Is it me, or does this January feel different? Not only is there no snow on the ground, but temperatures have managed to stay in the high thirties for weeks. This may come as a relief to outdoor enthusiasts such as myself who — especially during these lockdowns — need to get outside to escape daily stressors. This week, let’s start channeling this good weather into movement motivation. We’ve got plenty of articles from around the web that will make you get up and get active. So, let’s get physical.
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
It’s no secret that one of the most important benefits of exercise is improved cardiovascular health. However, there are many theories out there about how too much activity puts a strain on your heart. Let this article by Kate Kelland ease your mind — it details a recent study on the relationship between exercise volume and benefits.
“The research found ‘every move counts’ towards improving cardiovascular health,” Kelland writes. “With the lowest risk for heart disease seen in people who exercised the most.” The study noted that the top 25% of participants who engaged in vigorous physical activity reduced their risk of heart disease by well over 50%.
If you’re looking to test out your own heart health, check out this research study that describes how climbing the stairs is a simple way to check on your cardiovascular strength.
Working out doesn’t have to be another chore on your list. From walking with friends to dancing in your living room, there are many ways to get active. Some out of the ordinary ideas that guarantee a fun time are hula-hooping, dancing, mixed martial arts and indoor rock climbing.
If you’re looking to get in on the latest trends, check out this article by Julie Upton that details the top five health trends for 2021. Included are immune-boosting foods, healthy frozen food alternatives and fitness apps such as Apple Fitness Plus, MyFitnessPal and Peloton.
I’m not going to pretend that most of us don’t already know the general benefits of working out. It’s great for your heart and muscles, strengthens your joints and makes you feel good. I can go on all day, but for something more interesting, check out this article from Healthline that discusses how hiking promotes brain health. Hiking actually exercises your brain’s hippocampus, “an essential region for learning, memory, and navigation” and provides an opportunity to improve neuroplasticity, “the nervous system’s ability to accommodate new demands and information.” So head to a local trail and give your body, and brain, some exercise.
Did you know that regular exercise is also a way to help prevent and treat Parkinson’s disease? This article from U.S News describes how 61-year-old John Cullen turned to powerlifting to alleviate his symptoms of Parkinson’s. From weight training to cardio, the cognitive components of exercise — in other words, the mental concentration involved — help those battling this disease.
Important COVID-19 Workout Advice
If you or a loved one has contracted COVID-19 and are looking to slowly get back into a workout routine, first read this article for professional advice on safely returning to physical activity after contracting COVID-19. Provided is advice tailored to each of the symptoms one may have experienced while battling the virus.
Good Workouts and Listens
I have recently downloaded the popular app called Sweat, designed by Australian fitness entrepreneur Kayla Itsines. It’s perfect for anyone looking for more fitness guidance either at home or at the gym. Personally, I love the fact that it schedules workouts and rest days for me. Access to a Sweat workout plan does require a subscription, however, Yahoo is providing free access Itsines’ complete five-day workout challenge. Which you can do in your living room.
Check out Time’s list of 50 of the best songs to get you motivated. Add these your playlist and get moving.
Or, watch this for some hilarious ’80s-themed motivation. Boy do I wish I was around when these tapes were popular.