“Everyone’s inherent levels of desire are different.” In the second instalment of a new HerCanberra…
It’s been weeks now. Trapped inside. We’re smoked in.
This is our new now—for now.
Here’s how to not let your fitness suffer (and not let the kids drive you crazy) while you’re trapped inside. I’ve got a mini exercise program for you to do WITH THEM!
I was in two minds when writing this article. I knew I wanted to help my fellow Canberrans during this trying time.
One part of me wanted to help by stacking supply trucks to be delivered to the south coast; but my practical mind also wanted to help by writing an article to assist our community by educating them on the benefits of exercise when “smoked in”.
I feel extremely saddened by the fire devastation happening to our neighbours right now—but I’m hoping this article will help us all cope a little better (and I will still make my donation too!)
Being an Allied Health Professional in Canberra during this time of chronic poor air quality, I have some asked a couple of important questions that need addressing, so here goes.
CAN WE EXERCISE WHEN WE’RE “SMOKED IN”?
The type of exercise will depend on the health of the individual—be wary of exercise if there’s a history of respiratory issues, exercise-induced asthma, dust and pollutant allergies and if you’re pregnant.
If your child has respiratory issues, make sure they always keep a puffer with them when going outside (better safe than sorry). Maintaining a regular exercise routine is crucial for us Canberrans because we are looking at potentially months of this poor air quality.
When we exercise we breathe in 10–20 times more air into the lungs than at rest and we reach the deepest outer air cavity of our lungs.
Therefore, having poor air quality inhaled affects the health of our lungs. Our kids need a healthy start in life—let’s protect their little organs from the toxic air.
IF WE CAN’T EXERCISE OUTSIDE, WHAT ALTERNATIVES DO WE HAVE?
Simple. Improve your air quality by exercising indoors. An air-conditioned gym (on recyclable), pool or your home is the perfect place to exercise out of the smokey conditions.
It’s recommended to lower the intensity to around 6/10. Schedule some lighter exercise such as swimming, cycling, pilates, Hydrotherapy, yoga (my kids love Cosmic Yoga), or a home strength circuit.
Here is an example of a home exercise routine for my fellow Her Canberra readers to do with their families. No equipment is needed, and the kids will love it! Pop on the music, set your watch for 20 mins, and sweat it up with your family!
Other things you could do with the kids:
- A good old fashioned game of twister
- Underarm ball games in the hall
- Marco Polo in the playroom
- A dance contest
- Simon Says “do 10 star jumps”
- Balloon games that involve getting your heart rate up…..ahh the list goes on!
WHEN IS IT SAFE TO START EXERCISING OUTDOORS AGAIN?
Pick the right time to exercise by looking at the current Air Quality Index AQI in your area. You can do this by checking out canberraair.com or there are a variety of apps available.
Avoid strenuous and prolonged exercise (>30min) in an Air Quality Index of 201-300 for healthy individuals and 101-150 for sensitive individuals.
However, don’t let the smoke stop you and your family from staying healthy. Be creative, and see it as an opportunity to mix it up, and try a new lifestyle routine.
Who knows—being “smoked in” could be our new norm for the time being.