#MovementMonday this week is so good, it is #TakingOverTuesday! This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Heather Campbell, BGCA Senior Director of Youth Development Programs and member of the Sports and Recreation team.
Life for everyone is different these days, routines are off, gyms and public spaces we usually go to are closed, and there are lots of unknowns ahead. One unknown is when will “normal” return? Weeks? Months? Ever? One thing we do know is that our bodies NEED TO MOVE! Movement is a good way to help us keep a routine, keep our bodies healthy, and even keep our minds strong. We may not be able to control how long we will be staying at home, but we can control the amount of physical movement we do each day at home!
Here are some tips to keep in mind while creating your movement at home routine:
It’s the little things that count!
Exercise doesn’t have to be a feeling of dread, or some huge big thing. Think of exercise and movement as fuel for your body, rather than a requirement or punishment. If you’re not used to taking a workout class or spending a certain amount of time exercising at a gym, it may seem overwhelming to get in 45 or 60 minutes of straight exercise in right now. Instead, focus on incorporating movement throughout your day. Little bits of physical activity can add up to a lot. Even if the movement takes place in short bursts, such as during commercials or while listening to your friends talk about how NOT so well their homeschooling is going, it all counts! Add in some lunges when heading down the hallway or squats while the coffee is brewing. Integrate activity throughout your day to keep the blood flowing and your mind sharp.
Make it fun!
Think about creative ways where you can add in some movement. If you watch live TV (or are living that Hulu-with-ads-life!), give each category of commercial a type of movement. For example, assign any medical or medicine-related commercial star jumps, planks for any ads about other shows, and squats for any other type of product. Do you only stream your shows? Decide 5 words prior to start of the episode and every time those words are spoken, perform the exercise of your choice ten times. Do what you can with what you have, special equipment is not needed.
Work in other fun ideas, like adding your cat on top of your back while doing push-ups or setting up relay races shuffling toilet paper rolls from one side of the living room to the other. (Try timing it and challenging your friends to see if they can beat your time.) To keep yourself challenged, each week keep upping your game, like holding your planks 10 seconds longer or adding 3 squats before opening the fridge. Another fun way to move? Dancing like nobody’s watching. And don’t forget, our friends at Planet Fitness are live streaming workouts every day!
Make a plan!
Laying out a plan can keep you on track, because once you do, you are more likely to stick to it than if you just wander aimlessly. Consider posting a calendar on the fridge or somewhere visible to remind you to do at least one daily activity. You set the rules for your movement, and with reminders, you are more likely to follow them. Need some inspiration? Here’s an April calendar to get you started. Download by clicking the image below.
Another way to help you stay on plan is by using a fitness tracker or journal. That way, you can see what you are doing each day and track your progress. You can use a regular notebook or an excel program on your computer or there are several smart phone apps that are designed for this, like Way of Life habit tracker or MyFitnessPal.
We all know physical activity is healthy for our bodies, but it also has a positive impact on our mood. It helps us to cope with stress, sleep better and reduce anxiety. Is there a better time than now to strive for wellness? Plus, incorporating more movement now can create habits that can continue even after this stay at home period. Remember little movements add up, make it fun, and make a plan. Keep moving your body, you will feel better!
Check back in with the ClubX Blog often for more ideas and resources on how to maintain your mental and emotional well-being during this challenging time. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Take care of yourself. We are in this together!
Get the latest updates from BGCA at BGCA.net/Coronavirus, find programming ideas at MyFuture.net, like the BGCA Youth Development on Facebook for YD updates including video from Sarah, and join the brand new BGCA Youth Development Community also on Facebook to connect with other Club staff on programming through coronavirus.