There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our regular routines. For many of us, it’s changed how we spend our free time, where we work, and for some, it put exercise and movement in general at the bottom of our list of priorities. We understand your struggles and how important it is to stay active during these uncertain times, especially now that wintertime is upon us!
Did you know that regular physical activity is vital for staying healthy and optimistic? It represents a cornerstone in the primary prevention of at least 35 chronic conditions (here we explore only 6)!
Compared to sitting around most of the time, moderate-intensity movement is associated with better immune function. Regular exercise can also help reduce stress and anxiety (which many of us have been experiencing during this pandemic).
So, don’t sit all day! Whether you’re sitting at work or working from home, there are easy ways to sneak activity into your daily routine. For example: if working from home, get up and stretch every 20-30 minutes and consider taking a lap around your neighbourhood during lunchtime. If watching TV, get up during every commercial (or periodically) and do an active chore like taking out the garbage. You will feel much more productive after just one show! Simply put, movement is essential to your health and wellbeing, and below are a few more important reasons for you to keep moving.
6 Reasons Why Movement IS Medicine:
1) Low Back Pain Relief
Low back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints affecting 60–80% of all adults at least once during their lifetime. Exercise, especially core strengthening, is very useful in improving the function of your back.
2) Bone Health Improvement
Studies have shown that aerobic and resistance exercise consistently improves the daily functional ability of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Current evidence indicates that exercise can increase bone density and decrease falls and associated fractures in the elderly.
3) Mental Health Improvement
Feeling anxious, stressed or moody because of social isolation? Physical exercise positively affects the long-term management of psychological symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and chronic stress!
4) Diabetes (type 1 and 2) Management
Researchers worldwide have found that regular exercise, along with dietary changes, can help manage diabetes types 1 and 2.
5) Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Studies have shown that exercise lessens your risk of developing heart disease because it helps reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in the body (both play a role in damaging your arteries). There is evidence that aerobic exercise in patients with stroke positively affects walking speed and function.
6) Obesity Prevention
Physical training reduces fat mass and counteracts muscle mass loss during dieting. Did you know that muscle tissue burns calories even when you’re at rest? Strong evidence exists that physical activity is essential for maintaining body weight after weight loss.
Don’t let this pandemic slow you down. Make movement a part of your daily routine! Chiropractors work with patients to provide the right type of exercises to prevent and treat musculoskeletal conditions.
Need some inspiration on easy exercises you can do at home? Here are some free resources to get you moving or make an appointment with your local chiropractor to set up an exercise plan.
Pedersen BK, Saltin B. Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015 Dec;25 Suppl 3:1-72. doi: 10.1111/sms.12581. PMID: 26606383.