Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay healthy, happy and outside of hospital. By exercising at home you can look after your long-term health and wellbeing and hopefully stay in remission for longer.
Exercise is so important for our joints, inflammation, bones, mental health, immune system and so much more!
With gyms closed and as time spent outdoors is limited, you may have had to switch up your exercise routine.
Action planning – what will you do, when will you do it, for how long, with who and where?
Defining these things, writing them down or setting a reminder on your phone will make you more likely to carry out your movement for the day. Our brains are more focussed to complete a task and achieve goals when you set up specific intentions. In time, the more intentions you follow through with and fulfil the closer you will get to achieving your long-term fitness and wellbeing goals.
It’s helpful to make your space somewhere you want to exercise. Make sure you have enough room, pour yourself some water, open the window for some air…having a ritual of setting up your physical space will prepare your mental state for exercise.
Studies show that when we commit to exercising with a friend, we are more likely to follow through. Maybe you’ve lost your physical gym buddy, but who’s to say they can’t motivate you digitally!
Set a time to video call a friend so you can exercise together online. Perhaps you can decide on your activity and routine beforehand, so you have a joint understanding of what equipment and space you will need.
What happens when you don’t have any equipment at home? The answer lies in your bookcase. Unfortunately, you can’t read-yourself-fit, but what you can do, is use your books for weights!
Find ones you find easy to grip or balance and have a go! You can also experiment with a backpack with books inside on your front or back. Some people also use bottles filled with sand or small cans. As you experiment, stay safe by engaging your core, doing fewer reps and starting with a weight lighter than usual.
That’s right – snack on bites of movements. This means moving little and often. Climb your stairs, stand up and have a dance or do a few squats as you brush your teeth. Your activity is likely to have dropped recently so incorporate it with your daily activities – it can help you feel energised throughout the day.
Your approach to exercise does not have to feel overwhelming. Start off small and build it up slowly. Movement snacks will slowly build up your activity levels in a safe and measured way. Remember to keep it enjoyable, as this will keep you motivated.
Are you aware of using Heart Rate Variability as a measure to understand what type of exercise your body is ready for? HRV could help indicate inflammation, stress or pain in the body and help you understand what type of intensity you should be moving at on that day.
To our knowledge, there is currently no research into using HRV for exercise within a population with a long-term inflammatory condition, but it still may be worth looking into! Learning about and engaging with something new can motivate you to keep track of your exercise and build your body awareness.
There are lots of online classes that are live streaming or hosted on YouTube, which can inspire you to stay active whilst at home. We are lucky to be a few ‘googled words’ away from online workouts and fun ways to exercise. To keep it fresh, delve into something new. Here are some popular choices you could try online…
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