drinking protein shake after a jog

Physical Inactivity and COVID-19: How to Avert the Dual Crises

Are you feeling like you’ve been letting yourself go lately? You’re not alone, and you never were in the first place. The pandemic has stunted many people’s daily routines and physical activity. Sedentary activity has increased over the last year and a half of the COVID-19 lockdown, and people are starting to feel the adverse effects. Therefore, they’ve become inclined to an active lifestyle.

Physical activeness has many benefits, such as relieving stress, but most importantly, it keeps your body from muscle deterioration and weakness. It is advised that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to intensive aerobic exercise and at least two days of muscle-strengthening activity.

The lack of physical activity can lead to various health problems even with no preexisting risk factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these health problems derived from the lack of physical activity include high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a moderately active lifestyle to prevent yourself from acquiring these health problems.

How the pandemic stunts physical activity

The COVID-19 pandemic has stopped multiple operations from businesses, work, and schools. To mitigate the spread of the virus, governments needed to impose lockdown restrictions that kept people indoors for a prolonged period. This type of isolation affected many, and as a result, not many people were able to go out to play sport, commute, or go to their gyms because of the virus. It does not help that work-from-home setups encourage such sedentary behavior by enabling people to sit on their desks and stare at their screens all day long.

Are there ways to keep yourself active under these restrictions?

As much as the situation sounds dire, there are still ways to achieve physical fitness without having to risk yourself and others catching the virus. Here are a few ways to maintain your physical fitness in the comfort of your own home.

1. Do no-equipment exercises

Just because gyms are not open doesn’t mean you still can’t exercise. There are other exercises you can still do without having to need gym equipment. Regular push-ups and crunches should be a good alternative. Jumping jacks is also an excellent way to get your required cardio activity without leaving your home and stimulate your core strength by challenging yourself to plank.

doing a plank

2. Play some sports

Some places around the world have more lenient lockdown restrictions, which is great news for many who are the sporty kind.  Do some sports that don’t require you to be in a crowd of people, such as tennis, badminton, and track. If you’re looking for an excellent way to keep yourself stimulated with a play partner or two, you can try doing baseball training in a wide area. For this activity, it’ll be best to look for a radar gun for sale to track your speed and gauge the force of your throw.

3. Go cycling instead

If you’re the kind who wants to be outdoors without having to interact or be near anybody at all, cycling will be a perfect match for you. Not only is it a good cardio exercise, but it also is a great way to do leg-day, which you probably have not been able to do in a while. It’s also a plus that you get to enjoy the outdoors and nature after a long while of isolation. Don’t forget to wear a breathable mask while you’re at it, though. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. Go hiking when you can

If your area’s restrictions do not prohibit you from going through forests and mountains, definitely take the opportunity to immerse yourself with nature while getting to burn all those extra calories you’ve been accumulating throughout the quarantine.

5. Set a reminder to get out of your chair and move

This gets overlooked a lot of times, but if you’re not able to leave your home yet, you should remind yourself to get out of your work chair and move. Stretch those muscles or walk around your office; just do something that does not involve being sedentary. At the end of the day, if you’re not the active kind, getting up and stretching every 30 minutes can work wonders for your physical health.

Important Takeaways

Being idle all the time can mess with your overall health. A sedentary lifestyle can cause cardiovascular diseases even when you’re in a low-risk group. Nonetheless, there are still ways to be physically active during a pandemic. Don’t be afraid to remind yourself to take breaks from work so that you can move your muscles.

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