Why Staying Active is Now More Important Than Ever
Have you been exercising during the pandemic? If not, why not? Perhaps it is time to get back into a routine, or start a new routine! We will explore why fitness is important and why it’s important during and post COVID-19.
The Importance of Fitness
Fitness is important for a variety of reasons. There are many activities you can do to stay fit. Some of these include running, walking, biking, hiking, and swimming.
Here are some benefits of consistent physical activity:
- Improves your mood
- Helps with weight loss
- It’s good for your muscles and bones
- Increases your energy levels
- Reduces your risk of chronic disease
- Helps your brain health and memory
- Helps with relaxation and sleep quality
- Reduce pain
Improves your mood
Exercise can help decrease anxiety, depression, and stress. Whether you take a short 20-minute walk or a hard core work out, any exercise can benefit your mood.
Helps with weight loss
Inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity. In addition to eating healthy, regular exercise increases your metabolic rate, which can burn more calories to help you lose weight. Combining aerobic exercise and resistance training can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which will help you keep fat off. On top of that, including essential items like fruit and fiber in your diet, will help you be healthy.
It’s good for your muscles and bones
Regular exercise will help you as you age. As we get older we start to lose muscle mass and bone health. Exercising as a younger person will keep your muscles strong and build up your bone density.
Increases your energy levels
Exercise increases your energy level. Even people with chronic fatigue and other health issues can benefit from exercise to increase their energy.
Reduces your risk of chronic disease
Lack of physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease. Regular exercise can help type 2 diabetes, heart disease, types of cancer, cholesterol, and hypertension, to name a few.
Helps your brain health and memory
Exercise can improve brain function and help with memory skills. Regular exercise improves blood flow to the brain and helps with brain health. This is especially important for older people.
Helps with relaxation and sleep quality
Good sleep is more important than we realize. Exercise is one way to help with or improve your sleep. Any physical activity, aerobic or a combination of aerobic and resistance training, will help you sleep better and be more energized during the day.
Chronic pain can be debilitating, and exercise can potentially help reduce it. Physical activity can also help raise pain tolerance and decrease pain perception.
Why Exercise is Important During a Global Pandemic
Exercise is important for all ages, and with all the lockdowns during COVID-19 we’ve had to get creative. Like many businesses, gyms had to close. Because of this people had to start working out from home. There are lots of good fitness apps available. Even working remotely with a personal trainer is an option.
It’s essential that kids get exercise during the pandemic too! With schools shut down and kids having to do school from home, it’s been important to build in some recess time. It is also a good opportunity for you to be creative and get exercise with them. Use what your kids like best and have fun! Here are some suggestions to get you started.
- Take a walk outside
- Go for a bike ride
- Take an online class through a local gym
- Climb some stairs a few times to get your heart rate up
- Find a YouTube fitness video to take you through exercises
- Get on Instagram - many professional athletes and trainers are posting workouts on their stories and pages.
- Challenge a friend or family member to an activity while maintaining a physical distance of six feet, or use video conferencing. See how many jumping jacks or crunches you can do in a minute
Helpful Fitness Apps
When choosing the right fitness app, you should consider what features are most important to you. Some apps allow you to keep a food journal and track your diet. Other apps measure multiple types of physical activity or measure just one activity. You may also need to consider the cost. Many apps are free, but you may need to pay or subscribe to the app in order to access all its features.
Here are some popular fitness apps:
- Sworkit- Best overall fitness app
- Run Keeper- Tracks a variety of exercises
- Strava- Tracks cycling and running
- Glo- Access to more than 4,000 downloadable classes
- Couch to 5K- For a running program
- Charity Miles- This app can be used for fundraising
- MyFitnessPal- Best calorie counter app
Fitness During COVID-19
After having COVID-19, how do you safely get back to your exercise routine? Here are a few suggestions to help you get moving after COVID-19. As always, be sure to consult your doctor before performing exercising after being sick.
- Take a yoga class
- Do some body weight exercises
- Take a walk
- Don’t push yourself
Take a yoga class
Yoga and meditation may help improve lung health, reduce viral susceptibility and speed the recovery from acute respiratory infections thanks to their relaxing effects. Yoga can also help reduce stress.
Do some body weight exercises
As you gradually regain your strength after having COVID-19, you can do some body weight exercises such as squats and push-ups on your knees. You can also add light weights to your routine, using milk cartons or a weighted backpack.
Take a walk
Being outdoors in fresh air is always good and refreshing. Anyone can easily control the intensity of their walking, they say. Beginning with easy, short strolls is ideal. Gradually, you can increase the length and the pace of your walks as long as that does not cause you extreme fatigue or leave you feeling breathless.
Don’t push yourself
Pushing through when you are still feeling sluggish after COVID-19 will not speed your recovery. Everyone is different so getting back into exercise should be individualized.
Exercise has benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health. Exercise should be enjoyable. There are all sorts of exercise options. Figure out what works best for you and have fun!
About the author:
Katie Meyers is an SEO Specialist at SEO Design Chicago. Before joining the SEO Design Chicago team, she interned for them, as well as interned as a Content Writer at HZD Creates. Katie is from Washington State and has an AA and a Social Media Marketing Certificate. She enjoys writing and is a volunteer writer for her church’s newsletter. She sponsors children through World Vision. Katie also organizes an awareness and fundraising event alongside World Vision’s Global 6K Walk for Water. She enjoys Gonzaga men’s and women’s basketball, and spending time with her dog, family, and friends. Katie likes reading and taking a variety of classes. She studies voice and piano. Her favorite places to visit include the Oregon coast and a local lake cabin. You can find Katie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.