As it turns out, you can help to ward off COVID-19 by breaking a sweat.
Research has shown that exercise boosts immunity, produces happiness-generating endorphins, and lowers the presence of the stress hormone cortisol. With this knowledge, we're left with no excuse but to take in regular moderate exercise. While exercise won't stop you from catching COVID-19, the benefits offered by exercise do help in improving overall health and bodily function, which is more than necessary under these circumstances.
Each time you exercise, you wake up billions of immune cells that work to kill off viruses. Keeping a regular workout routine ensures that these cells continue to recirculate in order to better protect you from coming down with an illness. Another benefit of exercise is the release of proteins that drive immune cells toward infection and the added defense against infected cells.
According to Dr. Zhen, Yan, Ph.D., of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, exercise may lower the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is cited as a major cause of death in patients affected by COVID-19. Honestly, with all the benefits that exercise has to offer outside of trimming waistlines, this is just another reason to get moving.
Because COVID-19 has rendered Americans more sedentary than ever, these low activity levels could pose long-lasting health risks in conjunction with becoming more susceptible to illness. The recommended amount of exercise is 150 minutes of moderate work or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity, plus two strength-training sessions. This can be in the form of a daily jog through the neighborhood, YouTube workout videos, or getting in touch with a local fitness center to see if there are small group classes or personal training sessions available.
Colorado is known for being a state chock full of active men and women and to see these stats decline should be encouraging enough to establish new exercise habits or get back into an old routine.
Fitness centers all over Colorado have noticed that ever since gyms and studios have reopened, gym-goers have been able to get back to their routines and workouts. In fact, some gyms, like Club Greenwood, have allowed members to book an entire studio for their own personal workouts or cardio. Members are now able to get back to their favorite yoga or group fitness classes with their instructors.
As things settle into a "new normal", it's only a matter of time before working out becomes second nature again. That being said, as we continue down the road of this pandemic, continue to wash your hands, wear a face mask, social distance, and stay home if you're feeling ill.
It's no question that stress and frustration are at an all-time high, and as we enter flu season, it's especially important to take the necessary steps towards staying healthy. If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, we can all do a little bit for long-term health benefits.