More and more people are staying locked down at home as a safety precaution against the spread of COVID-19. People are discouraged from spending time in public spaces, and that includes parks, gyms, and other centers where people can exercise.
Older adults are not exempt from needing physical activity, but they are often the ones who get the least amount of it. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, only 35-44 percent of the adults they surveyed who were over 75 years old got exercise. Overall, less than five percent of adults get more than 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
People aged 60 and older are the ones who are at most risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, so it is especially important that they stay indoors where they are safer. No matter what the age group, though, you will benefit from being more physically active. If you are wondering how to keep an exercise regimen while cooped up indoors, here are some ideas:
1. Break long hours of sitting
When we don’t go out, we tend to be more sedentary. Help your household be more mindful about including exercise in their routines. Set an alarm for them that will remind them to stand up or stretch their legs. A standing or walking break, even for a couple of minutes, will help them get enough movement, even as they hunker down to read or watch a show.
Encourage them to stand or walk around when reading short messages, like mobile phone texts or even news articles. Have them stand up when receiving phone or video calls as well. This will maintain good blood circulation in their limbs and prevent arthritic pain in their joints.
2. Use household chores to get moving
Some people dislike sitting around all day. They would rather do simple chores around the house than sit and read, watch videos, or scroll through their phone. They see these activities as a form of laziness. For them, you can incorporate exercise into their favorite chores.
For example, a garden is the perfect place for your elders or your children who are getting antsy from being inside all the time. Cultivating a garden burns calories while helping stem the feelings of loneliness from being cooped up indoors.
If your elder or your children have friends who live nearby, you can have them practice social distancing while staying in touch, by having them stay in their own yards when conversing.
3. Reimagine your home for gym exercises
Since you cannot leave your home for the gym, you can let the gym inspire you and adapt workouts for your home. Get your family to exercise their legs by helping them move up and down the stairs. They do not need to make like an Olympian and race you to the top and back down again, they just need to get themselves some moderate exercise. Running in the yard also helps.
If you live in a flat or do not have space for running, you can have daily ten to 15-minute exercises to keep them active. Have them do simple, low impact exercises with a lot of stretching, or get them to walk and jog in place.
Getting people to exercise is tricky and becomes more challenging when you are indoors all the time. Infusing their daily chores and routines with exercise will help them stay sane and healthy.
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