According to fitness expert – Scott Capelin, the COVID-19 pandemic no doubt have revolutionized every aspect of our lives whether health, social, mental, economic and every other aspect you could think of. These unprecedented times have got many grappling with uncertainties and fear as the effect of the pandemic’s reality begins to unfold.
Health is in shambles, business tumbles down, job loss, changes in routine, coupled with the lockdown measure that got many to be away from their loved ones. These and many more are what led to the heightened increase in symptoms of anxieties, depression, fears and many other mental problems.
Is there a way out of this? Can exercise help in the management of COVID-19 related stress? Various studies have suggested that people who are actively involved in physical activity are more alert, more mentally resilient and are coping well at this time. Hence, we ask Scott Capelin, a health fitness expert and a booming entrepreneur to shed more light on how we can cope with pandemic stress using exercise.
Physical activity levels have changed but you shouldn’t be
Ironically, studies have shown that exercise is the last thing many turns to during this pandemic period as compared to the sedentary lifestyle.
‘Considering the conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay-at-home order, maintaining consistent physical activity is more difficult than ever’ Scott Capelin says. ‘For many, the schools and office closures mean there are fewer opportunities especially in activities such as sports, active commuting, walking or cycling as transportation and many other leisurely exercises.’
We tend to turn to the sedentary lifestyle even without realizing it. The lockdown and social distancing have made it so much easier to adopt a passive lifestyle. Many will rather adopt passive indoor leisure such as watching TV, being active on social media, or laying around as a way of coping with stress rather than any active leisure like exercise. It’s not surprising that physical inactivity is taking a toll on the health, and mental well-being of many across the globe.
Gyms might be closed but you can still get a good workout
Well, we understand that the gyms are closed, you don’t have a treadmill or rowing machine at home and unfortunately, you don’t get to see your gym buddy who always motivates you to keep going in your exercise program. But the good news is that you can still get a good workout to keep your body and mental health in good shape. There are many aerobic activities that have proven to improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression. Kids and adolescents can get involved in moderate to vigorous activities to stay active. ‘As a fitness fanatics, I still involved in high and strength training even in the comfort of my home. No weightlifting, no problem. I sometimes hold heavy items that could work as weights and it could be anything simple like a heavy backpack or box or even my kids,’ Scott Capelin explains. For adults or anyone dealing with other chronic illness, Scott Capelin recommends walking or if possible jugging, cycling or speed-walking. You can jug or take a walk outside so far you are keeping the 6-feet distance from others in order to stay safe.
Exercise still remains the key to coping with stress at this time
While we already know that exercise is good for health, it’s even more important at this period of the pandemic. Our body is made to move and that is why we cannot be healthy without moving. Exercise has proven to reduce stress, fear and anxieties and depression. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that make it a great mood booster and positivity. These and many more are what makes exercising the real deal to stay sane and safe during these trying times. In need of more motivation to involve in physical activity? Many companies and fitness instructors are leveraging online platforms to conduct the exercise and make it more enjoyable says Scott Capelin. Although many things might be beyond our control now, we should still always make exercise and physical activity a priority.