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A Possible Solution to the Covid-15: Staying Active

I can guarantee that most of you already know that exercise is important for weight management. But did you know that it's also very important in managing stress, depression, anxiety, cravings, mental functioning, sleep..... basically managing Covid-19!

Exercise can have such a bad connotation that I'm almost reluctant to use it. For those of you who are succeeding at exercise, you probably like the word. But for those of you who feel like you are failing at staying active, the word exercise might be conjuring up negative emotions of guilt or disdain. Trust me, I've been there over the last few months.

When your gym closes, or like in Calgary the weather and lack of daylight make it seem impossible to exercise outdoors, it can be very discouraging. Tack on that you already feel like just bingeing Netflix after a day of working in your PJ's from home and motivation might be your downfall.

So in this blog, I am giving you guys ideas to get moving in the midst of a terribly cold winter during a pandemic that's ruining the world (no drama intended, it's just how I feel).

Before Work:

Find one of those perky morning routines on YouTube. When you flood your mind with those amazing hormones that get released during exercise first thing in the morning, you might find yourself craving that same little boost throughout your day.

Stretch or squat while brushing your teeth. We've all got to brush. Put a little reminder on your mirror to do something active while you are brushing!

During Work:

When you get up for a break (be it bathroom, coffee, meal, or whatever), tack on 3-5 minutes of stretching. This will not only help your body with circulation, you will likely find you are more productive after little breaks like this. Set a reminder on your phone to get up and move for a few minutes each hour.

Go outside for a few minutes at lunch. Take a 10-minute walk after chowing down. This helps insulin response and might keep your back from screaming at you for the next 4 hours.

Sit on an exercise ball. This helps you engage muscles that are unused if you just sit in a regular chair.

After Work:

Have accountability. Find a husband, wife, or friend to be active with you. You are 100 times more likely to actually do it if you've made plans with someone else.

Be active while watching Netflix. I don't know if you've ever tried streaming a tv show on your laptop and a workout video on your phone, but I have. Believe it or not, it's actually quite a fun way to be active. I follow the workout video (muted) while being able to watch a corny movie or intense drama. I know you won't be 100% engaged in either but at least you're moving!

Switch it up. Don't do the same thing over and over or you will get bored and give up. Walk, run, hike, bike, swim, gym, skip, dip. Switch it up like the government switches Covid-19 regulations on us.

Don't let the weather deter you. Yes, it might be -11 Celsius. Yes, it might be 90 Fahrenheit (shoutout Californians). But YOU are a creative human being's! I believe you can come up with something to do indoors despite the weather.

I was hoping to keep this short and sweet so that you could manage to read the whole thing before flipping back to Tick-Tock or Facebook.

So, given that, I won't spend time explaining how exercise can also keep your risk of chronic disease lower, can build up your bones, can increase your chances of living longer, keep you from a higher risk of falling if you are aging (like a fine bottle of wine), help prevent cancer, can boost confidence, and so much more.

Just know that movement is much more than just keeping your dad bod from developing too quickly!

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Raymond Luong
Raymond Luong

I think the idea of moving while doing something you're already doing is simple and so effective. If I can listen to the news in the background while working in the kitchen, I'm sure that I can move a kettle bell around while listening to the weather report. Also, the exercise ball thing engages my abs and my quads so much that it forces me to stand up and stretch. Gotta do what I can to avoid the (pre-dad) dad bod.


Lucy, you might like this little quote which I cut out of the Reader's Digest a few years ago: "There is a super expensive new drug coming out. It reduces heart disease by 60 per cent, cancer by 27 per cent, Alzheimer's by 50 per cent and arthritis by 47 per cent. It's now our best treatment for fatigue and low-back pain. It cures a third of erectile dysfunction and cuts anxiety and depression by 48 per cent. People even lose weight on this stuff...Okay, it's not new or expensive or even a pill. It's walking." -- Dr Mike Evans, associate professor of family medicine and public health at the University of Toronto, quoted in the Globe and Mail.

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