During these times of uncertainty and unprecedented fear and isolation, it is easy and understandable to feel nervous about the impact COVID19 will have on your health and general wellbeing.
We at DMP want to remind and reassure everyone that exercising during this time is not only safe (under obvious strict criteria) but it is hugely beneficial. The ways in which physical activity benefits us during a time like this, is in two ways.
Firstly, there are vast amounts of evidence to show that physical activity can support and boost our immune system. This is especially evident in the older populations where it is found to reduce incidences of chronic disease including viral and bacterial infections. There is epidemiological evidence to support the fact that exercise enhances the immune competency, including studies that have shown spikes in viral and bacterial antigens following bouts of exercise. This is contrary to some anecdotal suggestions showing high intensity exercise can compromise immunity. Another study showed that regular exercises report less annual sick days.
The second reason to continue to partake in physical activity during the COVID-19 crisis is because exercise is proven to support our mental health and mood states. Isolation can lead to negative mind set, anxiety and depression and exercise can help combat these. It does this by improving self- esteem and cognitive function. Exercise increases blood circulation to the brain and therefore influences the physiological reactivity to stress. This is done via the HPA axis and its communications with several regions of the brain, including the areas responsible for motivation and mood, fear in response to stress and memory formation and mood.
So, during this time of coronavirus, exercise will be of enormous benefit. If you need any help with programming or anything at all we have accredited exercise physiologists who can help. If you do not wish to come in, we can provide a telehealth consult and or phone/email contact.
Finally, make sure any exercise you do is done in accordance with government restrictions and guidelines. If you need to access these, they can be found here:
Of course, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or are unwell in any other way please refrain from exercise. Please always follow good exercise practice and include warm up and cool down and stay hydrated.
Campbell JP and Turner JE (2018) Debunking the Myth of Exercise Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan
Sharma A, Madaan, V & Petty, F (2016) Exercise for Mental Health Essa.org.au – Exercise and Sports Science Australia
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