Get Out and Walk!

By Ken Reed

Like a lot of us lately, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on Zoom. Invariably, whether it’s a work or personal Zoom session, someone will say “I really need to get more exercise during this pandemic.”

Undoubtedly, it’s tougher these days to exercise. Health clubs, recreation centers and gyms have been closed. In some areas, parks aren’t even open.

But for the most part, all of us can get out and walk; if nowhere else then around the neighborhood.

Leading a sedentary lifestyle, in conjunction with the stress of a potentially deadly pandemic, along with pandemic-related financial stress, not to mention the personal stress of not being able to hug friends and relatives, is a recipe for physical, mental, and emotional health problems.

Walking is a simple activity with tremendous benefits, including helping you fight off the coronavirus. Moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function, according to the website Exercise is Medicine is a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine. Regular physical activity, including brisk walking, can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression, three fairly common side effects of this coronavirus.

In a piece for CNNHealth, Lisa Drayer wrote:

“In fact, research shows that ‘fit individuals’ — defined as those who partake in regular physical activity — have a lower incidence of infection compared to inactive and sedentary individuals. What’s more, being physically active may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases that could further weaken your immune system, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.”

It’s important to stress that to get the tremendous benefits of exercise, you don’t need to partake in high intensity running, biking or swimming. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that consistent lower-intensity physical exercise, like walking, can lower the risk of death from any cause by 18%.

Walking is also great for the brain, which will make you more effective while working from home. Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara says the brain evolved to support movement and if we stop moving the brain doesn’t function as well. He points out that based on scientific literature, people who engage in physical activity before they engage in a creative activity are more creative.

“One of the great overlooked superpowers we have is that, when we get up and walk, our senses are sharpened,” says O’Mara.

So, click out of that Zoom meeting, bust out of COVID lockdown for awhile, and go outside and use one of your superpowers: walking!

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.