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Stay Home but Stay Active

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Stay Home but Stay Active

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Staying active while at home is important for overall health and well-being. Read to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published At April 9, 2020
Reviewed AtDecember 19, 2023

Introduction:

Staying active is important for overall physical and mental well-being. There are several ways to be physically active throughout the day, even if stuck at home, or spending more hours at home working. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of intense physical activity per week or a combination of both. These recommendations can still be accomplished at home, with no special equipment and limited space.

What Is an Active Lifestyle?

An active lifestyle involves engaging in physical activities regularly and continuously, irrespective of the intensity level. Whether performed informally, as part of a group or team, alone, or with others, these activities contribute to overall health and well-being. Adopting an active lifestyle may involve a mix of gentle exercises, more vigorous workouts, and, for some, challenging activities. Choosing activities based on personal interests, such as walking, running, surfing, yoga, or sports, enhances the active aspect.

How Does Physical Inactivity Affect the Body?

Physical inactivity is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and other conditions:

  • Less physically active and less fit individuals are more likely to develop high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and coronary heart disease than active people.

  • Physical inactivity may increase the chances of certain cancers.

  • Lack of physical activity can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness.

  • Neck pain and posture-related problems can be due to constantly looking down at phones or laptops.

  • Spine problems and backaches can occur due to the wrong posture.

  • Feeling lazy due to spending large amounts of time doing nothing.

  • Weight gain due to a lack of physical activity.

  • Weight gain due to binge eating and eating an excess of carbohydrates.

  • Atrophy of muscles due to disuse.

  • Mood swings due to hormonal fluctuations on account of lack of physical activity.

  • Depression and sleeplessness.

  • Trigger of exacerbations of chronic illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

  • Fragile musculoskeletal system.

What Are the Simple Ways to Stay Active While Stuck at Home?

  • Yoga and Meditation: Engage in yoga and meditation for at least an hour each day. These practices not only soothe the mind but also fill it with positive thoughts and energy. They provide a unique blend of relaxation and spiritual connection. It also gives self-appreciation, an appreciation for life, and an improved focus on the soul's needs.

  • Regular Exercise: Create a home workout routine and schedule regular, planned sessions. Even dedicating just 10 minutes two to three times a day can significantly contribute to lowering the risk of various health issues such as stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Regular exercise is also known to relieve anxiety and depression. Include exercises like push-ups, crunches, and running on the treadmill in the routine.

  • Healthy Diet: Maintain a healthy diet by avoiding excess carbohydrates, cholesterol, and oils. Prioritize fresh fruits and fibrous vegetables, and ensure adequate hydration with plenty of water. Seek assistance from a dietician to customize a diet plan based on individual health goals during challenging times. Limit or avoid fatty and fried foods, and refrain from alcoholic beverages, especially for specific populations such as young people, pregnant and breastfeeding women, or individuals with certain health conditions.

  • Household Activities: Stay active through domestic work such as cleaning, sweeping, and gardening. Light cleaning can burn up to 85 calories in 30 minutes, while vigorous cleaning can burn 102 calories in the same duration.

  • TV Hours: Establish fixed TV-watching hours and take breaks during viewing. Regularly check and correct the posture while watching TV or working on the laptop. Stand up and stretch at intervals to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting.

  • Dance and Music: Incorporate dance into the routine by tuning in the favorite music. Dancing is not only an enjoyable activity but also a significant calorie burner, with more than 200 calories burned every half-hour on the dance floor.

  • Walk: Make walking a regular and intentional activity. Walk faster and dedicate specific time for each walk. If possible, stand or walk around the home while attending phone calls. If one decide to go outside for a walk or exercise, maintain at least a one-meter distance from others.

  • Hobbies: Take up active hobbies such as jogging, cycling, or painting. Engaging in a hobby not only passes the time but also brings peace of mind, calmness, and positivity. Additionally, take advantage of the wealth of online classes available for free on the internet.

  • Stand Up: Avoid sedentary behavior by standing up whenever possible. Avoid extended periods of sitting, as this can lead to back pain and poor posture. Standing burns approximately 50 percent more calories than sitting, providing an additional incentive to stay on the feet. Researchers estimate that a 155-pound individual can burn an extra 50 calories within an hour by simply standing.

How to Exercise Safely at Home?

Ensure safety during home workouts by avoiding excessive intensity. To prevent injuries, choose suitable shoes, use the right equipment, and stay hydrated. Always begin with a proper warm-up and stretching routine. If uncertain about exercises, consult a doctor, sports medicine professional, physiotherapist, or gym instructor for guidance. Be aware of your health, and any underlying conditions, and create a list of safe exercises for home. If discomfort or injury occurs, stop exercising immediately and seek medical advice before resuming. Wear appropriate protective gear and use correctly sized sports equipment to minimize the risk of injuries and promote exercise safety.

Is It Safe to Exercise During a COVID-19 Infection?

The answer depends on the individual's health and condition. Even with mild symptoms like a runny nose or minor sore throat, exercising is generally safe and may even help alleviate symptoms. However, if symptoms worsen, especially with an increased fever, it is recommended to avoid strenuous exercise. If the person chooses to exercise, it's advisable to reduce intensity, shorten workouts, and steer clear of group activities. Listening to the body's signals, especially during fever and infection, is crucial. Consulting with a doctor to determine suitable exercises, alongside proper rest, nutrition, and hydration, is essential when dealing with COVID-19.

Conclusion:

The best thing one can do while at home is to keep moving. No gym or expensive equipment is required. Instead, there are easy ways to put more activity into a day. Physical activity and relaxation exercises can help reduce stress and anxiety, strengthen the immune system, and keep oneself strong and healthy. Activity can be a conventional exercise if one has the equipment, but any kind or amount of movement will be worthwhile

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

How to Stay Active When One Is Inside the House?

One can walk outside or move around the house, so walking is the greatest way to get one's body active. Other ways to stay active include
- Stretching.
- Finding workouts by watching youtube videos.
- Doing yoga

2.

Can One Be Active With Outside People Who Do Not Belong in Their House?

One can limit their social interactions whenever possible and can be at home always if feeling sick. One of the safest ways to stay active is to stick with the members of one's own household or can be alone. One can avoid the busy areas that can make it harder to keep a distance from others.

3.

What Is Called Staying Active?

Staying active is making the most of the day by having a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking responsibility for the choices that one can make, whether mental, social, or physical.

4.

Can One Moving Around the House Be Considered an Exercise?

Moving around the house involves doing different works such as carrying the laundry up and down stairs, Squatting as one load or unloading the dishes, and vacuuming the aerobic and strength activities that can be counted as exercises.

5.

For How Many Hours Can One Be Physically Inactive?

One is considered physically inactive when one does not even get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most, not all, days of the week.

6.

Can One Be Mentally Active for the Whole Day?

Mental fitness is keeping the brain and emotional health in good shape. This does not mean that one is trying for brain Olympics or having an intelligent quotient test. This refers to a series of exercises that helps in slowing down.

7.

How Long Can Adults Maintain Physical Activity?

As a general goal, at least 30 mins of moderate physical activity every day daily. If one wants to lose weight, maintain weight loss, or meet specific fitness goals, one may need to exercise more.

8.

What Are Examples of an Active Lifestyle?

Below are some examples of active lifestyles.
- Going for a walk.
- Walking.
- Jogging.  
- Swimming.
- Bicycling. 
- Dancing and
- Climbing stairs.
- Running. 
- Doing the household chores. 
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. 
- By playing at the park.

9.

Is Walking Daily Sufficient as Exercise?

Walking is good as any other form of exercise. Daily brisk walking can help one live a healthier life. Regular brisk walking can help in maintaining a healthy weight and losing body fat. Prevent or manage various conditions, that includes heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

10.

What Can Stimulate the Brain Most?

Factors that generate neurogenesis include:
- The brain exercises.
- One can build with the vocabulary.
- By enjoying daily counts or crosswords.
- Learning new skills.
- By following calorie restrictions.
Dr. Mehak Agarwal
Dr. Mehak Agarwal

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

Tags:

healthy lifephysical activitycoronavirus
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