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Training During a Pandemic

Training During a Pandemic

Don’t be a dick. Stay at home.
Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash

Exercise improves the immune system and can help you fight off illnesses. That’s science. But there’s no information yet (as far as I know) whether this is the case with COVID-19.

Common sense would assume so, but we have to be careful on drawing conclusions. Let’s remember that this is a completely new illness with no built-in immunity in the community.

Regardless, staying active can help you fight off other illnesses which might make you more prone to COVID-19.

Perhaps the worst cocktail party I can think of.
Having the seasonal flu would reduce your immune system significantly. Which would then get your body to bring out the marching band welcoming committee for COVID-19 to join the party.

And having those two illnesses simultaneously does not sound like a party I want to participate in. Besides, as an introvert I find most parties a drag, anyway.

Exercise is also a powerful stress-killer and anxiety-reducer. Both are something that a lot of folks are dealing with now. I mean, being stuck inside with limited social interactions is not ideal for a human. Even for an introvert.

But now is probably not the time to train like Meatloaf.

A large increase in exercise duration and intensity can have an adverse effect on your immune system. Especially if you’re somewhat new to exercise. So I wouldn’t focus your training efforts into doing intense Crossfit Fran (or any other female name workouts where you do 20 snatches with switched on flamethrowers?) sessions or marathon endurance sessions.

Instead, train, move and exercise daily, but keep the intensity at low to moderate. Just to be safe.

Focus on improving your weaknesses.

If you feel like certain parts of your body need some extra love (come on now, we all have issues), get improving them during this pandemic.

Now is a great time to work on your technique. Whether it’s in running, squatting, darts or river-dancing leg switch. Often we are too focused on getting a workout while letting the movement quality to go down the shitter.

Get those ankles moving nicely. Improve the hips. Work on your core strength if you have a habit of neglecting it. That old shoulder needing some long overdue attention? Get into it.

You’ll come back feeling stronger and more resilient once you’re able to return to normal patterns of being.

And since being outdoors helps fight stress, anxiety and overall “meh”-ness, get outside as much as possible while adhering to social distancing rules.* During our yesterday’s virtual small group session one client logged his equipment to his back yard. We heard the birds.

In case you start to feel sick, especially with respiratory symptoms, rest. Otherwise you might prolong the illness, or make it worse. From what we’ve seen COVID-19 can start off mild and gradually get worse within the first two weeks.


*Seriously, don’t be a dick.

Additional resources:
How Exercise May Affect Your Immunity (The New York Times)
– Exercise, Immunity and the COVID-19 Pandemic