Like many Americans, you might have trouble getting exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic as you struggle to prioritize your fitness along with work, family, and everyday life commitments. Research shows that physical activity has immediate health benefits. Exercise can reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality.
To learn more about how to add more exercise to your life, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Move Your Way website. Regular exercise can be extremely beneficial as we strive to reduce stress and improve our health and well-being in the current environment.
How Do I Stay Safe Exercising During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
The World Health Organization developed recommendations to ensure that you are able to stay safe while exercising during the pandemic:
- Go for a walk or bicycle ride. Always practice physical distancing and wash your hands with water and soap before you leave, when you get to where you are going, and as soon as you get home. If water and soap are not immediately available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Go to a public open space to walk, run, or exercise. Follow local restrictions on the number of people you can be with as well as any local restrictions on the use of public spaces for outdoor activity.
- If you are not currently physically active, start slowly and with low intensity activities. Start with short, low impact routines and gradually build up to 30 minutes of continuous exercise over a few weeks.
- Choose the right activity so that you reduce the risk of injury. Choose the right intensity according to your health status and fitness level. You should be able to breathe comfortably and hold a conversation while you do light to moderately-intense physical activity.
- Do not exercise if you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay home to rest and seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen. Follow the directions of your local health authority.