Physical activity During pandemic

wake up and workout title on light box surface surrounded by colorful sport equipment

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant millions of people around the world are adjusting to life indoors. Encouraging or mandating that people should remain within their homes with discontinued daily life activities may unintentionally increase sedentary behavior, decrease general physical activity, and inflict negative health consequences.  A sedentary behavior with high levels of sitting time and low levels of physical activity are associated with decreased cardio pulmonary fitness, muscle atrophy, insulin sensitivity and deleterious effects on mood.

Your exercise and walking routine might be affected or you might not feel comfortable going out, that doesn’t mean you should stop sweating. In fact, working out might be one of the best ways you can pass time while you’re self-quarantined. Continuing to exercise and maintain fitness is crucial during this hard time.

Particularly, physical activity during aging may have positive effects on the adaptive immune system. It helps us to maintain the bone and muscle strength. It encourages the metabolism and digestive health. Physical activity also has a major role in mental health and cognitive function because exercise has positive effects in preventing and alleviating depressive symptoms, lessening anxiety, improving learning, and is beneficial for cognitive functioning in older adults. 

Even with the restrictions of limited space or lack of special equipment, reaching the WHO recommendations of 150 min of moderate-intensity or 75 min of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week is still achievable even at home during self-isolation. For additional health benefits, 300 min of moderate-intensity or 150 min of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week is recommended. A combination of muscle-strengthening exercises for the major muscle groups, walking, stair climbing, and performing household tasks, is recommended to maintain physical activity during the corona virus crisis. 

To increase motivation for physical activity, internet-delivered interventions through the computer or mobile phone, or self-monitoring through diaries or phone apps, are viable tools for exercise motivation. Also, one can follow an online exercise class, available on different media platforms. While exercise is safe for most individuals, the elderly and those who are susceptible to cardiovascular or other complications should consult health providers before starting a new exercise regime.

Viji Balaji <sub>Masters in physiotherapy,Msc psychology</sub>
Viji Balaji Masters in physiotherapy,Msc psychology

Founder,Growing young
Seniors Wellness Coach

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