Exercising During COVID-19

How putting a spring in your step can help your health.

Exercising During COVID-19 1

How are you doing with the quarantine? Have you got cabin fever yet? 

Exercise is a great way to handle stress in your life. Research shows that stress has negative effects on both blood pressure and blood sugar and that it increases inflammation. Research also shows that exercise neutralizes these negative effects of stress on our bodies. 

Active people are sick less often, have more energy, and are more successful at weight management. They cope better with stress, handle pressure better, experience less depression, and have a more positive self-image. 

Walking boosts immunity through increasing natural killer cells, white blood cells, and other immune system mediators. It also boosts endorphins and improves circulation of your blood. Improved circulation carries these immune mediators to every cell in your body to protect you from infection. 

According to the CDC and the American College of Sports Medicine, “Every US adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week.” 

So, what does that mean? I recommended that we get 60 minutes of exercise per day, and walking is one of the best forms of exercise. I define moderate intensity as being able to keep up a conversation while you are walking. Moderate intensity walking is easier on your body and does not put as much stress on your joints as some other forms of exercise. 

Experts believe that early morning is the optimal time to exercise because air quality is generally better then. Plus, early morning exercisers tend to stick to a schedule better and stay on track. 

The more you exercise, the more it increases your levels of HDL which is your good cholesterol. Interestingly enough, women who walked more than one hour a day had a 50 percent reduction in their risk of heart disease. For women, the intensity level had less impact than the duration of exercise. Men may be capable of taking a more intense walk, but for women, spending a minimum of that one hour daily is most important. 

If you find that you have a little more free time, put it to good use. Go and take a walk outside today!