Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19
With many around the nation sheltering in place to participate in safety precautions against COVID-19, it’s important to remember that spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing should still be a priority in our lives. Most gyms have been shuttered. In some areas, beaches and hiking trails are closed. Walking outside is still permitted for health purposes, but walkers are reminded to exercise while maintaining a six-foot buffer zone for “social distancing”.
With so much stress surrounding us, taking time to turn off the television or radio and to exercise provides a needed break from negative news and restores our energy, enabling us to remain strong inside and out. During this time of social isolation, getting sufficient exercise, rest, and healthy nutrition may seem challenging but can be critical to our overall health.
As always, exercise only under the supervision of and with the approval of your personal physician. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average American senior (age 65+) should aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity two days per week.
The following are a few ways to keep active while staying indoors:
Silver Sneakers is a nationwide health resource for seniors over the age of 65. While primarily oriented toward in-person classes are locations around the country, the company has pivoted to provide at-home workouts via their on-demand videos. Additionally, the free Silver Sneakers app Silver Sneakers Go offers a variety of easy to follow workouts. The Silver Sneakers Facebook page is offering live workouts that can also be viewed after the livestream finishes.
Your Public Library branches may be closed at this time, but most libraries offer members access to a variety of digital tools, including streaming video services such as Hoopla and e-book services such as Libby. If you’ve wanted to learn a new exercise routine, these can be terrific free resources. Additionally, consider using your library’s music streaming service to find great tunes for your workout.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) maintains a growing library of health-related videosincluding indoor walking, total body circuits, and general health related videos.
YouTube is filled with excellent resources for seniors, but viewers should exercise caution when making selections. Select reliable sources for safe workout videos on YouTube such as the National Institute on Aging.
If you belong to a gym or exercise service, be sure to check the website for your facility. Many are working diligently to provide streaming classes during this time. There are also numerous smartphone and tablet apps such as Peloton that provide subscription services and a variety of workout levels from novice to expert. Some such services are currently providing free trial offers for new users.
As we continue to pray for those impacted by the coronavirus, let us remember that care of our physical bodies enables us to continue to care for those around us.