Under the current lockdowns during COVID-19 pandemic, people are restricted in their movements and activities in order to help limiting disease transmission. However, it remains important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible. Physical activity refers to all forms of active recreation, sport participation as well as activities at work and around the home and garden. It does not have to be exercise or sport. In fact, playing, dancing, gardening and even house cleaning are a part of being physically active. Not only to boost immune function to act against viruses more effectively, but regular physical activity also helps ease muscle functions and reduce risks of developing chronic diseases as well as relieve mental tension, improving overall mental health.
Although, there is no confirmative evidence suggesting that regular exercise can prevent people from COVID-19 disease, all forms of physical activity play a major role in enhancing immune functions, resulting in lowered risks of being infected as well as quicker recovery if becoming infected. However, being physically and mentally active during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging due to certain restrictions. It is still vital to continue daily life with regular movements in order to remain fit and active. To benefit overall health and wellbeing, recommendations made by health authorities on physical activity for people of all ages include:
To follow instructions directed by health authorities and governments, fitness centers, gyms and parks have temporarily closed in an effort to prevent the spread of the viruses. Nevertheless, being inactive and skipping physical routine significantly reduce physical fitness and overall health status. If physical inactivity continues, this might potentially lead to decreased fitness level up to 10% per week.
Instead of going to these places, at-home workouts can be easily implemented with convenience and joy. Tips for starting routine at-home workouts are:
For professional athletes, a video conference can contribute significant benefits in training and coaching with coaches and team members. While holding a video conference, athletic posture, techniques and skills could be monitored, resulting in fitness improvement and reduced chance of injuries.
Despite the consistency in the recommendation that people should wear face masks as a daily habit, wearing masks during conducting physical activities or exercise might generate negative impacts to the body. The face mask generally covers the mouth and nose. While exercising, wearing masks may limit ventilation and impair oxygen levels, causing breathing difficulties, shortness of breath and chest tightness. However, effects generated by wearing mask vary among individuals, depending on personal conditions and the types of masks.
Face masks made of different materials have been developed and available. Different types of masks have different quality and usage purposes as well as effects on ventilation system while wearing, such as:
Given the current circumstances, prevention of disease transmission via all means remains crucial as the first priority. Staying active and fit is also important to minimize the risk of infections. To reduce chances of viral spreading, at-home exercise or exercise in isolation areas with social distancing (at least 2 meters from each other) is highly recommended. Especially outdoor exercise, social distancing must be strictly complied with since droplets contaminated with viruses from infected people when sneezing or coughing might spread further due to speed and wind velocity. Besides social practice, other preventive measures must be followed e.g. maintaining good personal hygiene, frequent handwashing and avoiding touching mouth, eyes, nose and face.