Exercise is good medicine. That’s no surprise to anyone who’s been to the doctor with a few extra pounds to lose.
But in an era of pandemic it’s even more crucial. So says Dr. William Roberts of the University of Minnesota and American College of Sports Medicine.
On August 14th, the school-issued guidelines encouraging Minnesotans to get two to five hours of moderate to vigorous exercise every week.
Why? Because daily exercise has the potential to reduce the likelihood of severe complications should a person contract COVID-19.
Severe complications can lead to hospitalization, treatment in intensive care, the use of a ventilator to help with breathing—and possibly death.
Science has proven the immune-boosting effects of exercise and it’s also been shown to reduce stress and improve sleep, and that helps with the body’s ability to fight off infections.
The American College of Sports Medicine’s guidelines break down to 20 to 40 minutes of exercise per day.
Moderate to vigorous exercise includes outdoor activities like walking, cycling, or hiking or chores like gardening, mowing, or cleaning the house.
In early June, Minnesota’s fitness centers re-opened with limited capacity. But people at higher risk for COVID-19, the elderly and those with underlying conditions, may choose to suspend their gym memberships for the time being to avoid any possibility of transmission.
Dr. Roberts realizes not everyone is able to take on a daily exercise routine. But people shouldn’t get discouraged.
He says: “Even 30 to 60 minutes a week is better than nothing.”