COVID-19 has created a worldwide pandemic that has deteriorated lifestyles to a great extent. Everywhere people are practicing social distancing, which has restricted physical activities. People stay in their homes and work from home whenever possible. These social distancing measures mean that people will have fewer opportunities to be physically active. These government measures will make it easier to be sedentary at home for extended periods of time. This physical inactivity can have a drastic impact on the health and mental wellbeing of the general public. Thus, there is a need for regular physical activity, to promote the health and wellbeing of the people.
Physical activity may include walking, running, cycling, team sports, and dancing. Doing physical activity strengthen muscles, relieve mental tension, improve blood circulation, improve cardiovascular health, etc.
Strength and balance training is a significant physical activity –Robert Trosten
Robert Trosten has mentioned that physical activity is on the decline. He believes that there must be more of an effort to educate the population on the benefits of being physically active. These benefits include improved vascular functions: immune functions also help build and maintain muscle mass, increase oxidative capacity, etc. Physical activity also helps to slow the aging process, improve blood glucose levels, and improve body composition.
Different age groups need a varying amount of physical activities. Infants require physical activity several times a day. Children before 5 years of age should spend 180 minutes a day doing moderate or vigorous activities. Children aged 5-17 years should be engaged in at least 60 minutes of physical activity, including aerobic and anaerobic exercises. On the other hand, adults need only devote 150 minutes of moderate exercise throughout the week or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity weekly. Lastly, aged people above 65 years should strive for 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. If people can keep track of the time and type of training they are completing, it can help them overcome various illnesses and mental fatigue.
Benefits of physical activity during a pandemic
In light of the current situation, physical activities have the following outcomes:
- Enhance immune functions and reduce inflammation, therefore, reducing the severity of the infection.
- Improve common chronic conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19
- Stress management by reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Balanced cortisol levels. Stress creates an imbalance in cortisol levels. Physical activity can help balance cortisol levels.
It will help if you take up any form of physical activity, ranging from household chores to taking your pet for a walk. How or what you do does not matter, as long as you are physical activity. In this way, you will combat the pandemic’s stress. It will work not only in these tough times but when things get back to normal as well.