Stay safe, stay active

By Eduardo Andrade, Managing Editor

Now more than ever it has become easier than ever to fall into a sedentary lifestyle, an already prevalent issue.

With ~30% of Americans already staying inactive for longer than recommended and 20% of U.S. teenagers in the struggling with obesity, the closure of gyms, parks, school sports and other exercise outlets, paired with online school and orders to stay at home, makes matters worse.

Even before the outbreak we spent too much time on screens. Now we are adding a couple extra hours to that, at least, with online lessons and classwork.

Giving up time exercising and going outside in favor of time sitting in front of a computer or laptop is a recipe for unhealthy lifestyles that will almost certainly cause issues.

But obesity and physiological issues aren’t the only worry. Too much time spent indoors and on screens can increase the likelihood for mental health issues. As can falling into a boring routine, isolation and the worry that comes with living through a pandemic.

Because of this, it is important for people to introduce new ways to stay active within the home. Several free training apps exist which can give calisthenic (body-weight only) workouts, or people can simply just do sit ups, pushups, pullups and other such exercises regularly. Coach Michael Judd is having his HOPE and physical fitness classes use Darebee for workouts.

Running outdoors is still an option, as long you make sure to keep a safe distance from other people. More focused on strength than cardio, but don’t have a weight set? Heavy household objects (a couple of heavy textbooks for example) could be used for moderate lifting.

Backyards or balconies are good areas to get fresh air, sunlight and novelty from the hours of indoor artificial lighting and screen-gazing.

Such routines can actually help people come out of this pandemic healthier than they entered. This time spent at home could and should be used to build better habits and accomplish things there wasn’t enough time for before.

While it’s important to focus on this worldwide emergency, the fact is that the decisions you make now can affect your life for years to come. The opportunity to build good routines does not come often — take advantage of it.

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