It’s true; we are constrained as to sports facilities. You can’t play ball and enjoy organized sports like before. Basketball gyms, yoga studios, and swimming pools are out of the question. They’re closed for now. Sadly, they’ve been closed for almost a year now. Such a depressing reminder tells us how much life has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic in America.
Worse, it details how outdoor activities and gatherings remain but a distant memory today. Even the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics, an event which had the Japanese government spend billions of dollars, has been postponed last year. And is reportedly getting postponed this year too.
But the good news is there are still a lot of things that you can do to maintain your youthful, active lifestyle. You must maximize open spaces in this regard, from sidewalks to green spaces.
Indeed, exercise is not an option these days. It’s a must. That is especially true with the virus around. You need as much protection to ensure your body’s immune system won’t go down. Now, if you’re worried about what to do, fret not. We got you covered. Check out some expert advisory below that should help you get started. So you can come out of the pandemic whole and largely unscathed.
The Rationale Behind Staying Active
First and foremost, exercise is a great stress-reliever. In a world choked by the virus, being able to keep your sanity is definitely an uphill climb. To date, there are over 100 million people who suffer from mental health disorders just in the Western Pacific Region, World Health Organization details. Being able to exercise regularly means you get a key instrument to keep your mental health intact.
Plus, you get a better boost of the mood-calming effects of exercise when you sweat outdoors. Fresh air outside means more oxygen for your brain and body. A better supply of oxygen promotes better functioning of your brain giving you greater productivity. As a whole, research shows outdoor exercise is way more relaxing than your run-of-the-mill indoor gym exercise.
But the benefits don’t end there. Staying active during the pandemic can result in:
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Improved productivity
- Better sleep
- Minimize depression/anxiety
- Better control of life-threatening chronic diseases (cancer, type-2 diabetes)
Simply put, your day-to-day improves a lot when you exercise regularly. At a time when stay-at-home orders are in place, being able to give your body its needed boost is key.
Take note that exercising has one added benefit that could help you fight the COVID-19 virus too. And that’s being able to control your weight. People who are obese have a triple chance of getting hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection. When you are overweight or obese, your immune function can be largely impaired. It’s for this reason also that people who are obese are more likely to succumb to the virus than those with normal weight. And that includes even young people who are obese or overweight.
Starting Outdoor Exercise Right
If you do it by the book, government authorities recommend young adults take as much as 150 minutes of weekly aerobic activity with moderate intensity. That means walking or light cycling weekly. Or, you can also do 75 minutes of vigorous exercise such as running weekly.
Of course, there’s no need to rush things if you’re just starting things out. A good way for you is to do short amounts of exercise, say a couple of 10 to 15 minute walks a week. Then as you progress, you can increase the duration to 20 minutes then to 30 minutes. You’ll reach your goal soon enough.
When you’re starting out, you’ll find that having a patio right outside your home can go a long way in supporting your stay-active lifestyle. Not only will you be able to exercise in your paved yard, but you can also hang out with friends and family there. Reason enough why getting in touch with patio builders and suppliers can be a glorious step forward. To boot, it allows you to make good on your desire to keep fit and fab as the virus rages on.
A good measure to know if you’re exercising right is your breathing. When starting out, exercise so that you can still talk while doing it. If you can’t keep a conversation because of your labored breathing then that means you’re overdoing it.
As you progress, you can increase your intensity. You can inject more strenuous routines such as brisk walking or running at a faster rate. You know you’re having vigorous exercise when you can only manage to say a few words while doing it.
A little warning though. If you have a life-threatening disease such as cancer or diabetes, you should not engage in vigorous exercise without consulting your doctor.
Staying away from the crowd doesn’t mean you can’t go outdoors. Putting your sweat on while with nature can be a most beneficial experience during the pandemic. The secret? Just do it right. And young as you are, you should reap the handsome benefits thereafter and with style.