Reasons to keep exercising…

Coronavirus may have you worried about your health and wellbeing but that’s no reason to end your fitness regime. We all get that feeling of grabbing a bar of Dairy Milk, sticking Netfilx on, avoiding all the doom and gloom and having a duvet day. But! now, more than ever you need to think about your physical health and exercising..

We’ve taken a look at the latest advice from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) regarding exercising in general during these, well, strange times.

The first thing to remember is that science shows that exercise is beneficial to your immune system and overall health. Obviously, those at higher risk have been advised by the NHS to take extra precautions but for the majority of us continuing our exercise regime is very much a good idea.

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So why is exercising a good idea?

Exercising is good for our immune systems, it lowers our stress levels, and let’s be honest the way the news is we’re all a little stressed right now, but more importantly, exercising provides a much-needed dose of social support (just keep at least a  metre away from the next person) and a focus on our energy.

In 2018 an extensive study in the Journal of Sport and Health Science outlined how bouts of exercise of less than an hour enhances the circulation of antibodies and other immune cells that play a role in our body’s defence. It may lead to enhanced immune surveillance and enhance our bodies response to viral invaders such as Coronavirus.

Keeping physically active will also have an indirect positive effect on limiting stress and research has found that people with higher levels of psychological stress were more susceptible to the common cold. Other research found that regular exercise can create greater emotional resilience to short term stress in healthy people. The positive effects of exercise include:

  • Better mood,
  • Feeling good about yourself, and
  • Feeling less stressed.

It’s good for your metabolic health too. Research has found that poor metabolic health leads to a poorer immune system which is why people with medical conditions such as diabetes are at higher risk of developing infections from the flu or Coronavirus for example. Long term studies have shown that 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking briskly, for 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of diabetes by 30%.

So basically, be like Neil (Our Hall Manager at The Apollo Works)…

…and Izaak (Our Admin Assistant at The Glassworks) who got on the rowing machines for Sport Relief…

…and keep exercising – it’ll keep you in good health both physically and mentally! Stick on your trainers and go for a run or check out these 10-minute home workouts and the Ultimate Home Workout Plan if you have a set of Dumbbells.


How can I protect my mental health?

The World Health Organisation has released advice on protecting your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak. Some of their recommendations include:

  • Limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which aren’t making you feel better. Perhaps decide on a specific time to check in with the news.
  • There is a lot of misinformation swirling around – stay informed by sticking to trusted sources of information such as government and NHS websites.
  • Mute keywords which might be triggering on Twitter and unfollow or mute accounts.
  • Mute WhatsApp groups and hide Facebook posts and feeds if you find them too overwhelming
  • Seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself.
  • Stay connected with friends and family.
  • Avoid Burnout: AnxietyUK suggests practising the “APPLE” technique to deal with any anxiety or worries you may have…
    • Acknowledge: Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
    • Pause: Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe.
    • Pull back: Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
    • Let go: Let go of the thought or feeling. It will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
    • Explore: Explore the present moment, because right now, at this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else – on what you need to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry or do something else – mindfully with your full attention.

Remember to follow the government’s advice, check the latest information on the NHS website and above all keep washing your hands.

Source: IHRSA 4 Reasons to keep exercising and BBC News.

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