The pandemic is once again rearing it’s ugly head to a 3rd spike in infections. As the reality of a socially distanced winter begins to settle for some, anxiety may also make an appearance.
Staying active doesn’t just help curb mind tension, but also boosts your body’s functions to include the immune system. Do your best to not let the anxiety grip you because we’ve got a few tips on how you and your spouse can stay happy, healthy, and fit this winter.
According to the American Council on Exercise, a 120-lb person burns 11.4 calories per minute of running. A 180-lb person burns 17 calories. Regular exercise not just boosts your immune system but helps clear out airways in the sinuses and lungs. This has been shown to reduce the chances of succumbing to the effects of a cold, flu, or other illness.
If you’re not the running types, even regular walking has benefits to offer you and your spouse. Walking immediately after meals has been shown to aid in digestion, managing blood sugar, and give a tiny boost to your metabolism. Or you can ride bicycles and get all the same benefits plus organic WD-40 for your knees!
I’ve long preached that flexibility and mobility are the keys to youth. Yoga is an activity that will boost these attributes in spades for it’s participants. But also, yoga adds lean, dense muscle fiber to your physique while loosening your joints. Yoga aids weight management and upgrades your cardio, circulatory, and respiratory health. Yoga can even help fix nagging injuries and/or help prevent new injuries or tweaks.
Our respiratory health is one thing we can’t afford to take for granted this winter.
3. Combat fitness
Harvard Health reports that a 125-lb person burns upwards of 300 calories in 30 min of kickboxing. They also reported a 185-lb person can burn 444 calories in the same amount of time.
A relatively inexpensive way to stay in incredible shape is to buy some training gloves, focus mitts, hand-wraps and look up YouTube martial arts technique videos. This will also build a shared intimacy between you and your partner as you both navigate new waters for the first time. Or if one of you is seasoned, it’ll be that much easier to bond over the entire experience.
I recommend steering clear of any grappling styles as you could severely injure yourself without a proper instructor present.
4. Body weight exercises
You can perform these in a nearby park or from the comfort of your own home. These are the basic, but integral, moves of exercising. Some of us may fancy ourselves push-up champs or pull-up masters but being honest we’ve yet to perfect the technique.
Try making a shared goal to be able to do something you’ve never done before. Maybe your first pull-up, maybe your first muscle-up. It may even take you all winter to accomplish it, but don’t give up. Keep training those pull-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, squats, lunges, good mornings, and burpees until you know you’re a master.
5. Body-on-body exercises
These are the same basic concept as the bodyweight exercises, except you can use the weight of your partner. Maybe your partner can push down on center of your upper back while you do push-ups to make them more challenging. Maybe your partner can use your body weight to boost their benefits reaped from old-fashioned squats.
Or maybe you can come up with some fun new body challenges in a more intimate setting. However you can burn those calories and boost your immune system, great, but while having fun? Even better!
6. Invest in a home gym
Investing in a home gym cuts some of the crappier parts of staying fit out of the equation. You no longer need worry about commutes to and from the gym, before or after work. You don’t worry about packing a bag to wait for equipment a quarter of the time you’re in the gym. And you mitigate all risk of infection from the lack of care/attention of others around you. You can buy all the perfect equipment for your needs and rest assured knowing you know everyone who uses it.
Those who’ve already invested in home gyms before 2020 must sleep with giant grins on their face all night.
The earlier in life we begin to invest in a home gym, the more money we’ll save in the long run from those annoying gym fees. Mine charges me $45 twice a year for doing absolutely nothing and calling it a maintenance fee.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Call the HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re in crisis or for any reason you are unable to talk safely, text NAMI to 741741.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline. 800-273-TALK (8255)
Self-Injury Outreach and Support. Learn and/or share personal stories while learning coping skills for the urge to self-harm.
If you enjoyed reading about caring for yourself and partner this winter, you may also find this article from Psych Today insightful. How to bolster your mental health for the coming COVID Winter written by Dr. Susan Biali Haas