Measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have changed our everyday schedules and disrupted exercise routines for many individuals. Although it might be tempting to skip your exercise during these challenging times, exercise is essential to your physical health and mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular physical activity can help give our days structure and be a way to stay connected with family and friends. Growing evidence shows that physical exercise does not have to be strenuous or even require a major time commitment. It is most effective when done regularly, and in combination with a healthy diet and mental wellness activity.
There are significant health benefits that can be gained with a moderate amount of daily physical activity. As metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge. Exercise helps increase metabolism and builds muscle mass, helping to burn more calories. Regular physical activity may reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers – all conditions that can increase susceptibility to COVID-19. It also improves bone and muscle strength and increases balance, flexibility and fitness. Strength training may also alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.
There are also cognitive benefits of exercise for older adults. Physical Activity benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active, which can prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Also, exercise improves your sleep. Poor sleep is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Quality sleep is important for your overall health. Physical activity often improves sleep by helping you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply. Furthermore, exercise boosts mood and self-confidence. Endorphins produced by physical activity can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more self-confident.
How Can Therapy Help?
The Rehabilitation Team assists each person to progress towards their individualized fitness goals and is there to support them through both their challenges and successes. Your rehab team is specially trained to help adults with a broad range of conditions that affect their ability to participate in physical activity and exercise. Your therapists can identify lifestyle changes that can facilitate improved physical fitness levels. Therapy can offer assistance and guidance by creating a plan of care that includes:
- Resistive weight bearing exercises
- Correcting body mechanics & posture while exercising
- Balance & stability interventions
- Treatment of mechanical pain & dysfunction that limit exercise participation
- Home modifications & functional safety assessments
- Energy conservation with physical activity.
Consult your rehab team today if you are interested in increasing your Physical Activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information, please contact your Select Rehabilitation Physical, Occupational and Speech therapists.