Physical Activity during the Covid-19 Pandemic

If you’re like me, most of what you’ve heard in the last couple weeks is either about the health/medical or economic aspects regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.  You might not have left the house or are doing so a lot less than you’re used to.

As we start to settle into the situation, it’s important to think about regaining some normalcy, to act as if the world intends to spin on.  For many of us, this would involve physical activity.

With everything happening, why should I workout?

There are many reasons why physical activity is important.  At the very least, physical activity is associated with a strong immune system.

For adults, physical inactivity results in a loss of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness.  Even a short period of inactivity – under 2 weeks – can results in decreased heart function and muscle strength.  Longer periods may result in loss in muscle and bone mass.  These losses are greater as one gets older and may be harder to regain.

For children and youth, physical activity is important for musculoskeletal fitness, as well as the development and refinement of motor skills.

What type of physical activity should I be doing?

Your body’s physical activity requirements are not different now then they were a week or a month ago.  A variety of physical activity should be performed, notably emphasizing the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.

The challenge is attaining physical activity when gyms are closed, and we are practicing physical distancing.  Cardiovascular exercise is easier, by going for a run or bike ride.  Another option that you could do at home is skipping rope.

Musculoskeletal fitness includes stretching and strength training.  Stretching can be done at home, but is it possible to do strength training at home?

What is the purpose of this blog?

I’ve set-up this blog as a resource for those of you looking to exercise while being responsible and practicing physical distancing to help prevent transmission of Covid-19.  The main focus will be on strength training, but I’ll discuss other physical activity-related topics, especially if you provide feedback.

Most of all, I want this to be educational and informative.  It doesn’t matter if you’re just embarking on an exercise regimen or if you’re regularly exercising.  I hope this blog will give you insight into exercise not just during the pandemic, but also for the future.

Who is this blog for?

We’re all in this together, meaning that we should all be stuck at home for the time being.  It also means that physical activity is important for everyone, including children and adults, weekend warrior and athletes, etc.

Typically, exercise programs are tailored to an individual.  This works when there is a variety of spaces and equipment to use.  What happens when space is restricted and there’s limited equipment?

Most people will benefit from a relatively straight forward strength training program.  Through this blog, I’m hoping to show you how, with some individual-specific modifications, a basic home strength training program may be just enough to minimize the negative consequences of inactivity.

What is the basic home strength training program?

The program involves exercises targeting most of the major muscle groups.  It is designed so that no equipment is required, however, if you do have some home exercise equipment, such as dumbbells or rubber tubing, you could certainly use those to add resistance.

This program will not be as effective as a gym-based program using barbells and dumbbells, or machines.  It’s just not possible.  However, with some modifications, the difficulty of the exercises can be increased so that it is somewhat effective.  Those modifications will be explored in upcoming posts.


For now, here’s the program.  Tomorrow, I’ll post descriptions of the exercises.

Frequency: beginners – once/day; intermediate-advanced – twice/day

ExerciseNumber of SetsNumber of Repetitions
Bodyweight Squat415-20
(Overhead) Split Squat46-12 (with each leg forward)
Lateral Stepping48-12
Standing Heel Raise48-20
Push Up36-20
Isometric Back Extension31 repetition holding for 30 seconds
Leg Lower36-12 repetitions

4 thoughts on “Physical Activity during the Covid-19 Pandemic

  1. This is great, thank you! I cant do some of these expertises due to knee issues, however, but I’m glad to have it nonetheless.

    Like

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