How the importance of exercise persisted through COVID-19

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The ongoing pandemic has changed the exercise routines of people around the world as gyms, fitness centers, swimming pools and parks have been forced to adjust daily functions to meet local and national guidelines. As a result, many people did not have access to gym equipment or other resources that they would typically use for training for months.

However, as Siddhartha Angadi, cardiovascular exercise physiologist in the University’s kinesiology department attests, even as the restrictions are easing, the importance of engaging in physical activity remains.

The Proceedings of the Mayo Clinic published a to study January 1 detailing the relationship between exercise capacity and hospitalization due to COVID-19. The study found an inverse relationship between an individual’s ability to exercise and their likelihood of being hospitalized with COVID-19, meaning that a lack of exercise was directly linked to a deterioration of health in the face of COVID-19.

“Essentially, exercise kind of gives your body a … cardiopulmonary cushion, and so if you contract a disease like COVID-19, the good news is that while it affects how your lungs work, you have it. integrated cushion – you can avoid serious results, ”says Angadi

There are a variety of different activities that people can do to improve their level of fitness. According to Angadi, the recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, and this exercise could be as easy as a brisk walk. It is more important to exercise regularly than to focus on the type of exercise chosen according to Angadi.

Meredith Brooker, a 2021 alumnus, worked as a personal trainer at the University as an undergraduate student, and she believes it is more important to choose an exercise that the individual feels it is. can commit to doing rather than a particular type of exercise.

“If you love to run and think it’s something you can do week after week, then running is great,” said Brooker. “If you love weightlifting and think you can hit the gym every week, then that’s great. I have the impression that there is no one size fits all.

In addition to reducing the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19, exercise has many long-term preventative health benefits.

“Exercise is one of the most effective [ways] we have to prevent everything from dying in general from cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. ”Said Angadi. “When you look at people who are just a little bit fit, versus those who are not, you see a pretty substantial 30-50% reduction in these future events. “

While COVID-19 may have changed the way students and teachers train for some time, it has also created new or adjusted ways of training. Gyms on and off the courts have taken COVID-19 precautions by increasing sanitation levels, adjusting the size of group classes, and offering virtual classes or pre-recorded exercise videos.

Haleigh Hopper, a 2021 alumnus and personal trainer, said she noticed a difference between the way people exercised before the pandemic started and what they did in the spring semester.

“COVID has definitely changed things,” Hopper said. “A lot of people try more stuff online. I know personal training tried to do things online, group exercise tried to do things online and that also forced people not to go to gyms.

Trainers like Hopper were able to record exercise videos for others to use. For example, the Instagram of intramural and recreational sports at the University page offers exercise demonstrations such as jump rope exercises. In addition, the recreational sports site contains information about upcoming courses, events and offerings online and in person.

The biggest piece of advice Brooker could give to people looking to start training more is to commit to a schedule when training.

“Plan ahead when you’re going to exercise,” Brooker said. “Set aside an hour in your schedule each week when you go to exercise. I feel like if you haven’t planned it out, it tends not to happen.


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