In this blog series, Sleep8 is branching out from sleep related topics to bring you fun activities that can be completed in about 60 minutes, the same duration as your Sleep8 cleaning cycle. These could be anything from recipes, crafts, DIY projects, skills to master, workouts, or more. Keep your eyes peeled to the Sleep8 blog to find your new favorite pastime.
How many Netflix series have you completed since the beginning of this crisis? Unfortunately for us as Americans the pandemic does not seem to be getting much better and the need for entertainment in the wake of decreased socialization still exists. While most people are turning to regular binge watching their favorite shows, we also have seen a serious decrease in physical activity.
Lack of physical activity has a huge impact on both our mental and physical health. It is important to listen to the recommendations the CDC has for protecting ourselves from the current pandemic taking hold of our nation, however it is also important to listen to their recommendations for our overall health as well. It is recommended that we have at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. While it may not be as fun as attending your weekly Zumba class, or salsa dancing after work with friends, here are some 60-minute activities you can use to make sure you are still getting your exercise in.
Start off with some stretching to warm your body up and prepare it for exercise.
- Lean slowly down and touch your toes, starting in the center and working your way to your left side and hold this position
- Return to center then work your way to the right side and hold, making sure to take deep breaths
- Slowly and purposefully rise back to a standing position, making sure to unlock and feel each vertebra on the way back up
- Reach up extending your hands above your head as high as they will go
- Extend your right arm over your left shoulder and hold then repeat with your left arm
- Lean your neck down towards your left shoulder and hold then return to center and repeat towards your right shoulder
- Rotate your neck slowly in a circle
- Make a slow lunge forward with your right foot and hold in a lunge position, then repeat with your left foot
- Return to standing position, raise your toes on one foot towards the sky and lean forward, putting weight on this calf, stretching it then repeat with other leg
For some more advanced stretches, check out this video:
Once stretched out you can try a variation of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) movements or body weight resistance exercises such as straight leg sit ups or reverse crunches, jumping jacks, squats, leg lifts, lunges, planks, or bridge lifts. In most of these you will do three to four sets of ten to twelve reps a piece, resting for 30-60 seconds. Try changing these up or discovering new ones to add into your routines.
There are also several different types of squat, pushup, and plank movements you can add in to increase the level of difficulty depending on what you need. For the sets mentioned above plus even more, try checking out sites like GymVentures or Healthline. Both have a lot of great moves and visual aids to help guide you through the workout.
If you like, you can add in ten minutes of cardio before and after your sets. Try taking a brisk walk or jog outside, or if you have a treadmill or elliptical in your home or apartment gym this also works well. Finish up by repeating the stretch sequence mentioned previously or try one of your own. You can also try using this 10 minute basic yoga cool-down as well.
Trying to incorporate the above into your new normal routine will give you something positive to look forward to, and plenty of ways to pass time. Maybe you could start incorporating stretching in the morning and before bedtime, or taking an extra 20 minutes in the middle of the day to go for a walk. The possibilities with these activities are endless, easily interchangeable, and the benefits tangible.
Written by: Mindi Flippen