Physical activity in times of COVID-19: How to stay fit and healthy during the pandemic

It is important to get physical activity during the coronavirus lockdown

Physical activity in times of COVID-19: How to stay fit and healthy during the pandemic
It is best to be at least 6 feet away from others while getting physical activity - Photo: Joe Burbank/AP
English 26/06/2020 16:43 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Miranda Perea/EL UNIVERSAL in English & Newsroom/AP Actualizada 14:36
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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we experience everyday life since we now have to take extra precautions to protect ourselves from the new virus that has infected over nine million people worldwide.

One of the lifestyle changes people have had to make include their exercising routines. When it comes to outdoor activities, many people have had doubts regarding the health measures they should implement to ensure their safety.

For instance, should runners wear a face mask outdoors? It depends. A face covering is not needed while jogging or riding a bike if you are exercising when no one is around; nevertheless, it is a good idea to carry one just in case.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people should wear cloth face coverings when out in public, especially in places where it is hard to stay at least 6 feet away from others.

If it is difficult to breathe through a mask when running or doing other strenuous physical activity, so it is best to find uncrowded trails or times to exercise when you are less likely to encounter others, says Mark Cameron, an infectious disease expert at Case Western Reserve University.

The more distance you can keep between yourself and others, the better, says Summer Johnson McGee, Dean of the University of New Haven’s School of Health Sciences.

Masks are designed to prevent the wearer from possibly spreading the virus to others or being exposed themselves.

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The CDC says getting physical activity is important during the coronavirus lockdown for it reduces blood pressure and anxiety and helps you sleep better and improve your mood and energy level, however, it can be a challenge while trying to practice physical distancing.

In case you cannot or do not want to go outside to get physical activity,  the CDC recommends some activities to stay active close to home that include engaging in active family playtime which could be any game that gets everyone up and moving; catching up on household chores like mowing the grass. In case you are willing to go outside the house, consider going for a walk or taking a bike ride, of course, maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other active neighbors.

Likewise, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it is very important for people of all ages and abilities to remain active during the pandemic.

According to the WHO, it is enough to take a short break from sitting or doing three to four minutes of light intensity physical movement to help ease your muscles and bones, while also helping manage weight and reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers - all conditions that can increase susceptibility to COVID-19.

The WHO says physical activity can help give our days a routine and be a way to stay in contact with family and friends, in addition to being good for our mental health and improving overall feelings

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