Most of us don t remember times like this when normal life is shut down, this period of chaos and uncertainty is going to be very tough on most people around the world. With so we need to take steps to keep ourselves healthy, as well as mentally and physically fit. Our focus in this piece is on staying physically active which will in turn have lot’s of added benefits to keeping your immune system strong to mental and physical fitness.
First lets’s look at the benefits of exercise then we’ll look at ways to keep fit when gyms are closed and playing normal sports are not an option.
Mental benefits of exercise
Feel good, think good
When we are physically active, whether that means getting out for a walk, run, gym or playing sport, our mind is distracted from daily stressors and thoughts. This helps us avoid getting bogged down by negative thoughts. Exercise actually reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body and at the same time, it stimulates production of endorphins. Know that relaxing feeling after doing physical exercise? That’s because physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed.
Regular exercise also has the power to increase one’s concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. On a simpler level, doing physical activity takes the mind of compulsive thoughts and helps relax the brain.
Sports and other forms of physical activity improve the quality of sleep. They do this by helping you fall asleep faster and deepening your sleep. Sleeping better can improve your mental outlook the next day, as well as improve your mood. Whatever you choose to do, the more you are active during the day, the more likely you will be to relax and fall asleep at night.
Just be careful not to engage in sports too late in the day. Evening practices within a few hours of bedtime may leave you too energised to sleep!
Physical benefits of exercise
Any aerobic exercises are great for the body. Aerobic means ‘with oxygen’ – the term ‘aerobic exercise’ means any physical activity that produces energy by combining oxygen with blood glucose or body fat. Aerobic exercises are a must in any fitness plan.
Exercise will help build and maintain healthy bones, along with a healthy diet it’s a great way to shed ponds. Inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity, your body spends energy in three ways: digesting food, exercising and maintaining body functions like your heartbeat and breathing. Combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximise fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for keeping the weight off in these current harsh times.
Exercise also helps boost the immune system, which is very important in this environment. Try get 30-60 minutes of exercise per day and you don’t exposure to other people and germs, stay clear of the gym, the outdoors is the best environment to try stay active.
Keeping fit while gyms and sports clubs are closed
Firstly there are sports you can play on your own! Most of these solo sports are fully accessible even with gym and sports clubs boing closed, you just need live close to water for some and have the right gear for others.
The most popular and enjoyable solo sports are: Running, cycling, mountain biking, surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking/canoeing and climbing. Here’s a full run down of all the- different solo sports
There are so many variations of home workouts you can do so maybe we can follow this up in a separate piece. But for now you can either buy some simple gym equipment like an exercise matt, some dumbbells or a kettle-bell or just use your bodyweight to do the stable workout exercises like sit-ups, press-ups, burpies and squats. Here are some of the best exercises to build fitness
Even better if you can do all these outside in your garden communal area or park as being outdoors is always much healthier than being stuck inside. During the current COVID-19 crisis just make sure you keep your distance from others.
Running is already mentioned above but we need to remember that running is one of the most accessible sports in the world, it can be done anywhere with minimal equipment.
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