The Covid-19 pandemic has been traumatic for many people. If you’re one of them, remember that exercise is a healthy way to cope with that stress and anxiety. 

Exercise is a powerful part of wellness. It’s good for your physical and mental health, helps build resilience, and reduces your risk of many diseases.  According to the CDC, moderate-intensity aerobic activity helps prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. 

All movement counts. Focus on moving your body, even if you don’t break a sweat. 

Workouts as short as a few minutes—or even a few seconds—can make a meaningful difference to your health and fitness. Think of these mini-workouts as “exercise snacks.” Here are some tips on how to fit them into your daily routine.

You’ll feel the difference. Not only is exercise an effective treatment for depression and anxiety, recent studies show that it’s good for your brain and can even make you more creative. Exercise also helps people recover from traumatic experiences

Worries about the omicron variant are keeping some people away from gyms and fitness classes, but those aren’t your only exercise options. Consider working out at home or outdoors (yes, even in cold weather).

Have you set a goal to exercise more in 2022?

Here are 5 things you can do to get started safely.

1. Plan ahead. When you’re excited about a new fitness plan, it’s easy to push yourself too hard and overdo it. Instead, start slow and ease into it. Talk to your doctor about your plans before you get started, so you’re aware of potential risks. This is especially important if you have preexisting conditions. Your doctor can help you choose an exercise plan that’s right for you, based on your health and fitness goals. They can also recommend a workout frequency and intensity level.

2. Take full advantage of your insurance benefits. Chances are, your health insurance plan includes wellness benefits, so make the most of them. Depending on your plan, you may be entitled to health coaching, nutrition counseling, personal training, or discounts on gym memberships and exercise classes, among other things.

3. Exercise at home. If you don’t have fitness equipment at home, take the do-it-yourself approach. Shape Magazine suggests household alternatives to weights that can be used for exercise. Whether you’re designing your own workout or taking an expert-led virtual fitness class, CNN has tips on how to prepare yourself and your workout area. For example, make sure you have plenty of space.

4. Get outside. Although it may not be as easy during the winter months, exercising outdoors is another great option. Head out for a jog or take a walk with a friend. This New York Times piece offers practical advice on everything from fueling up beforehand to dressing appropriately for a cold-weather workout. Bring water to keep yourself hydrated.

5. Listen to your body. If you feel pain after starting a new fitness routine or after repeated workouts, should you worry? Many exercise-related injuries are mild and can be cared for at home, but it can be hard to tell a sore muscle from something more serious. When in doubt, check with your doctor.

Ready to make 2022 your healthiest year yet? Reach out to an expert health advisor for guidance and support.