As we all find ourselves in the midst this global coronavirus pandemic, we are being cautioned to practice social distancing and to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus. We are all facing new challenges to maintain our health and well being and to also find ways to occupy our time. Many are turning to exercise as a pathway to better health and a healthy habit to pass the time. However, experts are clear that, “both too much exercise and exercising while sick increases the risk of medical complications of dying.”
In an article published on sciencealert.com, sports scientists, Tamara Hew-Butler and Mariane Fahlman explained the “J-shaped” curve phenomenon to discuss how exercise influences the body’s immune system. “Both too much and too little are bad while somewhere in the middle is just right,” stated Hew-Butler and Fahlman, “The J-shaped (‘just right’) curve suggests that exercise, like most things, is best in moderation.
Hew-Butler and Fahlman offered the following guidelines for the right amount of exercise for most people during this pandemic:
- Mild to moderate exercise (20 to 45 minutes), up to three times per week.
- Strive to maintain (not gain) strength or fitness during quarantine period.
- Avoid physical contact during exercise, such as team sports that could likely expose you to mucosal fluids and hand to face contact.
- Wash and disinfect equipment after use.
- If you do use a gym, find one that is adequately ventilated and exercise away from others to avoid droplets.
- Remain engaged with teammates through social media, rather than social gatherings or physical contact.
- Eat and sleep well to boost your immune system.
- Remain optimistic that “this too shall pass.”
There are some actions and activities that are just too risky and should be avoided:
- Do not exercise past exhaustion. This can increase the risk of infection.
- Do not exercise more than five days each week.
- Do not exercise in crowded, enclosed spaces.
- Do not share drinks or eating utensils.
To speak with a healthcare provider at Primary Medical Care Center & Urgent Care Clinic to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com. Source: https://www.sciencealert.com/should-we-be-exercising-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic