Research has shown that insufficient physical activity is one of the major risk factors for death globally.
This then tells us that the place of physical activity cannot be overemphasized in our daily lives be it walking, jogging, push-ups or whatever form of physical exercises must be properly engaged to stay healthy.
Therefore, how do we limit the effects of physical inactivity especially in this COVID-19 pandemic?
Before I go further let me educate you small on what physical activity is.
As defined by WHO, “physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure” such as brisk walking, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling e. t. c.
A lot of us (especially me) have confused physical activity as exercise; exercise is a type of physical activity that involves planning, structuring, consistency and goals setting.
How much physical activity do you need?
According to World Health Organization, the amount of physical activities required by individuals is based on their age range such as:
Children and adolescents (5-17 years): They should engage in a minimum of 1hr of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day.
Examples of these physical activities as explained by my friend Nikki Prosch are walking briskly, cleaning with a vacuum, sweeping the floor, slow dancing, washing windows, shooting a basketball swimming, jumping rope, carrying heavy loads and many more.
Adults (18-64 years): Adults are advised to do at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity activities per week which can be increased to 5hrs for additional health benefits or a minimum of 1hr of vigorous-intensity physical activities weekly.
Examples of moderate-vigorous intensity activities as recommended by American Heart Association are: sweep the floor, brisk walking, dancing, vacuuming, cleaning windows, running, swimming laps, playing soccer, jumping rope, digging, hoeing, playing tennis, gardening e. t. c.
You can also engage in combined moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity but that should be equally shared between them.
You may ask, what are the benefits of engaging in physical activity?
The benefits are many but I will give you the 7 top benefits which include:
- Boosts your energy levels and gives you the ability to do your daily activities
- Helps you maintain a healthy weight
- Improves your muscular fitness and respiration
- Decrease the risk of health related diseases such as hypertension (lowers your blood pressure), stroke, diabetes, breast, bladder, lung and colon cancers
- Promotes bone and muscle strength
- Lowers your risk of hip or vertebral fractures through frequent falls
- Reduces your risk of dying early
Other benefits of physical activity include:
- Lowers your risk of depression
- Improves your sleep pattern
7 Tips on How to be Fit and Active at Home:
In order to supercharge or boost your physical activity and prevent the effects of physical inactivity at home, you should follow the simple steps below:
1. Take breaks after sitting for long
Avoid sitting down for a long time watching TV, playing with your mobile devices, working with your computer, and take breaks in-between.
Take a break after about 30 mins of sitting to walk or stretch your legs around your house. Go get that glass of water and drink, play with your loved ones, prepare a light meal, and take some fresh air outside just for a little time.
2. Make stairs your best friend
For those of us with staircases in our houses, make those stairs your best friend to keep fit.
Climb the stairs as fast as you can every single day at least three times. You don’t have to always enter a lift, use the stairs! Get fit!
If you are like me that lives in a flat, jog around the house and strengthen those muscles.
3. Get involved with indoor bodyweight exercises
Indoor bodyweight exercises are amazingly simple to practice home activities that use your own bodyweight. Examples of such exercises are sit-ups, press-ups, planks, knee to elbow, back extensions, squats, side knee lifts, bridge, chair dips, child’s pose and many more.
4. Dance like there is no Tomorrow!
Let me tell you a secret, I am a terrible dancer! But when it comes to keeping fit I sure might beat you to it.
What am I trying to say, just dance your dance like no one is watching or your life depends on it.
Put some nice music in the background whether it is rock music, dancehall music, hip hop music or whatever music that turns you on in the background and ease all those stress.
Dancing doesn’t just help you mentally it also helps your heart to function properly and maintain your physical fitness.
5. Give Your loved ones that play time
Everyone at some points needs a little play time. Like the saying goes “All work with no play makes Jack a dull boy”, so leave your computer and your work and give that time to your loved ones.
Especially if you are a parent, what your children want to have more than anything you can give them is your time.
A lot of parents send their kids out to play, don’t just send them out, play with them; do the hide and seek play and many more fun activities together in your house and compound.
6. Not sure what to do? Get involved with what You love!
To really stay fit indoors or when isolating, you have to be very disciplined. Schedule time for every fitness activity, set a goal and be accountable, never use stress as an excuse to skip your workout, watch a fitness channel and take advantage of those classes.
7. Eat Foods That Will Boost Your Immune System
Of the many recommended ways to keep fit is a good diet system. The kind of food you eat while keeping fit manners a lot, you need to eat healthy.
These foods should contain powerful ingredients that should help you recover after your routine exercises, should improve muscle soreness, fatigue and pain and give you energy.
Read more on The Surprising Secret To Creating Energy For A Workout Regime Here