5 Pandemic Safe Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

 Staying active and healthy can be challenging, but the current pandemic has made it more difficult than ever. Many people have found their typical exercise routine disrupted with the closing gyms and other facilities, but fortunately fancy equipment isn't required for these activities. Here are five ways to stay active and healthy during a pandemic.

  1. Light Weight Training
    If you have some small dumbbells, great, but you don't need them for light weight training. All you need are some water bottles, cans from your pantry, or any small objects in your home that weigh between 2 to 5 lbs. and are comfortable to hold in your hand. Weight training combats weakness, builds muscle mass, and preserves bone density. These benefits are especially important in preventing falls, which are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Be sure to work on your lower body, upper body and back/trunk. Here are some exercises you can try: overhead press, arm curls, triceps extension, squats, forward lunges, front raises, and bent-over rows.
    Betty lifting soup cans for web

  2. Aerobics
    It's time to get your heart rate up! Try 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, even if it has to be broken up. The goal is to get your heart rate up. Aerobic activity improves blood circulation which can assist in fighting cardiovascular conditions and other illnesses. It also helps lower your blood pressure and can even enhance your sleep. Aerobic activities you can try include: brisk walking, gardening, dancing, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, raking leaves, and hiking.
    Couple runing or walking for web

  3. Yoga/Stretching
    Yoga and stretching are a lower intensity way to improve your health. These activities improve balance and flexibility, reduce stress and anxiety, lower your heart rate and blood pressure and they help you breathe easier. It is a great activity to do at night before you go to bed. Stretching and yoga can help you sleep better because you are more relaxed. It is also seen as a mood booster and can help with depression. It also helps alleviate aches and pains. 
    senior woman practicing yoga for web

  4. Body Weight Exercises
    One of the great things about body weight exercises is that you can do them anywhere at any time. All you need for these exercises is you, but you can use your surroundings to modify exercises to make them easier or more challenging. These exercises can be performed for a set amount of time or for a certain number of reps. Ideally three sets of each exercise are done for the set time or number of reps you are aiming for (for example, you could do 3 sets of 12 reps or 3 sets of 30-second intervals of the exercise). Some body weight exercises to try include: arm circles, push-ups (which can be done against a wall or chair to make them easier than doing them on the floor), sit-ups, calf raises, squats or sit-to-stands (a modified squat using a chair to sit onto and stand up from), and step-ups (using the first step of a flight of stairs). 
    man doing push ups for web

  5. Extra Efforts in Daily Activity
    Another good way to be more physically active is to incorporate extra efforts into regular activities. Some examples include: parking farther from the entrance of the building, taking your shopping cart back into the store after you unload it, use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk your dog everyday and/or walk your dog farther than you used to, and doing some body weight exercises or stretching while watching TV. 
    woman walking dog for web

Bonus Tip:
Resistance bands are a great way to make your workout even better. Here are some of the benefits of bands: they test your muscles throughout an entire exercise, they are great for functional fitness training, they keep your form in check, they are safe to use, they can help modify or progress an exercise, and we can help you get some resistance bands for FREE while supplies last! Call our office at (785) 843-3738 during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and ask to speak to Jill to get your free bands today!
VNA Exercise Bands Cropped for web

If it has been awhile since you've exercised and you have health issues or concerns, it is best to have a discussion with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. If you have an injury or condition that limits your ability to do these activities, your doctor could determine if physical therapy could be able to help you. A Help at Home aid could also potentially assist you with getting started on a new exercise program by offering support and guidance in your home. Give us a call at (785) 843-3738 if you have questions about our services.

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Lawrence, KS 66044

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