16 Apr Why exercise is important during self-isolation
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused considerable social upheaval and disruption to the daily lives of many of us. Whilst we are encouraged to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus, this may have negative health effects by reducing our physical activity. Numerous physical activity options such as commuting to work, weekend sport and the closure of local gyms have limited our options to stay active. In addition, these are often important social interactions within our week.
Working from home, reduced social activity and cooler weather all increase our time at home and are likely to decrease our physical activity levels. Combined with social isolation, this can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can result in a number of chronic health conditions (heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, depression & diabetes to name a few).
GIVEN THE CURRENT SOCIAL CONSTRAINTS, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A MORE IMPORTANT TIME TO BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.
The benefits of exercise are well established, however in the current climate, it is worth elaborating on three key areas:
Benefits to the immune system
- Lifelong physical activity reduces the risk of contracting communicable diseases including bacterial and viral infections (such as Covid-19).
- Importantly, if you’re just getting started, a single bout of exercise is NOT detrimental to immunological health.
- However, unaccustomed AND frequent high-intensity training will stress the immune system and leave you vulnerable to viral infection.
- Therefore it is important to pace yourself and appropriately increase your exercise levels. More information on this can be found HERE
Improvements to mood and mental health
- Physical activity, regardless of the type (walking, cycling, running, yoga, etc.), is good for your mood
- Exercise also has beneficial effects on cognitive functioning, depression and anxiety
Given the challenging circumstances that many people are faced with as a result of the pandemic, these are important benefits to highlight.
Reduction in sedentary time
- Those who sit more are at increased risk of all-cause mortality
- By exercising regularly and improving our fitness, we can reduce the negative effects of sedentary behaviour
Importantly, the benefits outlined above are applicable across the lifespan, from kids through to older adults.
How can SportsFit help?
We offer supervised online small-group classes (4 people) that cater for all ages and abilities.
Our 45min Clinical Exercise classes allow you to focus on specific health and rehab goals to reduce pain and minimise injury recurrence. We also have 30min lunchtime themed classes to work on mobility, strength and cardiovascular fitness.
No matter the class, our physios will supervise you, correct you and guide you every step of the way in the comfort of your own home – minimal equipment required.
Additionally, despite physical distancing requirements, we can still enhance our social connection by exercising (virtually) with others. This is a vital feature of our online classes to aid with improving mental- as well as physical-health.
For more information on our different class options, click HERE.
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. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 648.
Chen P, Mao L, Nassis GP, Harmer P, Ainsworth BE, Li F. Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV): The need to maintain regular physical activity while taking precautions. J Sport Heal Sci. 2020;9(2):103-104. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2020.02.001