Living in uncertain times can feel a bit stressful, especially when facing a pandemic. Most of us have never experienced living through a pandemic as well as having to adapt swiftly to our temporary reality. Public places that were once accessible are now closed due to the coronavirus epidemic. Staying at home can create anxiety, unable to go to the gym to get those endorphins up, or visiting friends and family. Incorporating a sense of normalcy into your daily activities is essential to relieve stress and lower anxiety levels. There are still some ways you can increase your endorphin levels and stay productive in the comfort of your own home including:
There is research that shows meditation can improve symptoms of stress-related conditions. The benefits of meditation also include the ability to regulate everyday emotions and boost the immune system. Creating a daily habit of meditation can help preserve these benefits and help develop a positive outlook on life. There are apps you can download to start your meditation journey and help guide you through your meditation.
Gyms may be temporarily closed, but you can still fit in a good workout without any gym equipment. Maintaining your workout routine is essential for supporting healthy immune function and preventing weight gain. To add resistance to your workout, you can find a bag or backpack and fill it with cans or any other items to use the bag as a weight. From squats to lunges or burpees you can get your heart pumping and relieve stress. You can also access streaming services online to find at-home workouts and keep you motivated like in the video down below.
Grab a Book
Take a break from binge-watching the latest series on your streaming devices and grab a book to keep your brain engaged. Reading just 30 minutes a day can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and psychological distress. Reading fiction can boost your imagination, and reading self-help books can help you navigate your daily lives. Staying mentally proactive is just as important as staying physically active.
Staying indoors can start to feel a bit suffocating, unable to go to the mall to walk around or even to restaurants on a Saturday night. The CDC recommends the population to practice social distancing to keep a distance of six feet from others outside your home. You can still go outside and grab some fresh air to supply your daily dose of vitamin D. On your next lunch break, take a minute to get out and help restore your focus.
Studies have shown that having social support is vital to maintain physical and mental health. Social support also builds resilience against stress. You may be unable to visit your friend’s home, but with modern technology, it’s possible to video chat, call, and text loved ones.
The most important thing you can do to relieve the anxieties of the outside world is to prioritize your physical and mental health. Implement these daily activities to help manage your stress levels and stay active.
Getting Back Into Shape After Quarantine
California has officially begun reopening businesses, including gyms, bars, and retail stores. The gym is the long-awaited reopening for those who can finally use athletic equipment rather than relying on bodyweight exercises to stay in shape.
The motivation to stay active during quarantine is quite difficult trying to use garages or bedrooms as a personal gym without any equipment or legroom available. As gyms reopen, it may be a little intimidating getting back into shape, and you may be wondering how to ease back into your gym routine safely.
Keep in mind that your level of progression is widely based on your total time off, and your level of fitness before it. If you start by placing a high demand on your body, you risk the possibility of injury and a quick regression backward. Being extremely sore the next day does not indicate a quality workout. Here is an outline to guide and help you ease back into your workout without losing motivation or risking injury.
1. Start with Flexibility Workouts
Your first progressive step should be to incorporate a couple of days of flexibility workouts to increase blood flow and circulation while supporting range of motion and joint mobility. Developing flexibility is one of the most overlooked protocols of fitness routines, and building these protocols early on will allow your body to properly readjust to the new demands that will be placed on it. Signing up or participating in a beginner yoga class or videos you can do at home to increase flexibility and build strength. Choose 10 to 15 stretches, performing each flexibility movement for up to one minute.
2. Add Easy Cardio
The next step is integrating light cardiorespiratory workouts after a couple of stretching or yoga sessions. An excellent way to start is a brisk 20-minute outdoor walk that will revitalize your mind and get your body moving again. Other options you can include in your workout, such as low impact HIIT workout (high-intensity interval training) for beginners. Machines you can use at your gyms include treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes are great indoor options. If you had a well-established fitness base before a month-long break, your first week might consist of light jogging instead of walking.
3. Start Strength Training
After your first week of flexibility and light cardio, start to incorporate strength workouts into your routine by trying gentle strength training workout for getting back into the gym. The time apart from the gym most likely involved a fair amount of sitting that causes weakness in your posterior chain, which refers to all the muscles on the backside of the body from your head down to your heels. These particular muscles are essential for basic everyday movement and keep your spine upright when at the desk. That is why incorporating exercises that improve your posture, develop core strength, and activate muscles throughout your glutes and hamstrings are essential.
Exercises like squats, lunges, bridges, TRX hamstring curls, stability ball mobility, and core work will help activate these muscles. Bodyweight workouts are ideal for working these muscles and establish a safe transition back into your fitness regimen, and you can work within your fitness level.
4. Begin your workout with a proper warm-up and end with a good cool-down
It is important to begin your workout with a proper warm-up that prepares your body for the increase in activity, and a cool-down helps your heart rate return to normal resting rate. Don’t jump into any physical activity without easing into it. Muscles that have not been accustomed to strenuous activity for a while, and will experience some form of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), which means you will be tight and achy for 24-72 hours after your workout. You may also experience this when you work out regularly but up to your intensity. With a proper cool-down session, you can help some of the soreness you could experience the day following your workout.
5. And spend a few minutes stretching.
Stretching is an important dynamic when getting back into your fitness routine to help loosen those tight muscles before starting your workouts. After your workout, its good to release that muscle tension.
6. Focus on your form
When you’re getting back into your regular routine, quality will always trump quantity. Maintaining proper form will help target and work your muscles without straining or overexerting yourself. Take your time to focus on your form, breathing, and control. This is extremely important because proper technique and form are crucial to help prevent injury.
7. Don’t skip rest days!
Don’t jump into working out a six-days-a-week workout routine too soon. Recovery is a big part of being active. When you don’t take a day off, your body doesn’t get to take the necessary time to replenish your muscles. Rest days are vital to long-term wellness, and the lifestyle you are recreating for yourself now should consist of frequency. Promoting recovery is a good way to build habits of your workouts without leading to a sprain or strain delaying your workout and fitness routines.
8. Listen to your body
Your body will let you know when it is working hard, but learning the difference between hurts-so-good and hurts-not-so-good will save you a trip to the doctor’s office. If something feels uncomfortable or causes you pain, stop doing whatever is causing your body to feel that way. There is a not-so-fine line between muscle discomfort from a good workout, and pain lets you know something’s not right. Be attentive to your body to help you progress through your workouts safely.
Slowly easing your way to recreating your fitness regimen will help you stay consistent and achieve your fitness goals. It’s important to remember we are all on our fitness journey, so take your time and stay motivated!
7 Health Benefits of Roller Skating
Some businesses are gearing up for reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. Though not all industries, including gyms, are sure when they will reopen their doors to the public, most people are finding new ways of staying in shape at home. One at-home workout you can try is roller skating that has proven to be an effective workout with substantial health benefits. According to the Roller Skating Association International, it works every muscle in your body and can burn anywhere from 350 to 600 calories per hour. Here are seven benefits of roller skating to achieve your fitness goals.
1.Balance and Coordination
Since balance is necessary for skating, you’ll learn and master the techniques needed to improve your form. Roller skating improves your balance by using your lower-back and abdominal muscles to roll forwards and backward. Skating requires you to maintain a steady core to stay upright, which is the perfect method for a better balance.
Roller skating, inline skating, and rollerblading help strengthen the heart, according to The American Heart Association roller sports is a valid form of aerobic exercise. Participating in moderate roller skating will raise the average skater’s heart rate from 140-160 beats a minute. You can increase your heart rate dramatically to about 180 beats per minute.
The American Diabetes Association recommends two types of physical activity to manage and prevent diabetes, such as strength training and aerobic exercise, both of which are in skating and rollerblading. Roller skating is an excellent example of aerobic exercise, which helps your body use and manage insulin better. Roller skating strengthens the heart and bones, decreases blood glucose levels, relieves stress, and improves cholesterol levels.
In terms of health benefits, roller skating is equivalent to jogging by reducing body fat and leg strength development. Roller skating helps develop strength and building muscle. Roller skating works the legs and glutes as you power through movement and works your arms and core as you balance your body during the movement. Stronger muscles and improved coordination work together to help prevent injuries and keep you active.
5.Easy on the Joints
Running and walking can cause pressure on joints like the knees, and could potentially cause permanent injury. All disciplines of skating are low-impact and are easy on your joints. When roller skating, there’s a fluid motion instead of jerky movements present in running, walking, aerobics, and dancing. Fluid movement in inline skating and roller skating decreases the chances of sustaining joint damage. According to a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, in-line skating causes less than 50 percent of the impact shock to joints compared to running.
According to MayoClinic.com, a 160-lb a person can burn 913 calories rollerblading at an average pace for one hour. Within that same hour, someone who is 200 lbs. will burn 1,138 calories and someone who is 240-lb. can burn 1,363 calories.
7.No Rink Required
You don’t need a gym to go roller skating, all you need is a pair of skates, and you’re all set. Many people enjoy roller skating in a rink with others, but is not required and can be done outside on the street, on a paved trail, anywhere with a smooth, steady surface.
Staying active while at home is essential to help relieve stress during quarantine and improve your overall physical health. Before you engage in any physical activity, make sure you stretch and warm-up to prevent injury.
5 Apps For a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting quality sleep will play a vital role in how you feel when you are awake throughout the day. Sleep is essential for various aspects of brain function, including cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. Here are five apps that can help you get a good night’s sleep and track your sleeping schedule.
With Noisli, you can choose from different sounds like thunder, wind, and white noise to create a personal sleep soundtrack to help you fall asleep. You can create a combo of sounds you love and can save in the app for future use. Make sure to keep your phone plugged-in if you keep your phone on overnight to hear your soothing sleep soundtrack.
The Pzizz app can set a timer for a sleep session, and the app plays soothing dreamscape, including a combo of music, voiceovers, and sound effects. The app also has an option to set up a built-in alarm to wake up. For more advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to choose different sounds.
Slumber offers a mixture of experiences to help you fall asleep, whether it’s meditation focused, bedtime story series, or sounds of a warm jacuzzi. There are background noises to choose from like rain or the ocean and can play for up to 10 hours after the track finishes. Each week there are new sleep-inducing stories and meditations you can choose from. You can listen to them all if you upgrade to the premium version.
If you want to understand how you slept, the Sleep Cycle app can help you achieve your sleep goals. It tracks your sleep patterns and offers tips to improve your sleep. The app also has an alarm clock that kindly wakes you up when you’re in your lightest sleep phase, waking you up feeling rejuvenated. It’s important to remember that no sleep tracker is 100% accurate. If you are still struggling to sleep you should consult with your primary care physician or dedicated sleep specialist.
10% Happier offers a wide range of meditations, including ones for sleep that span from three minutes to 45 minutes to ease your mind and fall right to sleep. There are also meditation exercises with a variety of genres and the option to message a coach for additional support.
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