Amid coronavirus crisis, exercise caution when exercising outdoors
Even as government officials warn us to “stay home, stay safe” during the coronavirus pandemic, people are flocking outdoors to walk and bike away their cabin fever. That might seem like a total contradiction. But according to health experts, it can be a healthy choice – as long as you exercise caution while exercising outdoors.
According to the American Heart Association, exercise has been shown to improve poor sleep habits and reduce stress, anxiety and depression – all of which rise during times of trouble, according to research. Since gyms are closed, many people are opting to head outside to get in activity. Experts suggest using precaution and making sure you stay at a 6-foot distance from those around you.
Children need exercise, too. Just make sure they heed the “playground closed” signs. The last thing you want, is your kid swinging on playground equipment some other kid sneezed on!
Some people also may now have more free time to exercise. Americans spend an average of 53 minutes each day commuting to and from work – time they can now potentially use to walk, dance or do yardwork.
If you’ve never exercised regularly or have fallen out of practice, don’t overdo it right away. Getting in 150 minutes of activity a week is recommended, but you can break it into short bursts and increase over time.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 25 and head outside to participate in the Central Arkansas Virtual Heart Walk. Participants and teams but are encouraged to get moving at home or around the neighborhood then posting a picture of their activity online and tagging @AHAArkansas. There’s still plenty of time to register your family by going to CentralArkansasHeartWalk.org.