PHYSICAL FITNESS AND EXERCISE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A QUALITATIVE ENQUIRY
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought this fast-moving world to a standstill. The impact of this pandemic is massive, and the only strategy to curb the rapid spread of the disease is to follow social distancing. The imposed lockdown, resulting in the closure of business activities, public places, fitness and activity centers, and overall social life, has hampered many aspects of the lives of people including routine fitness activities of fitness freaks, which has resulted in various psychological issues and serious fitness and health concerns.
However, there was a gradual increase in positive self-perception and motivation to overcome their dependence on gym and fitness equipment and to continue fitness exercises at home. Also tended to play music as a tool while working out. The regular fitness workout at home during the lockdown greatly helped to overcome psychological issues and fitness concerns.
WHY STAYING ACTIVE IS IMPORTANT
As we spend more time at home to stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s easy to forget our daily activity routine.
Many of our usual venues have closed, and we’re no longer getting incidental exercise from commuting or running errands.
But it’s especially important to stay active during this time. Regular exercise is good for both our physical and mental health. It has many benefits, including:
- reducing the risk of health conditions like stroke and heart disease.
- controlling weight
- reducing stress and anxiety
- improving sleep
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY YOU CAN’T DO RIGHT NOW
To ensure physical distancing to stop the spread of the virus, in most places you can’t currently:
- go to gyms, health clubs, or fitness centers
- visit public swimming pools
- play indoor or outdoor organized sporting events
- attend classes, such as yoga or dance, in community centers and halls
- use playgrounds or outdoor gyms
- visit national or state parks
- exercise with a group such as a boot camp or team sport
Physical activity you can do at home includes:
- weights training — if you don’t have any weights, make your own with filled water bottles, cans or jars
- backyard sports
- going up and downstairs
- on-the-spot running, star jumps, sit-ups, and push-ups
- virtual fitness classes
- Zoom or Skype group lounge exercises with your friends
MOTIVATION AND SUPPORT
It’s important to be active most days, or every day if you can. But staying motivated can be a challenge at times.
Things that might help you keep on track include:
- finding things you enjoy doing
- varying your activities to keep them interesting
- setting achievable goals
- setting a routine and planning your day to include time for activity
- monitoring your activity and progress
- getting the support of your family and friends