There are many different ways to stay physically active — sports, walking, hiking, dancing, gardening, as well as activities that you do at home or work. Even house cleaning and grocery shopping are all part of being physically active.
According to the World Health Organization, adults over 18 years old should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Regular physical activities can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight, improve bone and muscle strength, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart diseases.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all very restricted in our movements, so it is even more important for us to stay as active as we can. Studies showed that during the Hong Kong flu outbreak in 1998, people who did not exercise at all or over-exercised (more than 5 days of exercise per week) were at greatest risk of dying compared with people who exercised moderately. Therefore, moderation is the key!
How do we stay active for the right amount in and around the home?
– Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Take short breaks every 30 minutes by simply standing up, stretching or walking around in your living room.
– Plan out a regular routine to ensure that you get your daily physical activity. Mark it on your calendar or set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself.
– Try your best to maintain (not increase) your strength or fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Choose the right activity to reduce the risk of injury.
– When exercising in a park or public open space, always practice physical distancing. Wash your hands with warm water and soap as soon as you get home.
– Do not exercise if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Stay home, rest and seek medical attention.