Happy New Year!
With winter here, many of us have been spending a lot more time at home. This can make it difficult to stay physically and mentally healthy and active. But just because we are inside more doesn’t mean that we can’t stay healthy. There are plenty of ways to exercise, organize, and meditate without ever leaving your house or buying lots of new products.
The Benefits of Routine Exercise
We all know that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise helps to keep our bodies and minds healthy and functioning properly. Regular physical activity can help to reduce stress, improve mood, improve sleep, boost energy, increase immunity, and lower the risk for serious illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. Exercise also helps to improve our mental and emotional well-being, which is especially important. By exercising regularly, we can maintain a strong body and a strong mind. Nearly all of our communities have luxury amenities like a fitness center and/or swimming pool, but if you can’t make it to those, you can always find a way to work out at home.
Use Your Space
You don’t need to buy a lot of equipment to turn your home into a workout space. In fact, you may not need to buy anything at all! There are many workout classes available online or via an app that will require nothing more than some clear space and an open mind. Make sure you’re conscious of your neighbors when working out at home. Try to keep your music at an acceptable level and keep any loud, impactful movement to a minimum.
Bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges, are excellent for improving strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. You can also use everyday items around your house, such as books, heavy bags, or even water jugs, to add weight or variety to these exercises.
Yoga is another great option for those looking to improve their strength and flexibility without any fancy equipment. You can easily find yoga instructors and/or classes on apps like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. It’s recommended that you use a floor mat for these, but if you have a carpet that will not slip underfoot, that is a fine alternative.
Don’t forget about isometrics! One exercise that almost everyone can do is the classic plank. This core-strengthening move is easy to do and requires zero equipment. Start by holding a plank position for approximately 30 seconds and gradually increase the amount of time as your strength and stamina improve. Make sure you check your positioning; keep your shoulders above your hands/elbows, keep your toes in contact with the ground, activate your core and gluteus muscles, and keep your neck and head in line with your back. Make sure you don’t lock your elbows or knees!
An easy way to get some cardio is to put on your favorite playlist and dance around your home like nobody is watching. Dancing can increase your flexibility, ease anxiety, and improve your active heart rate in addition to your ability to rest. Not to mention it’s fun! If you want to take it a little further, find a video with choreography that you can mimic for each song so that you have some standard to follow.
At-Home Workout Equipment
If you’re not able to get to your community’s fitness center, there are several all-in-one pieces of equipment you can purchase to increase the likelihood of daily at-home exercise. From exercise bikes like Peloton to workout machines like Tonal, these products take up minimal space in your home and allow you to work out with an instructor while tracking your fitness goals.
Personalized Fitness Subscription Services
With so many fitness-based subscription services available, having access to personalized routines has never been easier. By using something like the be.come project, you work with a small business that is focused entirely on user experience. There are tutorials available on how to adjust exercises so that you can find what works best for you and your body.
Did you know that keeping things organized can lower your cortisol levels? Cortisol is, in essence, the body’s alarm clock. When things go wrong, your cortisol levels increase, increasing your anxiety and/or fear. To manage these levels, tackle home organizational projects. Start small with something like a junk drawer. Whatever can be moved to another “home base” can be put into a box so that you stay focused on the task/room at hand.
Once you’ve started organizing, you’ll notice that your mind is able to compartmentalize your thoughts and emotions better, you’re able to navigate potential anxiety easier, and it will be easier to keep your space clean going forward. An organized space often leads to an organized mind.
First things first, the kitchen. Go through your refrigerator and pantry and dispose of any expired items. This will give you a clear indication of how frequently you use certain things so that you can better plan for future meals. Take that bag of plastic bags and find other uses for them. Donate to your friend with a pet or use them as trash bags in smaller bins. Make weekly meal prep lists so that you’re prepared for what you need to buy on your next grocery store trip.
We’ve all held onto products that we haven’t used in a while. Why not get rid of them? They’re taking up space in both your bathroom and your mind, as every time you see them you think, “Man, I should really throw that out.” Now is the time to do just that! Only keep what you use, and you’ll find plenty of space magically opens up.
Clothing Closets & Drawers
Do you have a clothing closet or set of drawers that are bursting at the seams? It may be time to pare down your wardrobe. If there are clothes you own that no longer fit your body or no longer fit your style, donate them to a local shelter or sell them at a consignment shop. This will not only help you save space but can even add a little income to your bank account.
We often hold onto books we’ve read thinking that one day we will read them again. However, we so rarely ever do read them again. Take those books and put together a box to donate to a local library, school, or used bookstore. You’ll be amazed at how much extra space you’ll find available.
Taking time out of your day to meditate will help with everyday anxiety and stress and improve your sleep. If you can sit through a short, guided meditation for 5 to 10 minutes per day for 7 days straight, you’ll start to notice that your brain and body begin to respond to stressors differently. Rather than ruminating on the bad, you shift to focusing on how to improve things and express gratitude for the positives. And meditation doesn’t have to be traditional; it can come in many forms, from journaling about your thoughts, to doing some specialized breathing exercises, cooking a favorite meal from scratch, coloring/drawing, or listening to a favorite song without distraction.
All the Amenities You’ll Need for a Healthy Lifestyle Are Found at Garden Communities!