How the Importance of Physical Exercise Persevered During COVID-19 – The Cavalier Daily


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 to train for months.

However, as Siddhartha Angadi, a cardiovascular exercise physiologist in the University’s Department of Kinesiology, attests, even as restrictions ease, the importance of physical activity remains.

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

“Essentially what exercise does is kind of give your body a certain…cardiopulmonary cushion, and so if you get a disease like COVID-19, the good news is that even if it affects the functioning of your lungs, you have this built-in cushion – you can avoid serious outcomes,” says Angadi

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

Class of 2021 alumnus Meredith Brooker worked as a personal trainer at the University during her undergraduate studies, and she thinks it’s more important to choose an exercise that the individual feels they can commit to doing. rather than a particular type of exercise.

“If you love running and think it’s something you can do week in and week out, then running is awesome,” Brooker said. “If you love weightlifting and think you can hit the gym every week, that’s great. I feel like there is no one size fits all.

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

“Exercise is one of the most effective ways [ways] we must prevent everything from dying in general of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc. said Angadi. “When you look at individuals who are just slightly 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 faculty trained for a while, it also created new or adjusted ways to train. On- and off-court gyms have taken precautions against COVID-19 by increasing sanitation levels, adjusting group class sizes and offering virtual classes or pre-recorded exercise videos.

Class of 2021 alumnus and personal trainer Haleigh Hopper said she noticed a difference between how people exercised before the pandemic began and how they exercised in the spring semester.

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

Trainers like Hopper were able to record exercise videos for others to use. For example, the University’s Intramural-Recreational Sports Instagram page features demonstrations of exercises such as jump rope workouts. Additionally, the Recreational Sports website contains information on upcoming online and in-person classes, events and offers.

The biggest advice Brooker could give to people looking to start working out more is to commit to a schedule when working out.

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

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