We are all familiar with common preventions against the spread of COVID-19; whether it is social distancing, thoroughly washing our hands, or wearing face masks. However, something not often considered is physical activity.
Aerobic exercise is ideal as it strengthens the heart, lungs, and immune system. This improves overall health and reduces risks from viruses. Aside from getting the vaccine, consistent physical activity is the best way to protect yourself during this pandemic.
Older adults who participate in aerobic exercise have reduced their health risks as opposed to their inactive counterparts. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, sedentary adults are twice as likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 compared to those who exercise for at least 150 minutes a week. Regardless, any amount of time exercising is better than none. Those who are physically active for just 10 minutes a week were shown to have some protection against COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and two days of muscle training per week. The most effective way to achieve this is to exercise for at least three days a week. It is recommended to spread these days out to prevent excess fatigue. Understand your fitness level to find what is right for you. Start with small amounts of activity and gradually increase as you become more comfortable. You can begin with simple chores like yard work or gardening. Daily walks are also an excellent way to get into the habit of exercising. Other examples of aerobic exercise are hiking, yoga, biking, and water aerobics.
To learn more about ways to stay active, speak with a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.