Working (out) from home? Four reasons to start exercising during the quarantine

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Words by

Founder of Fortis Health

Among the many changes COVID-19 has forced upon us, a general lack of movement and the realization of just how fragile our health can be are perhaps the most immediate in our daily lives.

With the possibility of the government’s quarantine measures extending and businesses struggling to find ways to continue servicing their customers, workers need to find ways to stay both healthy and productive in this period of isolation and social distancing.

But there’s a lot we can do, even from the confines of our homes, to keep our energy levels high and our immune systems strong as we support our nationwide efforts to beat COVID-19. Chief among them—commit to a simple daily exercise routine.

Here are four reasons why.

1. It boosts your immune system.

Our immune systems are our bodies’ defense against viruses like COVID-19. And while medicine and treatment are important, the best way to ensure we’re safe against sickness is to make sure we don’t get sick in the first place.

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Time and again, exercise has been proven to naturally boost our immune systems. It lowers our levels of inflammatory cytokines, a by-product of our bodies fighting against infections. This, in turn, aids in preventing cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, among others. Safe to say, exercise is definitely a proactive way of boosting our body’s natural defenses against unwanted viruses and bacteria.

2. It helps manage your mental wellbeing.

Fear and uncertainty are high these days, and that stress can sap a lot of energy out of our days. Many studies have found that exercise is among the best natural tools we have on-hand to improve our mental wellbeing, reducing anxiety, depression, and negative moods by improving not just self-esteem but also cognitive function.

On a scientific level, increased blood circulation during exercise leads to higher oxygen levels in our brains, helping us perform better. Exercise also produces endorphins, improving our moods, reducing stress levels, and leading to better sleep quality.

With our daily routines completely changed by this pandemic, setting aside time to exercise gives us control in a time where we are so limited by circumstance. That, in itself, is a huge boost to mental wellbeing.

3. It can be a great avenue for team-building.

For entrepreneurs, not being able to interact with your teams is a real problem. Even for firms that can still functionally operate remotely, having a separated workforce can really kill momentum and lead to employees becoming disconnected from one another.

To that end, exercise programs can do a lot to boost morale and keep co-workers connected. Using video conferencing tools like Skype or Zoom, it’s easy to schedule three days in the week for a 30-minute session where the team comes together for a quick workout. If you’ve ever done burpees before, you know that having people around you can be a huge motivator.

Bonus points if you can bring in a professional instructor to lead the group, as well as provide virtual guidance to each person. My team in Village Fitness has been running different formats of virtual programs for our members with the objective of keeping them engaged while our facilities are closed. We‘ve begun offering group sessions for our corporate clients as well, facilitating classes over Zoom.

4. Online programs have never been more accessible.

Given that equipment might not be as accessible during the enhanced community quarantine, it’s high time to get creative when designing fitness programs. Regular gym goers may be disappointed in seeing their progress melt away as they’re stuck at home. But there are still many resources available online to ensure your progress doesn’t end during the quarantine.

With the right combination of bodyweight fitness programs and mindful food choices, you can still supercharge your day and keep your health high. Exercise programs such as HIIT can stimulate the metabolism to burn more calories, while tempo-based bodyweight training can help you build muscle, even without heavy weights around.

With so many options available online, we’re almost spoiled for choice. But one important consideration when selecting a program for you is your ​personal fitness goal. Being clear with what you want to achieve is the first step in actualizing results. If mobility is what you want to achieve, maybe Yoga or Animal flow can help. If you want to be building strength and bulking up, find a trainer online that can help you make do with what you have lying around the house. Now is the best time to reflect and figure out what your fitness goal really is.

Ryan Fermin is an entrepreneur and startup founder specializing in implementing tech into lifestyle development and sports. If you’re interested in learning more about building a personal or professional fitness program, you can reach him at ryanfermin.villagefitness@gmail.com.

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