In times like these, chances are you’re spending a lot of time sitting around. Staying home and staying safe, yes, but sitting around nonetheless.
And we all know the importance of being physically active. According to the World Health Organization, sedentary behaviour and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on your health, wellbeing and quality of life.
With light at the end of the tunnel, and finally some things to look forward to, it’s time to put a spring in your step. Even if it’s one slow step at a time.
Here’s how to get your healthy dose of stress-busting activity at home, by approaching life’s daily routine a little differently…
1. With lighter, longer days and the sun streaming in, grab the chance to have a spring clean. Dusting and hoovering will really work those arm and leg muscles.
2. Make hanging the washing out a bit of a workout. Place the washing basket on the floor rather than a chair, and squat down to collect each item of clothing.
3. If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space, have a good sweep. Dust down the front door, windowsills and take in a couple of deep breaths of lovely fresh air.
4. Teach your dog a new trick. Lay on the floor with a dog toy between your feet and hold on to it as tightly as you can, as you raise your legs into the air and ask your dog to play fetch.
5. Don’t bemoan a slow boiling kettle. It’s your chance to do some stand-up press-ups against the kitchen worktop.
6. Likewise, waiting for the toast to brown is your chance to reach your arms in the air and have a good stretch.
7. With so many long hours spent staring at a screen, and fewer distractions if you’re working from home, it’s easy to forget screen breaks. Set a timer and every half hour, walk to the window. You can even do lunge walks there and back.
8. When your mobile rings, stand up to take the call. Better still, walk and talk, even if it’s just to the kitchen and back.
9. Stairs are your salvation when it comes to getting the heart rate going. Every time you go up the stairs (for whatever reason), pretend you’ve forgotten something, so you have to go back downstairs again… and then back up again.
10. Make the most of making the bed. Open the window wide, give the duvet a really good shake out. Smooth out the bottom sheet, plump up the pillows. Did someone say hospital corners?
11. Give your hair a salon finish. Count the brush strokes (good for the upper arms) and wield that blow dryer like a pro.
12. Tidy up the kids toys so they can mess them up again. And rather than letting it drive you nuts, think about the extra step count you’re getting. Play some music while you’re doing it for an added boost, too.
13. Tackle that pile of ironing. The sense of satisfaction will bring a smile to your face, your favourite white shirt will feel fresh and crisp, and your tea towels will look like new. An hour of ironing can blitz around 157 calories, which is definitely worth burning.
14. When your favourite song comes on the radio, turn it up and party like it’s 1999.
15. Make things awkward for yourself, so you have to get up to get them. Be it the TV controls, mobile phone and charger, bottle of water, reading glasses – move them further away to force yourself to get up and about.
16. Stand up when you hear birdsong and do a little bird watching. See if you can spot them singing and revel in the peace of nature while you’re at it.