People who get little or no physical exercise are more likely to get seriously unwell with COVID-19 than those who get plenty of exercise. According to particular data from a CDC study, physical activity is associated with a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, but inactivity increases that risk.
Several public health precautions were used during the COVID-19 epidemic, including lockdowns and restrictions on access to public venues for physical exercise. These policies have had a detrimental influence on physical activity and sedentary behavior, which were already inadequate.
Individuals infected with COVID-19 who follow physical activity recommendations had a decreased chance of severe COVID-19 outcomes, such as hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, and death. Individuals who engaged in some physical exercise had a decreased chance of severe COVID-19 outcomes than those who were sedentary on a regular basis.
What is physical activity
Physical activity (PA) is defined as any skeletal muscle action that requires energy expenditure. Physical exercise has two components that must be considered:
Aerobic fitness is typically defined as moderate to strenuous activity that causes you to feel warm and increases your breathing rate, breathing depth, and heart rate.
Strength and balance are sometimes overlooked aspects of physical activity, although they are critical and provide several advantages.
Physical exercise may consist of:
- House cleaning
- Active recreation
- Sports participation
- Carrying heavy shopping
It is significantly more crucial for everyone to stay physically active during the COVID-19 epidemic. Even if it's only a quick break from sitting at your desk to go for a walk or stretch. Making a small change like this will:
- Ease muscle strain
- Relief mental tension
- Improve blood circulation
- Improve muscle activity
- Create some routine to your day in these unprecedented times.
Other advantages of physical activity
Physical activity is one of the most effective strategies for people to enhance their health both now and in the future. People who sit less and engage in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity get health advantages. Physical exercise is necessary for:
- Mental health and cognitive function: Physical activity can have immediate emotional effects, such as lowering anxiety. It may lessen the risk of dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) and depression in the long run.
- Regular physical exercise can lower the risk of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
- Sleep: Physical activity might help you sleep better. Getting enough sleep is not a luxury; it is necessary for optimal health.
- Physical activity may also improve immunological function, according to new research.
Benefits of strength and balance training
Strength and balance training are sometimes overlooked as components of physical exercise, with many individuals focusing solely on the aerobic fitness component and its advantages. Strength and balance training has the following advantages:
- Improves blood liquid profile
- Improves immune function
- Improves vascular function
- Builds and maintain muscle mass
- Increases oxidative capacity
- Improves the ageing trajectory
- Improves blood glucose sensitivity
- Improves blood pressure and is a healthy way to manage blood pressure
- Improves body composition - this helps to maintain a healthy weight over time
- Helps to maintain independence and functional status
Despite these numerous advantages, physical inactivity claims 5.3 million lives worldwide each year. It is therefore critical to identify measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the broader impact on long-term chronic disorders.
Physical activity matters-for our nation and for our communities
Americans do not obtain the appropriate amount of physical activity
- One in every four individuals is inactive, which means they do not engage in any physical exercise outside of their normal employment.
- According to the CDC, there are considerable variations in levels of inactivity by geography and race/ethnicity. Colorado had the lowest percentage of inactivity at 17.7 percent, while California had the highest at 49.4 percent (Puerto Rico).
- Only roughly one in every four adults and one in every six high school kids fulfills the physical activity standards for aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises.
Physical idleness costs both lives and money
- Inactivity is responsible for one out of every ten early deaths.
- Inadequate physical exercise is linked to $117 billion in yearly health-care expenses.
- Over 110,000 lives may be spared each year if US people raised their average physical activity involvement by only 10 minutes each day.
What options are available
To reduce physical inactivity, numerous groups—including states, communities, workplaces, and individuals—must collaborate to make it simpler for everyone to exercise more. Community leaders, for example, may promote school and youth physical activity programs, as well as educate and assist families and people to become more physically active.
Disparities in physical inactivity highlight the importance of removing obstacles to physical exercise for everyone. Lack of safe places for physical exercise, such as parks, hazardous streets with high-speed traffic and no sidewalks, a lack of time, and a lack of social supports are some examples.
Everyone can help to boost physical activity. Learn more about physical activity techniques and join Active People, Healthy NationSM, the CDC's nationwide campaign to help 27 million people become more physically active by 2027.
Individuals and families may include physical activity into their daily activities. See the physical activity quantities advised for persons aged 3 and up.
What the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), its partners, states, and communities are doing
Our collaboration with partners, states, and communities enables more people to relocate closer to where they live, learn, work, and play. We work together to break down barriers and promote health and wellbeing for all by:
- Bringing communities together to create and implement locally customized interventions to combat physical inactivity.
- Creating neighborhoods that link sidewalks, bike paths, and public transit to residences, early care and education facilities, schools, parks, and employers.
How to stay physically active while maintaining social distance
Getting enough physical activity while living at home might be difficult. However, it is feasible and necessary to stay physically active while maintaining social distance. Physical activity lowers blood pressure, anxiety, and improves sleep. It can also boost your attitude and energy level.
For growth and development, children aged 3 to 5 years require physical exercise throughout the day, every day. Children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 17 require at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous level physical exercise every day. For health advantages, adults should engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity movement each week, such as brisk walking. Whatever your age, some physical exercise is preferable to none.
Here are some suggestions for being active close to home:
- Participate in active family playtime. Any game that gets everyone up and moving is a good game!
- Catch up on domestic duties like closet cleaning. Vacuuming is a physical exercise as well.
- Step outdoors. Mow the grass, go for a stroll, or ride your bike. Keep a safe gap between yourself and other active neighbors.
- Make watching television more active by performing jumping jacks or push-ups during commercials.