Sustainability

Why keeping moving is more important than ever.

Sustainability

Why keeping moving is more important than ever.

We are made to move.

From our muscles, to our tendons, the electrical impulses firing through them to allow us to move.

We are made to move. However, in a time where the motto is ‘Stay home’ you may not feel the need to get up and move about.

The sofa is a tempting mistress and the TV is its faithful minion. However research shows that keeping moving and exercising is good for your brain. ‘exercise boosts mood, lowers stress levels and even improves cognitive functions like attention, memory and problem solving’ (Livestrong, 2015). In this blog post we will look at easy ways to get moving and stay moving in a time where all you might wanna do is sit and watch TV.

So what are the benefits of working out from home? Well you are in your own space, no onlooking from other gym members, reducing anxiety that you may have from being watched.

You also can catch up on TV shows and movies whilst doing so. Whilst at the gym you are pretty much subjected to whatever music the radio can muster up or the – let’s say eclectic – playlist put on by the gyms management, at home you can blast your guilty pleasures or watch that show you’ve been meaning to start whilst working on your mental and physical health.

You’ve read this far into this post and are thinking ‘yes absolutely let’s do this thing, how do I start?’

The NHS has released some easy to do, no added equipment necessary, exercises that you can do in the comfort of your living room. Here is an example of one of the exercises on there but visit their website to find an exercise that suits you and for more information and advice.

Before and after any workout it is important to warm up and then cool down your muscles and minimise the risk of injury. You can do this through gentle stretching.

10 minute at home Cardio Workout

Images in this post are from the NHS website linked above.

Rocket jumps: 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions (reps)

For rocket jumps, stand with your feet hip-width apart, legs bent and hands on your thighs.

Jump up, driving your hands straight above your head and extending your entire body. Land softly, reposition your feet and repeat.

For more of a challenge, start in a lower squat position and hold a weight or a bottle of water in both hands at the centre of your chest.

Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds.

Star jumps or squats: 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps

To do a star jump, stand tall with your arms by your side and knees slightly bent.

Jump up, extending your arms and legs out into a star shape in the air.

Land softly, with your knees together and hands by your side. Keep your abs tight and back straight during the exercise.

Squats

As a less energetic alternative, do some squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands down by your sides or stretched out in front for extra balance.

Lower yourself by bending your knees until they’re nearly at a right angle, with your thighs parallel to the floor.

Keep your back straight and don’t let your knees extend over your toes.

Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds.

Tap backs: 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps

To start tap backs, step your right leg back and swing both arms forward, then repeat with the opposite leg in a continuous rhythmic movement.

Look forward and keep your hips and shoulders facing forward. Don’t let your front knee extend over your toes as you step back.

For more of a challenge, switch legs by jumping (also known as spotty dog), remembering to keep the knees soft as you land. Your back heel needs to be off the floor at all times. Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds.

Burpees: 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps

To do a burpee from a standing position (1), drop into a squat with your hands on the ground (2). Kick your feet back into a push-up position (3). Jump your feet back into a squat (4) and jump up with your arms extending overhead (5). For an easier burpee, don’t kick out into the push-up position and stand up instead of jumping.

Going for a walk

Getting up and moving doesn’t have to be as intense as a 10 minute cardio workout, it could be as simple as going for a walk for at least half an hour every day. According to Prevention, ‘Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility’ and will improve your mood.

It also can improve your creative thinking. Research from the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition shows that going for a walk can spark creativity. “Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters,” Going for a walk may sound dull but if you are living in Canterbury you can liven up your walk by planning a route around our historic city. Back in June, SGO Emily released a blog post talking about different trails around Canterbury you could follow.

What ever you decide to do, try and get more movement into your day.

by Amy Bayliss-Fox, SGO Project Officer #livingwell

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