In this blog, we’re focusing on Body – Be Active.
And not a moment too soon as much of the world is experiencing local or national lockdowns. Gyms may have shut. Dance classes are cancelled. The tourist industry is more or less ‘closed’ for business and entire nations are being asked to adhere to ‘physical distancing’ rules or isolate.
Now, this could be a great excuse to sit on the couch, crack open the emergency chocolate and settle in for a Netflix binge. But before you reach for the remote control, read this!
While we withdraw into our own space or have to isolate, it’s really important to keep physically active. It’s not just essential for our body, but it’s great – and essential – for our mind too.
Not convinced? Watch this funny video by the wonderful Dr Mike Evans, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. Do you accept Doctor Mike’s challenge? Can you spend 23 ½ hours sitting and sleeping?!
So what can you do to keep active while self-isolating? Plenty it turns out!
Take inspiration from The Blue Zones. Basically The Blue Zones are five regions in the world with the highest concentration of people living to age 100. Researchers wanted to know what their secret to longevity and a happy, healthy life was. And guess what they found? Nope, it wasn’t daily Zumba or gym sessions… In fact, what researchers discovered was that physical movement was a natural part of people’s lives: few of these happy centennials did ‘structured exercise’. What they did do, though, was move throughout the day naturally – they walked everywhere, gardened regularly, and performed chores around the house with enthusiasm!
Scientists call this N.E.A.T. or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – a fancy way of saying ‘all movement counts’. In simple terms, if we sit less and move more, we live longer. Weeding the garden, mopping the floors, walking around the block … it all counts.
Thirty minutes a day is a great start! And the good news? It doesn’t have to be all in one go – try 3 x 10 minute sessions, if you prefer. And when you feel like snacking on those chips, maybe swap in some of these:
And remember: try and make time to do something active each day that’s fun for you and that you enjoy (or at least enjoy the feeling of accomplishing it afterwards!). Something is better than nothing.
Keep safe, well and active.