During the COVID-19 Pandemic it is more important that ever for us to focus on the controllables in our lives. There is a significant benefit to exercise for immune system function at EVERY age. Below I will offer some suggestions and the latest from EIM for working and staying fit at home.
Exercise is Medicine is an initiative that I have been a proud supporter of since the beginning of my practice of Sports Medicine & Community Medicine. In my role as Chief of the Sports Division at Columbia Orthopedics we have focused on managing lifestyle change through nutrition strategies, exercise, and stress management in addition to cutting edge technologies for alleviating pain. For athletes that utilize HR monitoring and have a clear exertional and duration level for exercise, it is recommended to stay at about 75% of max exertion for maintenance. This comes from the know immune suppressive impact of high intensity exercise that can persist for 24-48 hours.
Creativity may be needed to find an adaption to your existing program of exercise, or your first stab at getting fit. But it can be as simple as counting your steps. It is likely that your smartphone is already doing that for you (click here for guide on how to enable this feature). We can distance socially while going for a walk, wear a mask in public spaces where distance can be compromised, and avoid park benches and playgrounds. Staying fit will improve your immune system. There is good evidence that from childhood through adulthood, not only is exercise heart healthy, good for your mental health, a cancer preventative, but it is also a good way to boost the immune system. If exercise were a pill every doctor would prescribe it to every patient.