Although the health benefits of exercise have been understood for years, the pandemic may be the catalyst that can finally encourage the general public to begin adopting healthier lifestyles. Physical activity is finally being recognized by the general public as a means of achieving and maintaining optimal health.
Pandemic Within The Pandemic.
During this challenging period, our physical and mental health has been compromised. This is due to the reduction in healthy movement behaviors. Even though there seems to be more awareness on the importance of staying active, we might actually be having a pandemic of physical inactivity within the Covid-19 pandemic. There has been a decrease in physical activity and an increase in leisure screen time among the youth and the general public.
We Will Survive.
All said and done, you have a job or school or kids or a pet. You also have previous habits, feelings or you have stress or days when you feel like crap. Plus Netflix. On the other side of it all, you might have lost a loved one, a business, a job, and much more. You also might be recovering from the pandemic or caught up in a lockdown somewhere. Hang in there, we will survive this one too. You are not alone. The vaccine is here. The Olympics are here, who knew? Follow the prevention protocols within your region as advised by your leaders and the World Health Organization.
Don’t Isolate Yourself.
Beginning or maintaining an exercise routine is paramount for both physical and mental health and it is especially important during this health crisis. Whatever the circumstances don’t allow yourself to go into self-pity, don’t isolate yourself or pour it out on social media. As health and exercise professionals, we have the opportunity to encourage others to find ways to safely keep moving during these challenging times.
Incorporate Movement In Your Daily Activities.
Regular physical activity benefits both the body and mind. It can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers – all conditions that can increase susceptibility to COVID-19. Be encouraged to stay active.
- Make life your movement by engaging in a family workout, skip the car wash and clean your car or house. Have you tried to walk the dog or play with the kids?
- Use active transport and walk your kids to school. Save on the fuel or transport and bond with them whenever you have the time.
- Celebrate efforts to be active throughout the day.
- Focus on developing healthy behaviors including adequate sleep, hydration, nutrition, and overall well-being.
- Instead of waiting to do a whole hour of exercise, it is okay to have short bouts of exercise spread out through your day. Just keep the wheel moving to boost your immunity.
Involve all the stakeholders.
- The WHO and the entire medical community have been at the forefront of highlighting the role of exercise in reducing the risk of fatality from Covid-19 and other diseases.
- We should all follow suit because each of us can make a powerful contribution to ending the pandemic.
- In as much as there is an emphasis on personal hygiene and vaccination. All stakeholders must be involved.
- The county governments should expand access to green spaces, parks, schools, and other community spaces.
- Allow for safe, structured, physical activity experiences led by a well-qualified exercise and health professional under the safety guidelines.
- The community needs to be educated and sensitized more about the importance of being physically active.