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How to Stay Physically Active: Social Distancing Edition

How are you staying physically active during this time of social distancing? Feeling lost because you can’t do your usual workout routines?

We’ve got you covered! Here are some great ideas to stay physically active, even during a quarantine.

Benefits of Physical Activity

Being physically active has many benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. Physical activity helps maintain weight by burning calories.

Everyone burns calories differently, but a good reference for how many calories a person uses during different activities can be found here: www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities.

Physical activity has many benefits throughout the lifespan as well. For kids, being physically active helps build strong bones and muscles, reduces the risk of depression and improves their attention span. In adults, regular physical activity lowers the risk of high blood pressure and stroke, improves mental health and prevents weight gain.

In older adults, physical activity promotes strong bones and prevents muscle loss, improves sleep and delays the onset of memory loss and cognitive decline. With all the benefits that physical activity offers, now is the perfect time to start or maintain a regular activity schedule.

Try These Ideas for Staying Physically Active

The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity physical activity per week. This is about 20 minutes of moderate-intensity and 10 minutes of high-intensity activities each day.

Although many gyms and activity centers are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you still can participate in activities from the comfort of your own home. Check out these activities below to stay active during this time of social distancing:

Moderate-intensity Physical Activities

  • Go for a walk around your neighborhood
  • Get a head start on your spring cleaning!
    • Do yard work – mowing, trimming, gardening, planting, raking
    • Go for a leisurely bike ride
    • Play doubles tennis
    • Try in-line skating
    • Look up workout videos online and follow along
      • Yoga
      • Dancing – ballroom or social
      • No-equipment workouts
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Try geo-caching. Download the app from the Google Play or Apple App store

o www.geocaching.com/play

High-intensity Physical Activities

  • Go for a run around the neighborhood
  • Try aerobic dancing and “group” fitness videos
    • Just Dance! videos on YouTube
    •  www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCv5q2yoqAY
  • Hike uphill or with a heavy backpack
  • Play singles tennis
  • Try cycling 10-plus miles per hour
  • Jump rope

 

References:

About Physical Activity. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/about-physical-activity/index.html.

American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids. (April 18, 2018). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults.

Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights. (July 2004). Retrieved March 31, 2020, from www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities.

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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