COVID-19 Pandemic: Importance of Physical Activity

The benefits of physical activity have been established across the lifespan. We are meant to move and various systems of our bodywork better when we are constantly physically active.

Several types of research recommend that elevated levels of aerobic activity, an exercise that significantly raises our heart rates could be linked with better cutbacks in symptoms of depression. Consider engaging in physical activity once or twice each day for at least 30 to 90 seconds of greater intensity. For others, this can be achieved through exercise in their homes including mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and sequencing strength training exercises. For some, the use of home exercise equipment such as treadmills and stationary bikes could be a big help.

  • Strength-Training For The Symptoms Of Anxiety

This has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety for individuals with and without an anxiety disorder. Weightlifting using household items or exercise equipment can help us to decrease the negative effects of anxiety and stress.

  • For Children And Adolescents

It is recommended to have moderate-to-vigorous exercise and physical activity during the day. These could be accompanied by improved concentration, elevations in self-esteem, improvements in sleep, and reductions in depressive symptoms. 

  • For Older Adults And Individuals Managing Chronic Medical Conditions

 It is suggested to have regular walks. The benefits of strength training and weightlifting may be even greater in older adults. It is to help maintain functioning and quality of life.

  • The Use Of Alcohol And Other Substances

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity has been shown to help decrease the use of alcohol and other substances. Moreover, participation in regular physical activity is shown to boost the immune system. A decrease in substance use is also associated with improvement in the ability of the body to fight off infection.

Several companies are offering free use of their on-line platforms that could help to classify a variety of in-home activities to help make exercise more enjoyable during this critical period. We strongly support the idea of on-going vigilance regarding physical-distancing and limitations on in-person contacts. We recommend finding physical activities that you enjoy and to share your experience with others. At the same time, there is also evidence to suggest that exercise can be helpful to mood even if the act of doing the exercise is not as enjoyable.

Family members need to take a supportive role in the promotion of physical activity and exercise. Allowing individuals to maintain their autonomy and choice in their activities will be important for on-going engagement.

We are all managing additional stress related to the growth of the pandemic and its potential to threaten the health of ourselves, our families, and our communities. Please consider using physical activity as a strategy to maintain health during this stressful period. Even though there are lots of things that may feel beyond our control right now, we do have the ability to be creative and to build physical activity into each of our days. We may even look back on this difficult time as the turning point when we learned new ways to build our emotional resilience and our physical health.