The importance of exercise during lockdown

Exercise is particularly important during lockdown and delivers two key benefits – the obvious one – physical benefit but also the less obvious to some – the mental benefit.

The benefits are the same outside of lockdown but are easier to ignore.

You won’t be surprised that your average step count will be down considerably as you will not be commuting to work, walking around the workplace and many of you will not be leaving your houses as much as you would normally and therefore the benefit of passive exercise, we do in our normal lives will not be realised. 

This is why, exercise becomes an even more important part of our daily lives through these challenging times. 

The physical benefits

  • Physical resilience – Better response to fight the virus and infections.
  • Better circulation – increases blood flow and helps the heart pump blood around the body faster.
  • Stronger bones and joints – helps keep the skeleton in optimum position by improving the posture.
  • Cortisol regulation – helps to maintain essential functions and regulation.
  • Weight regulation – helps maintain a healthy weight.
  • Better sleep – helps for restoration of the body.


The mental benefits

  • Control – to control what we can control is an important resilience technique.
  • Resilience: exercise can help in coping strategies when addressing mental health problems.
  • ‘Physiological feel good’ – releases endorphins, a natural chemical that makes us feel good.
  • Reduced cortisol release – cortisol is a naturally occurring chemical that is released in the stress response.
  • Mental Fatigue – exercise reduces mental fatigue.
  • Better sleep – exercise helps with sleep. Better sleep reduces poor mental health and exacerbations of poor mental health.
  • Less Depression and anxiety – Exercise is part of the evidenced based treatment for depression and anxiety.


The government physical activity guidelines

For more information visit the government website here for Guidance from the Chief Medical Officers in the UK on the amount and type of physical activity people should be doing to improve their health.

The World Health Organisation also has some good recommendations including following on-line exercise classes – more details can be found here

If you would like to find out more about any of my classes drop me an email and I would be happy to explain a little more.