Already people are joking about how much weight they will gain during stay at home orders.  Can I help you?  Gaining weight from inactivity is not a requirement or a default during a lock down or quarantine.  It’s a choice. 

First, it’s easier to keep the weight off than to lose it later.  I know from experience.  Second, weight gain can make you depressed and anxious.  Third, even if everyone else around you is gaining weight, you don’t have to join the crowd.  You are able to make your own decisions.  Fourth, gaining weight is hard on your joints and your heart.  Fifth, joints need to be exercised; otherwise they become stiff.  Do you remember the last long meeting or your last long airplane flight?  Of course you felt stiff.  You had not moved for hours.

You can read about the benefits of exercise here.

I’m happy to report that I have gained zero weight and even lost some.  How have I done this?  I’ll be happy to share with you and give you more ideas on how you can keep moving even though you are at home.

First, I encourage you to limit your social media and television consumption.  Yes, there are hundreds and thousands of hours of news and social media information to consume, but beyond being informed about what is happening, you don’t need to be reading and watching.

If you need to read or watch something, learn a new skill or watch something encouraging and educational.  I am not scolding you.  I had to make this decision for myself.

Just because you are at home, it does not mean you need to be sitting on the couch.  Here are some ways to exercise and ideas to implement them.

1. Walk

This is my favorite way to exercise.  I like to walk with my husband or a friend.  When this is not possible, I listen to an audiobook while I walk.  Walking outside is the best right now so that you get Vitamin D and fresh air.

If you have not been walking very much, start with a walk around the block.  The next day, walk around the block twice.  Do not underestimate even a ten-minute walk.

If walking outside is not possible, walk inside your home.  Walk from room to room.  Walk up and down the stairs.

2.  Ride your bicycle.

Again, being outside is best.  If it is raining or you are not able to be outside, open a window and ride your stationery bicycle.

3.  Play with your children or grandchildren.  

Depending on the age of your children, you can play tag, hide and go seek, hop scotch, or their favorite outdoor game.

With older children, you can play volleyball (even in a circle if you do not have a net), HORSE or PIG with a basketball and a hoop, and many other games.

4.  Clean your home.

You probably have extra time due to canceled activities.  Why not use it to exercise while you are cleaning your home?  Even washing dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher uses calories.

Instead of using the mop, hand mop your floors.  While you are vacuuming, use the attachments to do the edging.

Since it’s spring cleaning time, it’s the perfect time to wash your garage floor, wash windows, and do the other seasonal cleaning.

5.  Start a garden.

Preparing your soil for planting, weeding, and taking care of your garden are all forms of exercise.  If you live where the temperatures are still cold, you can plan what you will plant and where you will plant it.

6.  Remember your gym class days. 

Jumping jacks and sit ups are still excellent forms of exercise.  They require no equipment and can be done inside.  A bonus is that you may be able to skip your caffeinated beverage.

7.  Clean and wash your car. 

Since your car is a magnet for germs, this activity will double as way to keep your family healthy.  Vacuum the inside of your car, including all the seats.  Wash all your windows, inside and out.  Add some essential oils to a mild cleaner and clean the steering wheel, cup holders, dashboard, and all other hard surfaces (horizontal and vertical).  Liberally spray down all the seats with your mild cleaner.  Your car will smell better inside and have much fewer germs.

Use the same mild detergent without essential oils to clean the outside of your car (the essential oils can take paint off).

You can make this into a fun family activity on a sunny day or do it by yourself.  🙂

8.  If parks are open, go for a hike. 

Again, this will give you an opportunity to be outside in nature.  Take your family along.  You can turn this into a homeschooling opportunity by teaching about about the different trees and plants you see.  If you do not know what the trees and plants are, you can learn with your children!

I hope that gives you a start to some ideas to keep moving during this quarantine.

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How have you been exercising during this pandemic?  Please share in the comments below.