The coronavirus has altered our lives in an unprecedented way and has dictated how we should live our lives. We were forced to isolate ourselves from people outside of our homes, to work away from the confines of the corporate offices and into the work-from-home setup, and to learn remotely in virtual classes.
During the lockdown, people were prohibited from going to the gym, yoga, or Zumba classes. Jogging and biking were also prohibited for some time. Working from home or attending virtual classes forced us to sit for a long time. Even our options for relaxation required us to sit and be stationary like watching Netflix or playing online games.
Cooped up inside our homes, we have limited options for activities and even food. We end up eating more calorie-high, sugar-high foods and less fresh vegetables and fruits. Because of the limited trips to the supermarket, we opt for canned and processed foods. Most people, cash-strapped, stock up on less expensive processed food options. Since most of us have plenty of time, we bake or cook. We also binge eat our comfort foods like chips, ice creams, and sodas. We consumed foods and beverages that are readily available but doubtingly healthy options.
As the lockdown dragged on for months, it has sparkled a feeling of general stress and depression in everyone. The overwhelming news of COVID-19, and the anxiety and fear of being infected adds to the mental stress.
Being in isolation made us re-evaluate our priorities, what is important for the time being and what’s not. Often neglected, deemed irrelevant, and pushed to the back burner is the importance of exercising. It may be tempting to skip on the exercise given the challenging conditions we have. But it is now more than ever that we should stick to our workouts. We may convince ourselves that it is safer to lounge around the house so as not to contract the virus. However, remember the significance of exercise in our physical body and psychological state during this pandemic. Below are some of them.
Exercising prevents weight gain
Physical activity burns the extra calories consumed from stress cooking and baking and binging of unhealthy processed foods. Exercise counters the physical effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Prolonged and recurrent deskbound activities can cause obesity, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Exercising or any regular physical activity will relieve the muscle tension from sitting down all day.
It will improve your blood circulation and muscle activities that are other-wised cramped when doing desk work. It helps maintain balance, flexibility, mobility, and agility. This is very important, particularly to older people, to help avoid mishaps and falls. For children, exercising supports healthy growth as well as provides them with an outlet to release energy pent-up from being in lockdown inside homes.
Exercising will also boost your immune system to fight off infections including viruses
Moderate intense exercise will improve immune functions. It increases the blood flow making good blood circulation. It clears bacteria from our airways and lessens the chances for colds, coughs, and flu. During exercise, the body temperature increases, reinforcing anti-bodies and weakening stress hormones.
Regular exercising will lessen chronic inflammations that slow down the immune system. It will also deter you from engaging in counterproductive activities that will compromise your immune system. As you exercise regularly, you are less likely to turn to alcohol and cigarettes as a coping mechanism during these taxing times.
Exercising or any regular physical activity releases endorphins, uplifting our moods and improving our sleep
Exercising gives us a break from the monotony of eat-work-sleep routine we were forced to. It is a time-tested method of clearing our thoughts. When we regularly release our day-to-day tension through physical movement, we become calm, clear-headed, and focused. We become energetic and optimistic. When we are physically engaged, our brain produces endorphins and we feel elated and even euphoric.
It reduces our stress level and improves our emotional strength. It lowers our risk for depression and anxiety. A good workout ensures a good night’s sleep. Since exercising lowers the stress level, your sleep will not likely be interrupted by nagging thoughts and persistent concerns. Regularly exercising improves the quality of your sleep and in the long run, boosts your immune system and physical strength.
How to stay physically active during the pandemic
There are a lot of creative ways to get physically active even in lockdowns. One is to utilize whatever is available at home. For example, use the stairs intentionally. It can burn fats, improve lower body strength, tone muscles from butt to thighs to calves, and trim the waist area. It also strengthens your lungs and heart.
Treat every household chore as a workout opportunity. Vacuuming, mopping, and sweeping the floor can be a good arm, shoulder, and leg workout
Clean the inside and outside of your windows, and manually clean your car every week. Besides the workout you get, you also save money by doing the task yourself because it is safer and cheaper than getting a cleaning lady or going to the car wash.
Keep it fun. Put music in the background and ask family members to join you. It’s a perfect bonding moment as well
Level-up your exercise routine by following exercise videos. You can do this in your pacing and at your most convenient time. You can still loop in your family members into this exercise routine or have a virtual accountability partner. Tap a friend or a distant family member to work out with you over a video call. Set your workout schedule synchronized with a phone call to a friend or loved one on a regular basis. It is like going on a walk with a buddy at the same time but from a different location connected by technology.
Optimize your workout by signing up for training sessions from your local fitness studio. Or check in with your previous gym instructor for private virtual sessions that are tailored to your specific needs, preferences, and time.
This setup also enables you to interact with another individual outside of your family circle. Having a planned workout or scheduled exercise class in your timetable is a fun, motivational way to stick to your fitness routine.
Your planned workout helps you develop the good habit of exercising regularly. It teaches you to make exercise a necessity and be consistent with it. Over time, your body will be accustomed and sync to a daily workout. With a well-planned workout, there is a balance between physical strengths, relaxation, sleep, and a good diet. It keeps you motivated by achieving small victories by the step-step process. It keeps you on track on the plan, not under nor overtrained. It is also a record of what you have achieved and how you did it. A drive to progress and in what direction.
Team Enduro can provide personalized coaching packages for you that include a 1:1 relationship with your coach, a weekly training schedule, an annual training plan, and more. If you wish to know more about our coaching packages and how we operate during this pandemic, give us a call at 858-336-7410, or send us a message at [email protected].
Lastly, don’t forget to reward yourself. Exercising is your mood booster so don’t be frustrated when you miss one time or you are not satisfied with your progress. It is better to be exercising now than not at all. Treat yourself after the completion of a step in the plan. A long bubble bath after a vigorous workout will be rewarding enough to your aching muscles, and trying out a new smoothie can quench your thirst. Getting into the habit of exercising gives you the benefits that are essential during this pandemic, but also goes so far as your golden years.