A year after lockdown, we are still trying to get use to the new normal and that is one long road, but one of the things that cam help you go through this is exercise! Daily physical activities are extremely beneficial for our bodies and our overall health. However, during the lockdown it becomes more important because it can help us deal with several mental issues like depression or anxiety, which are very common during these days and it will become a global issue to deal with after COVID-19 passes.
Francisco D’Agostino explains that it is a fact then that the health benefits of regular physical activity and exercise cannot be ignored. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, gender, or physical ability.
That’s why here we want to talk about some of the benefits of exercising and how it can help during lockdown.
To start, the importance of staying active in a quarantine period like the current one, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is vital to do activities that help strength your immune response capacity.
It is also proved that for people who have chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and / or heart disease, it will help them better control their health and take better care of themselves.
One of the benefits of keeping yourself active at home is that exercise will reduce the worry that the confinement situation might generate and this can help you cope with the stress and anxiety that this situation is causing.
Exercising also improves arterial circulation throughout the body and helps you work on your memory since you are practicing by counting the repetitions, as well as remembering the sequence of the activity you’re doing.
Besides that, doing a physical activity will also give you a sensation of general wellbeing both physically and emotionally, which is important to avoid any confinement depression or anxiety.
How much exercise should I make during the week?
A lot of people think that more exercise is better, however most of the times this is not true.
It is recommended that you have several days (but not all of them) with around 2,5 hours of moderate physical activity and it is also important that you don’t push yourself with exercises that you haven’t done before.
Let’s discuss about some tips to stay active at home that you can easily adapt to your routine.
- While watching tv
If you spend a lot of time watching tv, a good idea to include physical activity in your daily routine is to use the space where the commercials are transmitted to stretch and move your legs a little bit.
- Walk around the house
Confinement can be hard, however, one way to think about something else is to start walking around your house with different routines, paths, and several times per day. This will help you stay active and also sleep better.
- Set alarms
It is not recommended to be sited by more than 2h straight. A good way of avoiding this is to use an alarm that reminds you to stand up, walk, and move a little bit. Another recommended thing is to change where you sit every now and then during the day.
- Using videocalls as the perfect time to move
Chatting on the phone or video calling friends and family is very common these days so why not use this time to do something for yourself too? While chatting or video calling, you can start by walking during the calls and this will help you do it more often till it becomes a habit.
- Use the shores at home as a daily exercise
Maintaining your home organized and clean is easier said than done so using this time to move yourself more will help you keep yourself active.
- Stairs are also a choice!
If you have the possibility to use stairs, another good exercise is to go up and down 1 or 2 floors every day. If you’ve been training for a while, you can do more floors, however it is not really recommended if you haven’t been exercising for a while.
Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Many types of cancer
It can also help improve cognitive function and help reduce the risk of death from any cause. Also, distribute your activities throughout the week. If you want to lose weight, reach specific fitness goals, or reap even more benefits, you may need to increase your moderate aerobic activity to 300 minutes or more a week.
Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have concerns about your fitness, haven’t exercised for a long time, or have chronic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis.
What matters from this is that you realize that being physically active is not as hard as it sounds and the benefits that can bring you are a very long list. Don’t let the fact that we are confined become a reason to not exercise and make the changes necessaries to start receiving the benefits that daily activity has in our bodies.
It is also important to remember that exercising is not the only thing that could be good for you. If you combine it with healthy eating habits, you can triplicate the benefits.
Make sure that you talk to a nutritionist that can help you the best way to eat according to your needs and the adapt it to your daily routine so it doesn’t feel like something mandatory, according to Francisco D’Agostino. The only way to convert it in a sustainable lifestyle is to organize and stick to the routine you create.
The moment to make the necessary changes is now so, start planning on your meals and your daily physical activities and let’s do something productive during the confinement!