With current coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe, many people have found themselves locked up in their homes for extended periods of time. No matter if it’s just a week, a month, or a quarter of a year, the quarantine life is definitely starting to get on our nerves. Apart from obvious psychological implications of staying isolated, away from friends and family, there is also the physical activity disruption that affects many people.
Nowadays, probably more than ever before, we start to recognize that physical activity is crucial to our well-being. And so, you can see people doing many at-home workouts, or even taking it to the extreme of running the marathon in their back yard. If you don’t believe that’s possible, check out this guy James Campbell who runs Marathon in Backyard and raised $22K for Coronavirus Relief.
Even if you are not into the whole competitive sports thing, if you stay at home for too long, you start feeling this itchy, tingly feeling in your body, telling you to stop binge-watching Netflix and start moving.
We are born to move
Our bodies are made to move. To keep our muscles strong and healthy we need to move them. The heart is a muscle and the important one too. Pumping oxygenated blood throughout our body is vital to our well-being. This is how we were designed. It’s evolution.
Many years ago WHO identified physical inactivity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. The organization recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. That’s 30min of physical activity 5 times per week. Does it mean we all need to jump on a treadmill or go to the gym?
Sport vs. physical activity
The words ‘sport’ and ‘physical activity’ are often used interchangeably. With many similarities both words have, there are also important differences to be acknowledged here.
Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. That’s it. As long as you get your body moving, you are physically active.
Sport on the other side also makes your body move, but the goal here is different. Sport has rules, it has defined goals. You train with the aim to be better, to beat your record, or win over the other team.
Many people get discouraged straight from the beginning, whenever they think about physical activity. Sometimes getting up from the couch seems too difficult or even impossible to achieve. The sheer vision of doing sports, going to the gym, and investing time into long hours of strenuous exercise is so offputting, many don’t even bother to start.
Whereas sport is usually good for our bodies, we should not forget, that to remain healthy, the entire day counts. It’s not about going to the gym or run for 30min per day. It is best to look at physical activity holistically, taking into the account entire day.
One day has 24hours. Even if we take 8h out for sleeping, there is still another 16 hours to play around with. Yes, there are daily chores, routines, and work that needs to be done, but does it really need to be done in a sedentary manner? Perhaps it is possible to incorporate physical activity into our daily lives.
Walking is a physical activity and so is vacuuming or cleaning (as long as it’s you doing it and not your Roomba vacuum). Plenty of phone calls at work can be done while standing or walking around the room. Playing with kids could usually be a great physical activity if you put your full attention on them and allow yourself to have some fun.
There are so many opportunities for physical activities on a daily basis, it is hard to imagine we still don’t move enough! I guess it’s time to reevaluate our schedules and see where we can all fit a bit more of physical activity into our days. See a few tips below on how to max up on your physical activity every day: