We all know that exercise has many benefits. Unfortunately, due to social distancing, ongoing restrictions and the ever-present threat of lockdowns, we are becoming less active, and it’s affecting our health. Working from home, not going to the gym and being confined within a certain radius. Yet, moving has never been more relevant or essential. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle combats the consequences of the COVID19 pandemic. In this blog, we discuss the immediate benefits of exercising during lockdown and how you can achieve this.
Why should I exercise during lockdowns?
Movement is medicine. This is especially true during the current COVID19 restrictions and recent lockdowns. Exercise has been shown to be effective against the current health challenges that are currently being faced. Below are a few reasons why you should get moving now!
What is moderate to vigorous exercise?
• Boosting your immune system
Recent studies have shown that exercise boosts your immune system. It has even been suggested that being physically active offers some level of protection against COVID19. When compared to those who always met the recommended exercise levels, those who were consistently inactive were 
◦ 2.26 times more likely to go to hospital due to COVID19
◦ 1.73 times more likely to be admitted to ICU for COVID19
◦ 2.49 times the risk of dying from COVID19
Researchers have indicated that exercise elevates the activity of immune cells in the body. As a result, keeping the body active and ready to fight against any forthcoming diseases. 
• Mental Wellbeing
The implications of the COVID19 pandemic have also significantly affected the mental wellbeing of many Australians. A national survey conducted during the recent lockdown confirmed this statement. In just the first few months of lockdown, researchers found :
◦ 27.6% of people demonstrated clinical symptoms of depression
◦ 21% of people showed clinically relevant anxiety
◦ 59.2% of people had thoughts about self-harm
The World Health Organisation has suggested that maintaining a routine, such as regular exercise, is essential for mental wellbeing. Increased blood flow to the brain, the release of hormones (e.g., endorphins, serotonin, etc.) and improving sleep are some of the ways in which exercise can help with mental health.
• Preventing future health complications
Globally, physical inactivity has been associated with the 4th leading cause of death . A lack of regular exercise increases the risk of developing chronic diseases such as :
◦ Heart disease
Exercise helps improve general health by helping to prevent these chronic conditions. It is important to have a long-term outlook on your wellbeing, especially given the uncertainties during this challenging time. Additionally, those with chronic diseases have a higher risk of developing severe symptoms if exposed to COVID19 .
Types of exercise during lockdown
“Motion is lotion.”
This quote expresses the sentiment that any physical activity is better than none. Try to be creative and perform exercises that you enjoy. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a walk around the block, gardening, or even dancing in the kitchen. Just do get active!
If you don’t have time for exercise, try to incorporate more physical activity throughout the day. Consider parking further away from the shops, or even walking around your home while you’re on the phone. It all counts.
How much exercise should I be doing?
The recommendations for weekly physical activity are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two strength-training sessions .
Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise is any continuous movement that increases the heart rate. Examples include walking, cycling, gardening, dancing and jogging.
Strength training should target each major muscle group, such as the arms, legs and core. Even if you don’t have any weights, you can perform bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups and sit-ups.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, have a look at our video!
If you or someone you know needs help now, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If someone is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000).
At Move Better for Life, our focus is on keeping you fit and healthy. If you’re in pain, feeling unmotivated or looking to improve your overall wellbeing, we are here for you. Our team of physiotherapists and exercise physiologists will help you achieve your physical health goals.
Depending on the current circumstances, we can assist you within the comfort of your own home or face-to-face.
Make a change today by clicking here.