Are you getting tired of staying at home during the COVID-19 quarantine? Physical activity can help to reduce stress during this pandemic, but it also can reduce your risk of some chronic diseases, help to maintain blood pressure, and help you to maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity has also been shown to improve cognitive function in children ages 6 to 13 years old.
Current physical activity recommendations come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans was updated in 2018 and provides the current recommendations. The recommendations include adults needing at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and at least 2 days a week of muscle-strengthening activity. Muscle strengthening activities are activities that put force or pressure against your muscles, such as resistance training or lifting weights. You can also choose to get at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity can be tested using the “talk test.” Moderate-intensity aerobic activity enables you to continue to easily carry on your conversation, where with vigorous activity you can only say a few words without losing your breath. Recommendations for children aged 6 to 17 are to get at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
Examples of moderate-intensity physical activity:
Examples of vigorous physical activity:
As always, choose whatever form of physical activity works best for you and always consult your physician before beginning a new physical activity routine. You do not have to complete your physical activity all at once, you can split it up throughout the day.
During the COVID-19 quarantine, I have enjoyed taking my dog for walks and participating in online physical activity classes. I have also been spending my weekends catching up on housework. Physical activity has proven to give me a break from being indoors and has helped me keep a routine during this pandemic.
Don’t forget to follow all recommendations set by state and local government during the stay at home order. If you do choose to go for a walk make sure you are keeping your six feet of distance from others and wear a mask when going in public.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture