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The Importance of Physical Activity During Covid-19 Outbreak

The Importance of Physical Activity During Covid-19 Outbreak

Schools are closing, professional sports seasons are suspended, and the phrase ‘social distancing’ is becoming the new buzzword in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. As educational institutions across the globe share their strategies for remote learning to facilitate learning at home, sporting leagues and competitions are being postponed indefinitely. 

And what gets lost with these changes to our daily routines? Regular exercise, and all its benefits.

It is always important to participate in regular exercise. During pandemics like Covid-19, it may be even more important. It does not have to be vigorous and it doesn’t even have to be daily (though the latter does help), but regular exercise could be the difference in your immune system’s ability to fight off or effectively recover from Covid-19 or other illnesses.

Is exercise a cure all? No. There is still a lot we don’t know, as noted by MedLine Plus, but it is proven that exercise (acute or chronic) circulates (white) blood cells and could very well help those cells detect and protect against viruses or infections.

The Journal of Sport and Health Science dives deeper into how exercise affects your immune system. For those who don’t want to dip into scientific studies and sift through medical jargon, studies have concluded the following:

  • Acute exercise kick starts your immune system and improves its defense
  • There is a clear, inverse relationship between moderate exercise and reduced risk of illness
  • Increased complex carbohydrate and polyphenol intake is an effective nutritional strategy for boosting your immune system

However, with Covid-19 being so contagious, you do have to be mindful of where this regular exercise happens. Many local gyms and even apartment fitness rooms have been ordered to close for the time being.

But you don’t need a gym to exercise! Talking a walk/jog outside is still plenty safe as long as you are able to maintain social distancing. Purchase a yoga mat online to use at home. YouTube has thousands of videos for in-home workouts.  You can also join in your child’s online PE class to give her/him company and get a workout yourself.

Interested in going beyond exercise to be more healthy and boost that immune system? Check out this article from Harvard Health Publishing.

Where there is danger, there is an opportunity. This time at home could be used to create healthy habits that will last a lifetime!

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