COVID-19: why exercise is more important than ever?
Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash
In this unfortunate time of quarantine, many gyms have closed, outdoor exercising has been banned in many countries and states, and life as we know it seems to have turned upside down. Different groups of people have been affected differently. Gym and outdoor enthusiasts are struggling to create a healthy indoor routine; some have actually given up on their fitness journey. For people who never exercise due to “lack of time”, quarantine has handed them spare time to invest in themselves. They don’t have any excuse not to exercise indoors.
Whichever groups you belong to, you need to make exercise an integral part of your daily routine during these extraordinary quarantine times. If not for anything else, you will have created a sustainable routine that will continue when we back to normal, and that will help you achieve your elusive fitness goals. You will be more mobile, agile, and energized by the time the ongoing lockdown is lifted. Note that you don’t have to exercise indoors if you have an outdoor garden, a spacious backyard, or if you live in a sparsely populated neighborhood; it will help if you get out and engage in outdoor exercises. Remember to keep social distance while at it.
For newbies who have a short attention span, engage in exercises that have quick movements and constant changes. Biking, for example, takes you places, allows you to explore your neighborhood, and keeps your mind fully focused all the time, so you achieve your exercise goals while having fun. If your knees hurt when you peddle for long, get yourself and your family motorized bicycles that come with assisted pedaling systems. You can bike all day long right in your backyard or parking lot without suffering knee pains. Biking is a great way of bonding with your family during this quarantine period.
For people who have slid into sedentary lifestyles, get up and get moving. Exercise, outdoors and indoors, is important during Covid-19 more than it has ever been. Why so? Well, because exercise can:
Reduce illness severity
Multiple studies have revealed that mild to moderate exercise can significantly lower the severity of any illness. During the Hong Kong flu outbreak in 1998, it was noted that people who exercised about three times a week were at a reduced risk of dying from the flu. Most people who succumbed to the flu were adults who did no exercise at all. Although research is inconclusive as of whether or not regular exercise impacts the severity of coronavirus, it doesn’t hurt to borrow a leaf from the experiences of the Hong Kong flu.
Lower stress levels
When you exercise, your body produces brain endorphins (natural painkillers) in large numbers. These painkillers are responsible for the feeling of relaxation, which explains why exercising clears your mind and puts you in a better mood. Endorphins also reduce your body stress hormones such as adrenaline. And because adrenaline levels are running high for most people at the moment, you need brain endorphins now more than ever.
Exercising is also known to increase productivity. If you have been struggling with reduced productivity especially now that you are working from home, regular morning exercises will get your productivity back.
Improve your sexual health
For starters, exercising can be of great help for men who suffer erectile dysfunction (ED). Exercising also increases sexual arousal in women. Because couples are stuck at home, there is a need for everyone to improve their sexual function for a happy and healthy sexual relationship.
Helps you manage underlying health conditions
Exercising will improve your blood circulation and boost your overall heart function. This helps lower your risk of heart diseases, most notable coronary artery disease, and heart attack.
Regular exercise can also help you manage your blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as your blood pressure. If you have any of those diseases, you could be vulnerable to coronavirus. Exercise can help you to manage them and lower your vulnerability.
Helps you manage your daylight and night time
Exercise to kill some time at home. You will have a good time with your partner or kids, you will have a better thing to do besides watching TV, and you can challenge yourself and push for better results. Challenging yourself will make you feel alive again, and get your competitive spirits up again. Besides, your sleeping improves at night too.
As you exercise to keep fit while in quarantine, be sure to watch what you eat for better results. Try to eat a balanced diet all the time and keep off junk foods so you don’t end up putting unwanted weight on. Note that a 25-45min exercise routine is enough for a start. You don’t have to wear yourself out.