By Kae Tritle, RN Wellness Coordinator
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted our usual life routines. While some people are essential workers for the hospitals, grocery/gas stores, police, fire and EMT departments, many of us are now social distancing, self-isolating, working, schooling, and shopping from home. A cartoon currently circulating is a person talking to a dog “Now I know why you get so excited about car rides!” Please be mindful of and pray for the essential workers.
Along with everything else, our self-care routines have also been disrupted. Health-fullness is multi-dimensional and includes physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and financial aspects of life.
A general assessment of your physical well-being can be done by answering the following questions:
- What I am doing with my body? (exercise and body movement)
- What I am putting into my body? (eating, drinking, and other substances)
- What I am doing to my body? (pace, workload, stress, and pressure)
- How I am resting my body? (sleep and relaxation activities)
- How am I maintaining current medical conditions? (medications and therapies)
This week’s focus is on body movement. Our bodies are made to be active. The three types of body movement are;
- Aerobic: activities that increase your heart rate. These include walking, running, dancing, bicycling, and old-fashioned calisthenics.
- Stretching: activities that strengthen the core muscles and the flexibility of your joints. These include dancing, yoga, Tai-chi, and pilates and moving your body gently.
- Strength: activities that build muscle tissue and strengthen bones. These include exercises involving moving your weight or working with external weights, hiking, calisthenics and manual labor (cleaning, yard work, building)
With the current reality of physical distancing, quarantines, and restrictions about where we can go, we are more or less confined to our homes and neighborhoods. Here are some strategies to move your body.
Therefore, lift your drooping hands, and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. (Heb 12; 12-13 RSV)
- Have dance parties on Facebook. Teach your family members the trendy dance from your era—the Lindy, Charleston, Swing dance, Jitterbug, the Swim, the Frog, Country line-dancing, hip-hop. Involve all generations. Work up a sweat and wake up your body!
- Check out an on-line class or gym. Several of the national gym chains are offering free on-line workouts. (Planet Fitness, Gold’s, etc.) These can be done in your home without equipment.
- Go for a daily walk. Walk around your neighborhood or small town. Dress for the weather and maintain a six feet distance from other persons, but do acknowledge them as you are out.
- Dust off your stationary bike, treadmillor other equipment. Get out the dumb-bell weights or exercise bands. You can find any type of work-out routines on-line or cable channels. The Little StrengthTraining Book by Erika Dillman is an excellent resource.
- Learn a new skill. Try out yoga, tai-chi or pilates. Again, there are on-line resources and DVDs from Amazon. Turn on the Disney, Nick, or Universal Kid channels and dance with the kids.
- Intentionally schedule a body movement break into your daily routine. It will help with both mental and emotional stress. The physical movement creates endorphins (the feel-good hormones), helps us feel like we are doing something and takes our focus off of what we can’t control.
Blessings as you discover new ways to move your body!