With California’s “stay at home” orders officially in place for three weeks now, some of us might be feeling a bit cooped up. Currently, the most diligent approach we can take to the situation is to remain patient. Staying home and practicing “social distancing” are the best ways that we can all take part in curtailing the spread of COVID-19. This does not mean, however, that we have to sacrifice our physical or mental health while doing so. In fact, staying active, occupied, and structured should help make these unprecedented circumstances easier to navigate.
Many elderly adults can especially benefit from consciously staying active during this time. Doing so will help maintain a healthy immune system and cut down on other health risks. This is now more important than ever, as medical experts are advising at-risk individuals for coronavirus to avoid non-essential doctor and hospital visits. Maintaining healthy activity levels can also alleviate negative feelings associated with isolation.
Though altered schedules shaped by more time indoors make falling into a more sedentary lifestyle easy, small efforts can make huge daily impacts. With a bit of initial dedication, incorporating exercise and other enjoyable daily activities into at-home life can become effortless.
Exercising at Home
Even without the extraordinary restrictions of daily activity currently in place, many adults struggle to stick to a work-out routine. Now, with our daily lives moved largely indoors, it can feel all the more difficult to exercise daily. Some people might struggle to exercise without going to the gym or usual workout classes. Even for those who already exercise at home, it might be a challenge to remain on track with all of the unprecedented changes occurring in our world today.
Hopefully, a few simple adjustments can make it far easier to continue exercising while staying at home. Some approaches to consider include:
Finding or creating a comfortable space to exercise
This might require some creativity, especially if your living space is small. Ideally, you want to be able to clear enough room to fully engage in your exercise. You also might want to invest in a yoga mat or foam to make working out more comfortable at home.
Cultivating a well-suited workout routine
you want to find a workout routine that is best suited to your physical capabilities, as well as enjoyable, if possible. If you dislike traditional exercises, consider trying dance, yoga, or another alternative approach to fitness. YouTube offers thousands of free online workout routines, including dance and yoga walk-throughs. If you already have a workout routine given to you by a doctor, get in touch with them and ask how you can keep on track during “stay at home” orders.
Creating realistic expectations
It is important to acknowledge that our reality is not what any of us are used to right now. With the coronavirus pandemic altering our daily lives so intensely, we have to expect some difficulty in adjusting. It may not be realistic to expect the same fitness results from yourself now as you could a couple of months ago. The key is to not be hard on yourself. Make sure you are treating your body well in order to remain healthy, but try not to worry if your daily exercise seems to fall short from your usual accomplishments.
Maintain a Routine
Practicing “social distancing” might lead to a sense of altered time. Without our typical social encounters it is hard to hold ourselves to a schedule. Cultivating a daily routine while staying at home can address this issue. Maintaining a daily routine can also support physical and mental health. Even if the routine you plan does not include exercise, it can be very beneficial to staying healthy. Creating a schedule helps us to remember to fulfill simple needs such as eating, bathing, and cleaning. It can also alleviate stress and grant us more enjoyable free time.
Seniors who are currently retired might have more initial difficulty finding a beneficial daily routine. Aside from deciding when to wake up and go to sleep, a retiree might struggle their day with healthy and enjoyable activities, all while maintaining social distancing practices. On top of daily exercise, finding enjoyable pastimes and hobbies can help.
Delve into Hobbies and Projects
With ample time to spend independently, quietly, and indoors, current social distancing practices offer a great opportunity to take up hobbies and projects. Maybe this means picking up something new, or revisiting an old interest. Regardless, artistic hobbies, craft projects, or home improvement jobs are great activities to factor into a daily schedule.
Cut Yourself Slack
By remaining active, maintaining a schedule, and trying out interesting hobbies and projects, we can make staying at home a positive experience. However, we must also leave room to accept the potential difficulty of the current circumstances. Some people might struggle more than others in adapting to a more isolated, less active lifestyle. If you find yourself falling behind on workouts, straying from routine, or spending more time watching TV than pursuing your ambitious hobbies, try not to be too critical with yourself. These are difficult times, and they called for altered self-expectations. In order to stay positive while staying home, remember to cut yourself slack.