During this socially distant summer, we’ve all brainstormed new and creative ways to stay entertained and active with our families. And since it’s August, we’re eager to get outside and soak up some sun – while staying safe. But let’s face it, our ideas that were once fun a couple months ago may be wearing off…so here are some ways to have fun at home while still maintaining your activity level to improve your overall health.
5 Ways to Creatively Increase Your Activity Level at Home
- At-Home Strength Training
No weights? No problem. When doing an at-home aerobic workout, use full (or partially full) detergent containers, books, or even kitchen items instead of weights. Anything that is comfortable and safe to hold will provide some resistance and strengthen your muscles. By doing some basic bicep and tricep exercises along with a few rounds of cardio, like jumping jacks, to get your heart pumping, you’ll have your own at-home workout in no time. Weight training is beneficial for your metabolism, so don’t forget to get in those reps!
- Play Some Backyard Games
If you find comfort in staying home, try some family-oriented backyard games like cornhole, ladder toss, or croquet. If you have the space, setting up a volleyball/tennis net is great for volleyball, badminton, tennis, soccer tennis, and more. Another easy and cost-friendly way to get outside is to grab some chalk and revisit your childhood with hopscotch and four-square. You could even set up some bases with chalk in a nearby parking lot or cul-de-sac and create a mini baseball field. The trick is to get creative and get outdoors!
- Walk a Mile in YOUR Shoes
Walking and jogging are always a go-to for overall fitness and health. Cardio training (in moderation) is great for your heart and overall physical stamina. Plus, walking is an easy way to get great exercise. Try to avoid running or walking when the sun is at its peak, and keep an eye on the heat index during hot days. When you’re outside doing strenuous activities, always bring a bottle of water and stay hydrated. The trick is to drink before you realize you need it, so set an alarm and take a drink every 10 minutes or so, depending on the temperature.
- Try a New Hobby
Pick up a new socially distant hobby, like golf or tennis! If you live near a driving range or have a community tennis court, now is the time to explore those hobbies. Non-contact sports are still incredibly great ways to exercise, and can be done safely with others. Running, biking, tennis, golf, baseball…basically anything you can do outside while still being at least 6 feet away from others is a great way to stay active. Just make sure to follow standard protocols for social distancing.
- Start Cooking
Whether you’re creating a meal or baking up a storm, cooking at home with your family keeps you on your feet and moving around while in the kitchen. It is also a great way to bring the family together, and learn a vital life skill of eating healthy. I know how easy it is to place a delivery order when things are hectic at home — thinking about what to make for dinner can be a daunting task, but it is worth it! Plan out what you want to make for the week, then set aside a day where you will go to the grocery store and meal prep for the next few days. Because you know exactly what ingredients are in your meals, cooking at home is actually cheaper and almost always healthier than ordering takeout.
It’s important to not get into a sedentary slump. Being apart from your friends and family is difficult, and can be very challenging. Staying positive and active can help immensely during these stressful times. By keeping your days filled with fun, new activities to keep your body and mind busy you will significantly improve your overall health. At the very least, get up from your couch and go for a short walk each morning or evening (avoiding the hot temperatures) to still feel connected to the outside world. And if you come up with any new socially distanced sports, let us know!