You may be finding it tougher to exercise while under lockdown or a stay-at-home order. But you can still find ways to make movement a part of your daily routine. With most of our daily movement restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to keep up an exercise routine.
If you enjoy fitness classes, you’re probably missing the camaraderie and the atmosphere of the gym. And even if you are getting some movement in, you might be feeling frustrated that you’re not at your usual level of activity. But now, more than ever, exercise is important.
The COVID-19 pandemic means that many of us are staying at home and sitting down more than we usually do. It’s hard for a lot of us to do the sort of exercise we normally do. It’s even harder for people who don’t usually do a lot of physical exercise.
But at a time like this, it’s very important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible. Who’s be Active campaign aims to help you do just that – and to have some fun at the same time.
Remember – Just taking a short break from sitting, by doing 3-4 minutes of light intensity physical movement, such as walking or stretching, will help ease your muscles and improve blood circulation and muscle activity.
Can exercise help protect you from coronavirus?
Exercise also releases endorphins, chemicals in your brain that revitalize your mind and body. If you use exercise to keep up your energy and spirits in trying times such as these, you might be less inclined to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking too much, which does wear down your immune system.
How much physical activity?
Any activity is better than none, and more activity provides more physical and mental health benefits.
As several countries are already under lockdown, it is uncertain for how long you can go outside for a walk, run, or cycle. The key question is how can people meet these guidelines when restricted to the home environment?
Physical activity helps our body and mind in many ways, but here are a few of the key ones:
- Exercise releases chemicals in your brain, like serotonin and endorphins, which are great for your mood.
- It can also lead to better sleep and give you more energy.
- It also makes you feel like you achieved something.
- It also helps with weight management (and you tend to feel like eating a healthier diet when you’re exercising regularly, too)
- Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of serious health issues, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
A word of advice before you start: If you’re new to exercise, start small – try maybe 10 minutes of yoga or walking a day, then gradually build up.
Even 10 minutes of movement a day can help your body and mind feel better. Encourage your loved ones, who you’re no doubt spending a lot of time with right now, to take a moment to move their bodies too.
And please, if you’re not feeling well, follow the advice of your health professional – including some rest. It’s vital that we prioritize the health and safety of ourselves, family, friends, and the community.