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COVID-19 and Physical Activity

All across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented time. Everywhere, there is an extensive social distancing policy and restricting the daily activities of people. Worldwide, there are pleas from the government that asks people to stay safe and if possible just stay at home. This means that most people have to spend a lot of time at home. The social distancing measure means that you’ll have fewer opportunities to be physically active. It is as if the activities like cycling, walking, and taking part in a leisurely activity are being restricted. Being not physically active for a long period might affect not just your body but also your social care and mental well-being. Although social distancing is needed, our minds and body still need to be physically active. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, even just for a short period, it’s important to be physically active. You may have a short break from sitting at your desk and do something like stretching or walking. Doing something as this will:

  • Improve muscle activity
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Relief mental tension
  • Ease muscle strain 
  • Do some routine 

Benefits of Physical Activity 

  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, cognitive decline, and certain cancers 
  • Improves balance, fitness, flexibility, bone and muscle strength, and overall feeling of well-being 
  • Delays onset of dementia 
  • Strengthening and maintaining your immune system strength which helps you be less susceptible to infections 

In children physical activity may:

  • Reduce the risk of disease in later life
  • Support healthy growth and development
  • Help in the development of fundamental movement skills 

Benefits of Physical Activity during COVID-19 Pandemic 

There are certain benefits of physical activity that may be specifically relevant to the pandemic. Some benefits are:

  • Physical activity improves chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
  • Physical activity enhances immune function and lessens inflammation wherein it could decrease the severity of infections.
  • Physical activity helps bring cortisol levels in balance. Distress and stress make an imbalance in cortisol levels and it negatively influences immune function and inflammation.

Amount of Physical Activity  

Infants under the age of 1 year 

  • Need to be physically active several times a day 

Children under the age of 5 years 

  • Should spend at least 180 minutes a day 

Children and adolescents aged 5 to 17 years

  • In 3 days per week should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity including that of strengthening the muscle and bone 

Adults aged 18 to 64 years 

  • In 2 or more days per week, they should at least do 150 minutes of physical activity throughout the week including the muscle-strengthening activities

Adults aged 65 years 

  • In 2 or more days per week, they should at least do 150 minutes of physical activity 

Older adults with poor mobility 

  • Physical activity that enhances the balance and prevents falls, at least 3 or more days per week 

Stay safe!

  • Practice social distancing when exercising outdoors and practice good hygiene before and after.
  • Don’t exercise if you have a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing. Those are some symptoms of Coronavirus Disease
  • Choose the right activity to lessen the risk of injury. The intensity of your activity should match your fitness level and health status.