Health Guide

Physical Activity in a Year of Social Distancing and Pandemic

There is a direct relationship between your health, diet and physical activity. Your nutrition is also a key player when it comes to maintaining your physical, social and mental well-being. Both of these factors, when they work together, build a protective barrier between you and the diseases.

But when you throw in the reality of COVID-19 in the mix, how does that change staying fit and healthy?

The Challenges of Staying Fit During the Pandemic

For one, the pandemic resulted in shutdowns of establishments. While medical facilities, like hospitals, pharmacies and even rehab for cocaine, remain open, other establishments dedicated to fitness and health were closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (e.g. gyms and support groups).

Also, a majority of the population is encouraged to stay at home. Since gyms are closed and you’re stuck at home, living a sedentary lifestyle is not impossible. This type of lifestyle, however, is often associated with increased risks for decreased immune health, chronic illnesses and loses of movement. For these reasons, movement and physical activity are extremely important during the pandemic.

What are the Benefits of Staying Active During COVID-19?

Physically active individuals live longer compared to inactive individuals. They also build better immune systems, which are important in the world’s fight against in COVID-19. It also offers the following benefits:

  • Stress and anxiety relief. The pandemic has caused many people to experience higher anxiety and stress levels. With the reality of social distancing and isolation combined with fears of the virus, most people are often anxious and stressed with their circumstances. Higher stress levels can lower your immune response. Exercising can help you deal with stress by releasing chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins and serotonin, which can reduce the risk of depression and improve your mood.
  • Weight management. Excess weight is often associated with higher health risks. Regular physical activity paired with a balanced diet helps you maintain your weight.
  • Healthier bones and muscles and better flexibility and balance. Physical activity improves muscle and bone strength, as well as increases flexibility and balance. This is crucial for everyone, especially the elderly since they are prone to injuries and falls.

How to Stay Physically Active at Home

  • Set daily and weekly goals. To encourage yourself, give yourself something to measure. After all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Set daily and weekly goals so you can track your improvement. Refrain from setting yourself up for failure, though; make sure your goals are achievable. Follow the SMART method:
    • Specific: Decide on the number of minutes or reps you can do.
    • Measurable: Use a stopwatch to measure each rep.
    • Achievable: Don’t hesitate to start small.
    • Realistic: Exercises have to be relevant to your life. Staying healthy during the pandemic makes all exercises relevant.
    • Timely: Have a time frame for your fitness goals.
  • Focus on your weaknesses. Have an intention before you start a workout routine. This highlights areas for improvement. List down your goals and decide which ones you’re good at and which ones you lack the most. For example, if you wish to improve core strength, add exercises like planks to your daily workout.
  • Balance your sitting time. More people are spending more time on their desks or just sitting around during the quarantine period. Be mindful of how much time you’re spending seated. Set an alarm to walk around and move or invest in a standing desk.
  • Go outside. Going outside is one of the best ways to implement the physical activity. When you do take a walk or go out for a run, stay safe, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Carry hand sanitizer with you, too. Finally, shower when you walk into the house.

Staying fit is essential in boosting your immune system, which is also necessary when it comes to protecting yourself against COVID-19. It doesn’t matter what diet you go through to stay healthy (e.g. the Daniel Diet, South Beach Diet or Methuselah diet); y

Mick Foley
the authorMick Foley
An aspiring Pro Wrestler, Mike loves working out in the gym and attending MMA classes. When not lifting weights, Mike will most probably be lifting his PS4 controller. He writes for Resistance Pro to share all that he has learnt.