Summer is almost here, and there’s no better time than now to be moving around and making the best use of the warmer weather to be more physically active!
This summer in particular is different for many Canadians, given the fact that restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are slowly easing down. This is not to say that this summer will be the same as it was two years ago, but there’s certainly more options available while certain restrictions are still in place.
As of last year, many individuals had to be resourceful to find the time and place to partake in physical activity. Because facilities like gyms and dance studios have been forced to close due to the pandemic, some have turned to virtual classes while being at home to stay motivated in moving around. For others, they have turned to the outdoors by doing other activities such as hiking or running.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) outlined in their Canadian Physical Activity Guideline that adults aged 18-64 should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. Even prior to the pandemic, Canadian adults have already been slacking with getting their daily amount of exercise, as explored in one of our previous blogs.
More physical activity provides a variety of health benefits for adults. According to CSEP, being active for at least 150 minutes a week can reduce the risk of strokes, heart disease and a lot of other health concerns.
It is important to remember that physical health is also attributed to mental health. Paula Comfort, a provincial council member of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada told CBC News that the closure of gyms have taken a toll on the physical and mental well-being of many individuals.
A study conducted by McMaster University found that the pandemic has increased the amount of stress that Canadians experience, and the pandemic is directly correlated to the decrease of physical activity for individuals.
While it may be a few more months before Canadians can return to gyms and other fitness facilities, there are ways to stay physically active without the need of such spaces. But before jumping in to engage in a physical activity, consider a movement routine that can help you stay consistent in being active.
Get Moving With a Routine
A routine is a great way to maintain your discipline in any scenario, but in the case of physical activity, a routine can be useful to remind yourself to keep moving while reaping the benefits of being active. For many, starting can often be the biggest challenge, but remember that everyone has to start somewhere, and if it was your New Year’s Resolution to be more physically active this year, don’t fret if you haven’t been consistent with it.
Remember, just getting yourself to be more active is the step in the right direction. As CSEP noted, physical movement comes with a range of health benefits, and although the pandemic has made it more difficult to achieve that, it is still possible to do.
Consider some of our advice below to find the best type of movement routine for you.
Start off Easy
It’s good to challenge yourself, but be sure to set realistic goals that are attainable. This is not to say that you should condition yourself to pick out goals that pose no challenge, but starting off with something that you feel is within your physical capabilities is a great way to encourage your movement routine.
For those who are unsure of where to start, consider simply doing walks to get your daily dose of exercise. A study was published in the Journal of American Medical Association which found that simply walking 30 minutes a day can have powerful health benefits as reported by CBC News. Through increments, you can work your way up to more challenging activities as you get more experience.
Move and Work at the Same Time
One of the biggest issues that is preventing many adults from getting their daily requirements of moving is because of work. For some, maybe including yourself, you may find yourself always stuck at a desk while doing your work. The average work day is often seven and a half hours, and many find themselves immobile during these time periods.
Working from home has made it even less physical for many as they no longer have to commute, and they just wake up at home and find themselves already at work. But this does not mean you should be bound to your desk, wherever it may be. Setting a routine where you take a walk or do a yoga session during your lunch break is a great start to incorporate movement, while still doing it in work hours.
For those who wish to further encourage movement at work, consider Well Street’s selection of seminars, particularly our Functional Movement: Flexibility, Mobility & Strength From Home seminar which explores movement techniques that can be done from home.
Do What Feels Good
This is arguably the most important tip when it comes to selecting a movement routine for yourself. Often, you may find yourself reading articles or hearing something on the T.V. about the best new things to do to further improve yourself. You may try and follow what you’ve heard, but you might realize that what works for others may not work for yourself.
When it comes to moving, remember to look for an activity that feels good for you. Although the options are now limited due to the ongoing pandemic, taking a brisk walk or simply doing exercise movements while being at home are great alternatives for the time being. As reported in a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, certain forms of physical activity can protect you from severe illness as reported by Global News. With this in mind, be open-minded with what movements you want to try and stick to the one that feels the best.
About Well Street
At Well Street, we are founded on the principles of introducing healthy practices to the workplace, which encompasses both mental and physical health. Comprised of medical professionals who have a background in naturopathy, we aim to help organizations foster a healthy corporate environment in order to boost productivity and morale.
If you would like to learn more about how our team can help you or your company, consider contacting us to find out more. We are happy to provide you with guidelines and approaches to support the wellbeing of your team members through virtual seminars and programs.