Are you getting enough exercise?
Are you doing enough physical activity during the COVID19 pandemic?
Posted by Josh Wong
Over the past few years step counters like the Fitbit have become increasingly popular, and with that, a magic number of 10,000 steps became a widely accepted recommended amount per day. Although this number probably isn’t very significant, it is mainly an encouragement to increase physical activity in a generation that sees more sedentary office workers, teens who spend most of their free time playing video games, and even shopping is gradually shifting online. I recently spoke to a friend who told me that working from home has led her to have an average step count of 100/day. Although I don’t track my steps, I would guess my number is similar to this, which equates to 1% of that magic number of recommended steps per day. Let that sink in. During this unprecedented time where we are encouraged to stay home as much as possible, many of us may only be getting 1% of our recommended amount of physical activity!
So, what should we do?
The obvious and simple answer is to do more physical activity. The harder question to answer is how do we do this. The government has continued to allow exercise as a reason to leave home, and many have started to or continued doing daily walks/runs, which is great. But for some of us who lack motivation or perhaps have never been much of a runner, I usually give a few tips to my patients:
1) Start out easy – if you’re new to an exercise (especially if you’re new to exercise in general), start off by doing something easy. If you’ve never jogged in your life, perhaps we can start with doing some speed-walking. We can always progress to jogging once our body is comfortable with doing more exercise. We can also avoid injuries or over-taxing our bodies this way.
2) Set a (realistic) schedule. “I will walk 30 minutes every evening after work” or “I will run for 20 minutes, 4 times per week.” Just like many other things, if we don’t schedule exercise in, we are likely to never do it. Put it in a calendar if you need to, and stick to the schedule as much as you can!
3) Find something you enjoy doing. Running is not for everyone (I know it’s not for me), but there is certainly something you may find more enjoyable for exercise, or at least more tolerable. Whether its cycling, or doing a pilates workout on Youtube, or a resistance workout with weights and bands, the goal is to do exercise and it can come in many forms. The likelihood of sticking to an exercise regime increases the more you enjoy it.
Leave a comment letting us know what you’re doing for exercise during this time! And also feel free to leave any questions for us to guide you through your exercises! Get in touch via email – firstname.lastname@example.org