I hope you all are breathing clean air these days! Those of us on the west coast really got a taste of what the Apocalypse could be like. The picture below was published in the San Francisco Chronicle and the entire Bay Area for hundreds of miles (including my town of Healdsburg) looked much the same. By the way, this is not sunset. It is mid-day! And according to the website purpleair.com, which measures the air quality index around the world, it was many times worse in Oregon and Washington.
Many of us were stuck inside for more than two weeks. As a result, several people reached out to me asking what to do when they could not get out for a walk, run or hike. Personally, I am a huge fan of exercising outside in nature because nature itself provides an additional boost of good vibes and really complements the endorphins that come from the exercise itself. But sometimes, getting outdoors just is not possible. That does not mean, however, that we are destined to sit on the couch during these times!
Being indoors is a great time for strength training. Even if you do not have equipment at home, body weight exercises such as pushups, planks, sit ups, and squats can keep your muscles engaged so that you minimize your fitness loss. If you want to add weight but do not have access to dumbbells, cans of soup, bags of dog food, and boxes of kitty litter work just as well. And of course, there are plenty of cardio exercises that can be done at home and in small spaces such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and the often dreaded burpees.
If you are interested in expanding your repertoire of easy-to-do exercises, join me for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Challenge (starting October 8th) when I will demonstrate exercises you can do anywhere, anytime, with no equipment or simple things you already have around the house. Each exercise will have several options to take into account various fitness levels, so everyone will be able to do each one. I will be posting to Facebook Live on Thursday mornings at 8am PST (11am EST) and will send the videos out by email as well for those you who are anti-Facebook. If you want to follow along live, be sure to join our Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/wimruntheworld. And yes, October 8th is just 12 weeks away from Christmas. Shocking, I know!
Now you may be asking yourself, how important is this really? So what if I spend two weeks sitting on the couch? That’s not going to kill me, right? True, you probably will not die (at least right away or as a direct result of spending two weeks on the couch). However, it will help you. It is true, I promise! While I know this from personal experience, I also love reposting articles and research that shows how much being active can actually BENEFIT you. It is not just about preventing heart disease or obesity or other illnesses. Exercise can have a huge positive impact on not only your body, but your life. And according to this article, it can even make you smarter!