The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the daily schedules of millions of individuals around the world. While it might be tempting to skip your daily workout, it is imperative to remember some of the benefits to maintaining your exercise routine – some of which may help to reduce your chances of contracting the virus.
- Exercise Strengthens the Immune System – According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), exercise mobilizes billions of cells in our body. The movement of these cells throughout the body – particularly to the lungs and gut – can help to target invading pathogens when they first appear. Regular exercise has been shown to have immune benefits that may help to ward off viruses like COVID-19.
- Exercise Decreases Stress and Anxiety – Exercise releases endorphins which are chemicals that are known to have a positive impact on mood. With consistent exercise, stress levels can be brought down to a healthy level and overall resilience is improved. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America “…physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary (inactive) people. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.”
- Exercise Improves Sleep – Regular exercise has been linked to improved sleep throughout the night and the ability to fall asleep more quickly. In turn, getting good rest has been also linked to increased immunity. The ripple effect exercise can have on the body is amazing!
- Exercise May Prevent Weight Gain – With the loss of typical activities and routines, many people have fallen into a more inactive lifestyle which may lead to weight gain. Exercise can help to burn off any additional calories that are being consumed, and help to burn calories that may have typically been burned during the course of a usual pre-pandemic day.
How can you stay active during the pandemic? CrossFit Lynchburg has continued to offer Daily WODs and mini-WODs throughout the coronavirus crisis. These workouts have equipment and no-equipment versions to ensure that everyone can participate. In addition, the instructors have helped to cultivate a unique environment for community and friendship by offering Zoom workouts for our CrossFit family.
CFL has also had several challenges going on throughout the pandemic to help keep you on track. These resources can help to offer some accountability and a game plan for you as you move forward in your fitness journey during the pandemic.
In addition, you can seek out active housework to help burn additional calories. Activities like gardening, mowing the lawn, or cleaning out the garage can all add to your calorie burn! Finally, get outside and get moving! You can go for walks, bike rides, jogs, or hikes – but please remember to keep at least 6 feet away from anyone else who may be outside.
It is crucial to consider the importance of remaining active in the midst of this global crisis. And, as always, your CrossFit Lynchburg community is here to support you as we adjust to this new normal every step of the way!
By Allison Edwards