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  • Writer's pictureHeather Davis

Pandemic Rx: Exercise

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

I do it as therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline.” – Jack LaLanne

For stamina and strength, and as your greatest defense against this virus, the habit of regular exercise is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

The weekly recommended amount of physical activity works out to about 21 minutes a day, on average, of moderate cardio exercise. For parity purposes, that amounts to a single episode of the 10-episode season you watched in one sitting.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost 82% of adults and adolescents do not get enough physical activity. As this vast majority likely shares some of the same ‘pre-existing conditions’ exacerbating COVID-19, this is as good a time as any to run down a reminder of the benefits:

Exercise reduces the chance of heart disease, stroke, disease and some cancers. It promotes brain health as we age. It helps us manage our weight and strengthens muscles and bones.

Exercise also helps reduce stress and anxiety, and improves our mood; It helps reduce levels of depression, and improves our energy levels and sleep quality.

It’s key to our overall health and well-being.

At least it is for me.

Before my gym was shuttered over coronavirus, my regular fitness routine included running two or three 5K runs each week and on alternate days climbing 200 flights of stairs.

Through the sheer power of self-discipline, I’ve averaged one-hundred (100) 5K runs a year over the past 17 years. Through that process, working out has become a non-negotiable habit in my life. Just let a global pandemic try to stop me.

Neighbors who never saw me before have front-row seats to the crazy person running up and down, up and down. As my 12-year-old’s new P.E. teacher, my single pupil less-enthusiastically runs one of my three miles. The great news about exercise: one can still reap the health benefits, scowl or not.

Being able to keep up regular routines in the midst of upheaval is like a comforting friend that says:

See, not everything is chaos.


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