GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The director of wellness and recreation at Georgia Gwinnett College, Carl Woods, is providing tips and tricks to cope with the new normal of staying at home during the coronavirus.
“It’s a huge loss and almost depressing for some people when they can’t go to the gym every day,” said Woods. “But there are plenty of ways to stay active at home – and even people who don’t exercise regularly should set aside the time.”
Woods points out that exercise is good for the mind as well as the body, and in a crisis like this keeping one’s mental health is as important as anything.
“It’s really important to do the basic things – drink water, walk before and after meals, and watch your meal consumption because our bodies aren’t burning as many calories as they normally would going to our places of work and back each day. Doing the physical basics can set you on the path to holistic health.”
“Most people are thinking they can’t go out but couldn’t be farther from the truth,” he said. “We’re practicing social distancing, not complete isolation. We just have to be cognizant and respectful of other people’s space and make sure our hygiene is where it needs to be for the safety of others. So go to the park and have a walk, but be sure to choose a park or trail that is not crowded. If you have to pass someone, do it quickly and maintain that distance of six feet of separation. Be sure to check the park’s website or social media page for up-to-date hours of operation and/or closures. It might seem odd at first but this is our new normal for now.”
Here are Woods’ seven favorite tips to keep your mind and body in shape during this national crisis:
- Get outside! Take a walk, jog, or do yard work. At this time most municipalities are encouraging their residents to use public trails and parks to stay healthy.
- Add a little movement to your everyday routine: walk and converse on the phone instead of sitting, heel/toe raises at the kitchen sink, squats before sitting down, inline pushups on the steps as you go up, a few lunges down the hallway, etc.
- Use the internet in a different way: There are thousands of classes online for everyone at every fitness level that teach a spectrum of exercise programs, from CrossFit to yoga and everything in between.
- Do bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and lunges, or use common household items for weight resistance.
- Don’t forget to stretch! Flexibility is very important for overall health, especially as you get older.
- Exercise your brain. Try downloading a mediation app to your smart device or doing brain-buster puzzles.
- Drink plenty of water.
Carl Woods has been the director of wellness and recreation at Georgia Gwinnett College since 2014. He earned his undergraduate degree in health and physical education from Clark Atlanta University and his master’s degree in urban teacher leadership from Georgia State University.
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