Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to Stay Active At Home When the Days Get Shorter

Canadian Chiropractic Association

During this time of year, days are getting progressively shorter and we may start to feel a little more pressed for time. Most of us already struggle finding time to stay active, which can take a toll on our overall health and the health of our spines. Staying active and mobile is important to keeping our spine healthy, and decreasing overall tension and stress which can also help prevent MSK conditions. As little as fifteen minutes to a half hour of activity a day can help prevent MSK conditions.

When you feel short on time as the daylight shortens, here are some ways you can stay active at home.
 

Fit-in-15!

 
This is one of our favourite ways to stay active. The Fit-in-15 program was developed by Canada’s Doctors of Chiropractic, recognizing the difficulty in scheduling physical activity in your daily routine. It allows you to quickly build a 15-minute workout plan to target muscle strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Designed for simple, practical use, Fit-in-15 will help you stay motivated and active from home!
 

Schedule Your Workout

Sometimes even the perception of shorter days can leave us feeling anxious and stressed about missing out on activities you enjoy – like your workout. If you constantly feel like you are too pressed for time for physical activity, try scheduling it into your day as though it were a meeting you can’t miss. Use the Straighten Up Canada app and set reminders to complete your exercises.
 

Working out at Home

If you don’t feel like heading out into the cold or darkness to get your workout, try some resistance training at home  or follow along to a workout video. Introduce simple, scalable and easy to do activities to your day, such as push-ups, sit-ups and lunges1. These exercises are easy to do since they rely on your own body weight and do not require the use of equipment. You may also find a variety of workout videos on YouTube or popular fitness sites if you do not have the means to purchase a program at home.
 

Weekly Chores

Being indoors makes it easier for us to fall complacent to sedentary activities such as watching TV or using the computer. A great way to stay regularly active at home is to commit to a schedule of daily chores broken down in 15-30 minute segments. Instead of investing hours during the weekend, consider breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable routines that could also provide you the opportunity for daily exercise. These could include any chores or duties around the home like vacuuming, doing laundry, or mopping2. Committing to your chores on a consistent basis will keep you physically active even when the weather discourages us to venture outside.
 
Staying active can become a challenge as the days get shorter and the lack of exposure to daylight drains our energy. Yet, daily activity can be an important factor to re-energizing the body and the mind, while preventing MSK conditions.
 
For more tips on how to stay active at home during the fall and winter months, visit your local chiropractor.