Staying at home during COVID-19 may make it harder than usual to get in your daily steps. However, during this time it’s important for your health and well-being to stay active.
Walking – either at home or outside – remains a generally safe option for adults and children during the COVID-19 pandemic, unless you are showing signs of the illness or have tested positive. Regardless, if you do decide to walk outside you need to abide by social distancing guidance from the CDC or your local health department.
In addition, April is Move More Month, so it’s a good time to get active and increase your daily steps. On average, Americans walk about 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, which is around 1.5 to 2 miles. That may seem low compared to the common goal of 10,000 daily steps.
Keep in mind that many fitness centers are closed during COVID-19, and social distancing right now is the recommended Federal and state guidance, so, here are five creative ways to move more while you stay home:
- Take a walk or jog around the block
When the sun is shining, take advantage of it. You can still practice social distancing and enjoy the benefits of exercising in nature. As a way to start small, try tracking the steps you currently take and aim to add 1,000 extra steps to work your way up. Consider taking a series of short walks throughout the day, aiming for six separate “mini-walks” of at least 300 to 500 steps each.
To enhance cardiovascular fitness, consider incorporating at least one “brisk walk” of at least 2,000 to 3,000 steps for 30 minutes each day. To help build endurance, work toward 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. If you have a pet at home, bring them, too.
- Try free online workout classes
Many fitness companies are offering free online workout classes – even for non-members. Now is your chance to try out that yoga or high intensity interval training (HIIT) class you may have been curious about — in the comfort of your home.
- Be resourceful
If you don’t have workout equipment at home, try finding ways to substitute. Run up and down the stairs a few times a day, use the wall for push-ups or soup cans for bicep curls. While it may not be the traditional workout you are used to, it still gets your body moving and muscles working.
- Set an hourly alarm
Keep yourself accountable by setting an alarm to get up and walk around the house for a few minutes every hour. Small bursts of activity may help you reach your daily steps goal.
- Dance to your favorite songs
Walking isn’t the only aerobic exercise that gets your steps in. Turn up your favorite songs and throw a dance party with your family in the living room. It’s a great way to get your steps in and brighten your mood.
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