So here we are in January 2021 and if you live on planet Earth you have been in some degree of lockdown or stay-at-home for most of December. Binge-watching Netflix, holiday snacking, afternoon naps, too many big dinners of Christmas day leftovers and probably a couple of drinks a day have all taken their toll on your waistline and energy levels. But that’s OK because New Year’s resolutions to get up off the couch, drink green smoothies and walk 1000 steps a day usually kick in on the 4th of January. Except, probably not this year, this year you probably don’t have access to a beach or a park and certainly not the gym.
First of all - get up off the couch!!
Don’t worry, we are not going to do any exercise, and we are certainly not going to break any lockdown regulations! Instead, here are some fun and inventive ideas to get the blood flowing again...
The lost art of hula-hooping is a great way to have fun and work on your waistline by toning core muscles while burning calories.
Did you know that laughter burns calories?
(So it's a double win because there are going to be some funny moments!)
So you need a hoop? Most big retail shops sell the for about R19.99 but these are really only good for the kids because they are lightweight and have a small diameter. Adults need a heavier hoop and the size of the hoop is determined by your height. Have a look at this great video on how to select a hoop. And if you are looking for a great quality hula-hoop, why not contact these local online shops
Reawaken childhood joy and skip. Skipping is a great cardio exercise that improves heart health, increases concentration and improves co-ordination.
It's going to be fun, the kids will want to join in, possibly the dog too. If the days on the couch have turned into months and it has been a couple of decades since you held a rope in your hands, you probably want to be gentle on yourself (there are some seriously sadistic jump masters on Youtube).
In this video, Nhlamulo takes you through a warm-up and a basic skipping routine 5 Minute Jump Rope Workout. If you are up to a bit more of a challenge then Rhopes has some awesome moves 3 minutes Jump Rope Workout
---> Buy a locally manufactured jump rope, because Local Is Lekker from Fizique
Take the Stairs
I can't say this enough ALWAYS TAKE THE STAIRS!
Peri-menopausal and menopausal women, take the stairs! It improves bone density, is good for balancing blood pressure and decreases arterial stiffness in the legs - all common in post-menopause women.
Heading into your office building? Do an intense 20 second run up the stairs, this is excellent for your heart and lungs. At the parking garage or shopping centre even walking up the stairs at a slow pace you will burn three times more calories than walking on a flat surface.
There are so many ways you can do this!
- Turn up the radio, leave the dishes and just rock out in the kitchen for an intense 3 minutes.
- Create a playlist of your 10 all-time favourite dance songs, that's about 30 minutes of high energy.
- Family disco night, light incense and candles, put up fairy lights and turn up the music for a fun, laughter-filled evening, even let the teen record it on TikTok.
Here’s how it's done (I bet many of you reading this blog will remember this anthem) Rhythm is a Dancer - with great moves!
Order incense online at Cosmic Bazaar, a Nourish Soap stockist with a wonderful range of incense.
What could be better than being out in the sunshine, digging and planting, hands in the soil, birdsong in your ears and smelling the flowers?
It doesn't matter whether it is a large piece of land, a postage stamp or a couple of pots on your balcony - gardeners live longer, have less stress and depression, and improved immune systems. Gardening is a recognized form of gentle aerobic exercise. If you have enough space to grow your own herbs and vegetables, that's a double health win.
Always use chemical-free products on your edible gardens, like the versatile Neem oil that can be sprayed onto plants as a pesticide and fungicide. Neem oil is excellent for dry skin and will also help stop the itch and sting of insect bites on your hands. Try the organic Neem oil from Organic Choice, an online shop of all things organic for your home and a Nourish Soaps stockist.
Wash the car
Stretch, lean, squat, wash, brush, polish this could be a complete work out with the added benefit of a clean car and you save a few bucks by doing it yourself. Pick a bright sunny day, put on a groovy playlist (yes, dance around the car like no-one is watching), splosh buckets of water, get wet, have fun.
Being mindful that the soap is going to run into the garden or the water system, please use bio-degradable products like Natural Orange All-Purpose Cleaning Gel from Organic Choice. To get rid of that lovable but smelly dog smell in the upholstery try their Earth Sap Pet Stain & Odour Removal Spray. For a super-luxury finish, if you have leather upholstery in your car, protect it with Triple Orange Leather Protect also from Organic Choice. Your car will not only look clean inside and out but will smell lovely too.
A daily walk of about 30minutes is still one of the best ways to self-care, increases heart and lung fitness; improves balance; strengthens bones; tones muscles and reduces stress. You may not have access to a beach or the park but roads are still open or perhaps there is a farm track or forest area near your house.
Create space in your day for ‘me-time’, take along your favourite child (the furry one, of course) or load up the kids and bikes and turn a daily walk into a family outing.
Don't forget the sunblock! Simply Bee is free from nasty chemicals and is available from another fabulous Nourish Natural Soap Stockist, Only Natural. You can build shorter, quicker walks into your day, like walking to the shop or parking a block or two away from the office or at the far side of the mall parking lot - it all adds up. Keep a pair of walking shoes in your car for an impromptu walk. When you get home, lather up with Simply Bee After Sun Lotion also available at Only Natural.
Honestly, this is my all-time favourite fitness hack! Did you know that when you are well-rested, you are less hungry? Sleep deprivation or bad sleep messes with hormones that control appetite.
Sleep builds our immune system. During deep sleep our glucose levels drop, allowing the blood sugar to ‘reset.' When your blood pressure goes down it then allows your heart and blood vessels a bit of a rest. Most of all when we are well rested we are happier and our minds are sharper. So sleep makes us physically, emotionally and mentally fit.
The past few months have been stressful no matter who you are or where you live leading to an increase in insomnia, which can lead to depression. To get sleep fit it is important that you have a routine, you need to train your body and mind into healthy sleep patterns.
Start by selecting an appropriate bedtime so that you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Set an alarm 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime so that you can make a lovely cup of herbal tea, don't drink anything caffeine or sugar-based and get ready for bed.
Put away the screens, this is really important! Reading a book or magazine is a great way to calm the brain before falling asleep.
Why not make this bedtime routine special with some of these products:
Remineralizing Toothpowder our very own Nourish product for healthy teeth and gums, without the nasty chemicals.
So, there are 8 fitness hacks to see you into this new 2021 year. Have fun, laugh a lot (even when it's hard) and be easy on yourself because a healthy mind is a healthy body.
Wishing you well!!