So, you can’t go to your gym, or you feel uncomfortable exercising in a gym environment. What can you do to motivate yourself to stay healthy and fit during this time?
One of the most important aspects in improving your health starts with beginning a fitness routine during the current COVID-19 situation, which poses unique challenges.
We all know that a healthy immune system is very important, and that exercise and staying healthy should be at the top of our priority list now. What are some of the best types of exercise to bolster our bodies’ first line of defense against infection?
Research shows that when it comes to the benefits of exercise on the immune system, regular moderately intense endurance exercise improves immune responses. This includes activities like brisk walking, slow jogging, climbing stairs and general aerobic exercise. The moderate level of intensity is different for everyone depending on your present fitness level, gender and age.
How do we know we’re in the moderate zone? Here are four easy options to determine when you’re there:
1. Use the Talk Test. You should be able to carry on a conversation without losing your breath.
2. Calculate your heart rate training zone using your age. Try to stay within a target heart rate of 65-75% of your maximum heart rate:
- Max heart rate: 220 – (your age) = beats per minute (bpm)
- Low-end of moderate intensity target: (bpm) x 0.65 = lower target
- High-end of moderate intensity target: (bpm) x 0.75 = upper target
3. Use the Borg scale of perceived exertion. Starting at 6 (the easiest) and going all the way up to 20 (all out), you’ll want to hit exertion cues (“fairly light” to “somewhat hard”) in the middle for moderate intensity endurance training (8-12).
3. Use technology. Buy a fitness watch or heart rate monitor.
When it comes to exercise and immunity, you need to start out slowly and not “overdo it.” Stay at the right level for you, and you will see improvements week to week. Hydration and a healthy diet are also paramount. Get plenty of rest, and try to control your stress levels with general yoga exercises, relaxed stretching and/or breathing exercises.
Don’t let this pandemic stop you from gaining the benefits of exercise. Set up some goals and schedule daily time for your exercise. Remember that you need to do this for YOU. Get started today!