The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation has partnered with RBC, Pembina and experts at the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute to bring awareness to the RBC Global Virtual Race for the Kids and our own mental health. These tips are part of an ongoing series we hope will get everyone thinking about self-care as we navigate uncertain times. And if you haven't already, there is still time to register for the RBC Global Virtual Race for the Kids October 17-18! Registration is free AND you can fundraise in support of the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation for vital programs and research at the Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health – opening in late 2021.
Work it Wednesday
SPONSORED BY RBC
Physical activity is scientifically proven to improve mental health. You can stay physically active at home with these tips from RBC Olympian and Team Canada gymnast Jackson Payne:
"Staying physically and mentally fit has been a very important part of my life. As we transition and adapt to the COVID life, it can be difficult to stay active and motivated towards keeping ourselves mentally and physically healthy. Whether you have battled with finding the time or motivation for any kind of physical activity, or you are struggling to find an effective workout routine, I hope my suggestions below will help you in your pursuit to keeping your mind and body in great shape."
1. Make the most of your day
Break up your day with 5- to 15-minute slots to get active. Go for a short run or a walk, do some stairs or even low-impact jumping jacks at your desk. Don't forget to stretch — a full five minutes will invigorate your mind and keep that blood flowing to your brain.
2. Work it while you work
When you’re at the computer, try a physio ball instead of a chair and be mindful of your back, shoulder, head and neck posture. Engage your core and posture during those Zoom calls and if you’re going to snack, be mindful of your food intake, and choose water first. Set yourself a food curfew every day: For example, I try not to eat past 8 pm.
3. The warm-up
(Part 1) Your body needs to wake up before you do anything else. Set yourself a timer and execute a light, low-impact cardio workout that works for you. This could be as simple as doing some stairs, or going for a jog. This will get the blood pumping! (Duration: 5 to 30 minutes)
(Part 2) Stretch! Stretching is an important part of any exercise routine. It keeps your muscles limber and can reduce the risk of injuries. You can find many simple and safe stretches online, just be mindful of your own range of motion. Stretching too hard can be worse for the body than not stretching at all. (Duration: 5 to 30 minutes)
4. Get to work!
This is the peak of your workout. The goal is to get your heart rate up and keep it up. Many of you might already have a workout routine and that’s great. If this is your first time, you may want to consult a qualified processional to help guide you through a routine that works for you and that you can do at home. (Duration: 5 to 30 minutes)
5. Time to cool down
This is a key part to any routine. Take a short walk around to slow your breathing and heart rate. Incorporate some light stretching, such as sitting down and reaching for your toes. I use a foam roller and gently roll my body out on the floor. This really helps the body recover and prepare it for the next workout day!
6. Stay connected and ask for help
Remember to keep those lines of communication open with your friends and family. Maintain contact with your supports, even if it’s digital. Ask for help from family members or health care professionals (doctor, nurse, psychologist, social worker) if things become too overwhelming or interfere with daily functioning. You can also contact Access Mental Health or the Distress Centre.
For more workout ideas you can incorporate into your home routine, check out these tips from RBC Olympian Skylar Park.
Note: These are general tips for staying active at home – it's important to consult your doctor or a health professional before you begin an exercise regime.