Posted on Mar 24, 2020, 6 p.m.
It is no secret that regular physical exercise is important, even in the best of times. Recently we are not really at the best of times, and amid all this distancing and social isolation exercise may be more important now than ever before.
If you are like most you are finding yourself drawn into the arguments, finger pointers, disagreements, as well as terrifying and heartbreaking stories from every point around the globe. This over stimulation may be making you lose sleep, drink too much, or just panicked with anxiety and wonder of what is to come.
Well it is time to start exercising again, not only will you be getting in better shape, you will be boosting your entire system, and lowering stress levels by keeping your mind off all that worry. Let’s not forget that some of the benefits of physical health in general include better respiratory function, better cardiovascular function, as well as reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, stroke, and cancer. Right now some of the important ones are reducing stress and improving sleep which can help to offset all of that anxiety.
Exercise reduces stress, improves sleep, increases sex drive, strengthens immunity, boosts energy levels, improves concentration, improves focus, boosts productivity, as well as helps to improve brain function and memory levels that can take a dive when hit with excessive worry and lack of sleep.
The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise are well worth any effort. It doesn’t need to take massive amounts of effort either, it can be yoga, walking, swinging kettle bells, playing with your kids/pets, or walking up and down the stairs or however else you choose to move your body exercise can help to alleviate the symptoms of worry, depression, sadness and anxiety to lift your mood by enhancing feelings of happiness and calm.
Another important part of exercising right now is to get you to unplug and get away from all the news, there is no need to stay tuned in 24/7. Pick a credible medical source with trained and certified experts, stick to only getting information from there once a day while ignoring everything else that will bombard your mind.
Just because most places are closed that doesn’t mean you can’t get in some physical activity while maintaining safe social distancing. There are plenty of things to do at home, in your backyard, or just around the block as long as you follow safe guidelines. The internet also offers a variety of options for any fitness level that can be done for free in the safety of your home.
Don’t forget to warm up and stretch for at least 5-10 minutes and have a cool down and stretch afterwards for 5-10 minutes, this will help you to avoid injury and reduce muscle soreness the next day. As a plus stretching will also help to improve flexibility and range of motion while helping muscles recover. Try to eat a light meal/snack an hour before exercising, and make sure to stay well hydrated before, during, and after exercising.
Try to make a routine or plan time to exercise and treat them as an appointment that you would not miss or cancel on. Break up what you are doing, even though guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic workout a week that does not mean that it all has to be done at once. You could do 30 minutes 5 times a week or even break those 30 minutes into 3 ten minutes sessions as they still count and add up just as good as doing it all at once.
You may find that you enjoy exercise more than you though and decide to keep up your workout habits even after all this has settled back down. It is possible, why not give it a try, you may surprise yourself. You can't use "you have no time" as an excuse now.
Before you begin any exercise program please check with your doctor or certified medical professional to avoid any possibility of complications.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement