The ongoing pandemic has transformed people’s exercise routines around the world as gyms, fitness centers, pools, and parks have been forced to adjust daily functions to meet local and state guidelines. As a result, many people had no access to fitness equipment or other resources that they would normally use to exercise for months.
However, as confirmed by Siddhartha Angadi, a cardiovascular physiologist in the university’s kinesiology department, the importance of physical activity persists even with diminishing limitations.
The Mayo Clinic Proceedings published a study on Jan. 1 detailing the relationship between physical capacity and hospital stay due to COVID-19. The study found an inverse relationship between a person’s physical fitness and their likelihood of being hospitalized for COVID-19, meaning that a lack of exercise is directly related to deteriorating health in the face of COVID-19.
“Essentially, movement gives your body a certain … heart-lung cushion that integrated pillow – you can avoid serious consequences,” explains Angadi
There are a variety of different activities that people can do to improve their fitness level. According to Angadi, the recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, and this exercise could be as easy as taking a brisk walk. It is more important to exercise consistently than to focus on the type of exercise chosen after Angadi.
Class of 2021 alumna Meredith Brooker worked as a personal trainer at the university while studying, and she believes it is more important to choose an exercise that the person can commit to rather than a specific type of exercise.
“If you enjoy running and you feel like you can do that week to week, then running is great,” said Brooker. “If you enjoy lifting weights and you think you can hit the gym every week, this is great. I have a feeling that there is no one size fits all.
Not only does exercise have the likelihood of being hospitalized for COVID-19, it also has many long-term preventative health benefits.
“Exercise is one of the most effective” [ways] We have to prevent everything from dying in general, right down to cardiovascular disease, cancer, whatever, ”Angadi said. “If you look at people who are only reasonably fit, you see a pretty significant 30 to 50 percent reduction in these future events compared to those who are not.”
While COVID-19 may have changed the way students and faculty trained for a while, it has also created new or customized ways to get into a workout. Gyms, both on and off-site, took COVID-19 precautions by increasing sanitation, resizing group classes, and offering virtual classes or pre-recorded exercise videos.
Haleigh Hopper, a 2021 class alumna and personal trainer, said she noticed a difference between the way people exercised before the pandemic started and what they did during the spring semester.
“COVID has definitely changed things,” said Hopper. “A lot of people are trying more things online. I know personal training tried to do things online, group training tried to do things online, and it also forced people not to go to the gym. “
Trainers like Hopper could record training videos for others. For example, exercises such as skipping rope workouts are demonstrated on the university’s intramural sports Instagram page. In addition, the leisure sports website provides information about upcoming online and face-to-face courses, events and offers.
The biggest piece of advice Brooker can give to people who want to exercise more is to stick to a schedule while exercising.
“Plan ahead when you want to work out,” said Brooker. “Each week, reserve a time in your schedule to exercise. I have the feeling that if you haven’t planned it, it just won’t happen. “