Fill up two water bottles and use them as hand weights. Or lift other cans or bottles you have in your house – think canned veggies or laundry detergent. From bicep curls to shoulder presses, there is no limit to what you can do with the help of objects you have around the house. You can also do some resistance training by using your own body weight – spend a few minutes each day doing planks, push-ups or squats.

The beauty of physical activity is that there are so many ways you can do it. Just find something that appeals to you and commit to doing it almost every day. If you’re new to exercising regularly, start out with just a few minutes a day. Before you know it, you’ll be exercising regularly and enjoying it more than you thought you would. Of course, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have chronic health conditions.

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Date Last Reviewed: December 16, 2020

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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