By Elena Grivas, Athletic Therapist at Milesfit
We all know that exercise is important, but now more so than ever! Covid-19 has created a whole new world, and it is making it even harder to be active. Sure, gyms have opened again. We have more opportunities now to get fit, stay active, and be healthier again. But with Winter coming and us already moving around less from being forced to work at home or simply not doing as many activities due to social distancing, we all need an extra push to keep motivated.
Why should you be working out though? Good question!
For one, the simplest answer is that exercise helps boosts the immune system. Research shows that regularly performed physical activity can reduce the incidence of several age-related diseases such as viral and bacterial infections, with Covid-19 being no exception to these findings. There is even evidence to suggest that exercise may even delay the effects of aging on the immune system .
Second, exercise is also great for your mental health as it helps to reduce stress and anxiety. These days mental health seems to be popping up everywhere. From charities putting on awareness campaigns, to millennials posting on social media, mental health is a hot topic and this pandemic certainly has contributed a new source of anxiety. People are anxious about schools opening in the fall, grocery shopping has become stressful, and many are worried about the chance of spreading the virus to at risk individuals. We spend all this time taxing our mental health with these new considerations, rules, and regulations, that we forget that part of being healthy includes our mind and exercise is a great way to help. Research has proven that mental health can be improved through exercise . Scientific proof aside though, allowing yourself that hour (or half hour) to yourself during a workout routine allows for a moment to forget about the worries and simply concentrate on yourself. In a clean and safe workout environment, one can take the time to lose themselves to the calming effects of exercise while staff takes care of the cleaning and worrying for you. All you have to do is show up with a mask, keep to yourself, and sweat out all the negative energy! Or if you are working out at home, use it as an excuse to ignore the chores just for a second and get some “me time” in.
Exercise can come in all shapes and forms during this time. It can be as simple as setting personal fitness challenges at home, to finally choosing to take those personal training sessions you have been thinking about, or just joining a gym in general. As studios and gyms are opening again the opportunities have grown. Afraid to return to a studio? Technology has got you covered! More and more online platforms are being developed to keep you in contact with your personal trainer.
The world of exercise will be changed forever because of this virus, and the industry is trying its best to adapt and provide new ways to help us all stay active. Bottom line is, we must take the time for ourselves to help maintain our health and find a way to develop these new active habits. It can only benefit us in the end!
1. Campbell, J.P., & Turner, J.E. (2018). Debunking the Myth of Exercise-Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan. Front Immunol., 9(685). Doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00648
2. Ruegsegger, G.N., & Booth, F.W. (2018). Health Benefits of Exercise. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med., 8(7). Doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a029694