COVID-19 has altered the typical rhythm of our lives, from the way we grocery shop to how we work out. Here are a few ideas to help you get active while you’re spending time at home
WalkingWalking around the neighborhood is a simple way to get some fresh air while still being able to keep distance between yourself and others. Walking the dog, walking to the grocery store rather than driving, and simply walking around your yard are excellent ways to get moving. Studies have shown that walking approximately 30 minutes a day improves cardiovascular health, builds stronger bones, and reduces the risk of certain life-threatening conditions, such as stroke and heart disease. You may find that wearing a pedometer to track your steps throughout the day is a helpful tool to encourage you to be more active, especially while primarily spending time at home. To avoid getting bored while traveling around your neighborhood, try taking different routes so that each walk feels new.
YogaWhether you practice indoors or in a secluded spot outside, yoga is an excellent form of exercise that is perfect for this stressful time. Yoga can increase flexibility, help reduce stress and anxiety, and improve cardiovascular health. Because yoga is a typically calm activity, it can be beneficial for mental clarity and its meditative structure helps people relax. There are a multitude of resources available for at-home yoga practices. Check out O2 Aspen’s YouTube Channel for on demand classes, head to @KingYoga on Instagram for live classes, or download an app and follow along. Chair yoga can be an excellent starting point for beginners or someone with restricted movement capabilities. Doing yoga as a family can help children practice self-regulation while parents can enjoy a moment of peace.
Running and Jogging
If you live near one of Aspen’s beautiful parks or trails, such as the Rio Grande Trail, Sunnyside Trail, or Smuggler, going out for a jog can help you get outside safely. There are a plethora of perks linked to jogging, including decreasing insulin resistance, boosting your immune system, and reducing stress levels and increasing cortisol levels, which can help people cope with depression. If you’re used to walking laps around your neighborhood but have hit a performance plateau, consider picking up the pace to increase your athleticism. Similarly, increasing your pace from jogging to running will intensify your workout. If you don’t know where to start, consider starting the Couch to 5K running program, which will guide you through nine weeks of runs designed to increase your strength and stamina.
Circuit training is a general term for completing a sequence of exercises that typically target multiple muscle groups for a full-body workout. With anywhere between 8 to 15 different exercises with little to no rest between them, this type of exercise will boost your heart rate and your muscle mass. Local studios like Ritual and Pure Barre Aspen are offering a variety of classes on Instagram daily. Mixing cardio and weight training exercises can be effective for simultaneously burning fat and building muscle, which makes this type of exercise popular. Exercises like these can be done with or without equipment. Bodyweight exercises include push-ups and sit-ups, planks and wall sits, and so much more. Circuit training is also efficient, which is perfect if you’re not ready to devote long hours to your exercise routine since typical training sessions last approximately fifteen to thirty minutes.
CyclingWhether you opt for an indoor stationary bike or taking a spin around the neighborhood, cycling is a great form of exercise that is simple enough for beginners. Riding a bicycle activates all the major muscle groups, which increases strength, and this cardio exercise will also increase your stamina. Cycling is a low-impact exercise, which is suitable for anyone who needs to reduce stress on their bones and joints for safety. Additionally, adding cycling to your routine during quarantine can be an excellent habit to keep when life returns to normal. Cycling is an efficient form of traveling, especially around Aspen’s close-knit community, and can help reduce your personal carbon footprint, making it an effective way to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Plus, cycling is a fun way to experience nature and increase your mood. Be sure to wear proper protective gear, follow all traffic laws, and practice cycling etiquette while cycling outdoors.
Jump RopeThis favorite recess pastime is now a quick cardio session at home. Jumping rope has shown the potential of increasing cognitive function in both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, strengthening leg muscles to reduce leg and ankle injuries, and is a super effective aerobic activity that bolsters the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. This is why jumping rope is often practiced by boxers and martial artists hoping to increase their endurance levels. For weight loss, jumping rope has been proven to burn calories at a high rate, potentially as high as 1,000 calories per hour. Jump ropes are also portable, which means that you can practice jumping rope in your living room, your backyard, or at the park with ease. Plus, if you’ve ever grabbed a jump rope during your school recess, you know this exercise’s main attraction: it’s fun! Don’t skip cardio. Instead, skip a jump rope.
Climb StairsIf your home has a set of stairs, then you are one step ahead when it comes to staying active. Stair climbers and step machines are popular gym options for cardio, but using traditional, stationary stairs is equally as effective. Compared to running, climbing stairs adds movement in the vertical plane, so bodies must work against the force of gravity while maintaining balance for increased intensity. Stair climbing burns three times more calories than walking and two times more calories than running and can easily become strenuous. If you’re a beginner, make sure you start slow. Even conducting 10-minute exercises three times a week will help you stay active in short doses while acclimating to the activity. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down before and after your workout. Stair climbing doesn’t require any extra equipment or any payment, so as long as you have a set of stairs, it’s easy to get moving.
Weight LiftingYou don’t need a full gym to lift weights. By incorporating these exercises into your at-home routine, you’ll save the cost of a gym membership, can enjoy the privacy of your own home without feeling self-conscious, and can exercise easily any time of the day. Weight lifting can also be easily adjusted to each individual’s skill level to accurately meet the physical needs of each person. Bringing this anaerobic exercise home is as easy as having a few dumbbells, kettlebells, or resistance bands, or simply performing bodyweight exercises. Get creative by using sandbags, water bottles, or books in place of free weights if you don’t have any at home. Incorporating all three types of weight lifting exercises—bodyweight, free weight, and resistance band circuits—is an excellent way to target every muscle group without using a gym. Build lean muscle mass, improve posture and balance, and boost your metabolism with weight lifting exercises—even during quarantine.
PilatesPilates is designed to stimulate muscles to improve balance, flexibility, and overall strength through aerobic exercises. Typically, Pilates incorporates low-impact exercises for core strength, which promotes proper posture. Although it incorporates movements similar to yoga, this exercise originated as a rehabilitation exercise for soldiers during World War I and primarily focuses on therapeutic solutions for core stability, whereas yoga is a multi-faceted practice. Pilates has shown benefits for arthritis, back pain, and more. Local studios such as O2 Aspen, Ritual and Tonic Method all offer live classes on Instagram daily. Additional online resources for pilates include Blogilates, Pilates Anytime, and Glo.
Dance CardioMoving your body doesn’t always have to look like a typical gym workout. Sometimes getting moving is as easy as turning on your favorite music and dancing along. Dance cardio workouts, like The Sculpt Society program from Megan Roup, target all the muscle groups and are intended to keep a smile on your face while doing it. Dance cardio workouts can be found online since we’ve had to forego our usual Zumba and 305 Fitness classes at the gym.
Aspen’s innate beauty has inspired people to congregate here for decades. Although we’ve had to forego the trails and the slopes this spring, there are still many ways to lead an active lifestyle. If you’d like to learn more about Aspen luxury homes for sale or East Aspen real estate, contact me today for more information. You should love where you live, and I am happy to help you find the perfect place.