Staying active

Resources sourced for this compilation:

1. What does it mean to be physically active? 

Any form of active recreation like sports, walking, dancing, cycling.
Carrying out household chores 
Climbing stairs 
It doesn't necessarily need to be exercise! 
Move around for 5 minutes for every 25 sedentary minutes

Simply put, taking a break in between work or watching TV and walking around, stretching , climbing a flight of stairs or even standing while doing work for some time helps in being active.

2. Why do I need to be physically active? 

Improves blood circulation 
Lowers BP and risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Increases bone and muscle strength 
For the young - healthy growth and development.
For the elderly - improves balance, lowers the risk of falls.
Improves mood, and feelings of well being 
Reduces risk of depression and cognitive decline 
Boosts Immunity

Quarantining, social distancing and work from home results in a more sedentary lifestyle as compared to the regular routine previously.  Reduced socialisation and physical activity can contribute to a low mood and be stressful. 
Move around to:

Helps ease muscle strain
Not develop eye strain/headaches due to overuse of computer
Helps to cope better during this time 
Relieves mental tension, reduced irritabilit
Sense of well being 

3.  How much physical activity is needed?

he WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of intense physical activity every week.

Infants (0-1): active in a prone position (several times a day). 
1-5 yrs : 180 mins a day (running, jumping,  climbing stairs, activities to improve their balance) 
5-17 yrs: 60 mins a day (Skipping, jogging, dancing,  learning a new skill like juggling, bone and muscle strengthening exercises )
Adults: 150 mins a week (Cardio as well as muscle strengthening activities )
Elderly: three days a week (Training to improve balance and reduce risk of falls)

4.  How can I still be active at home during the quarantine or the lock down?  
Woman Talking on the Phone Cartoon
Take a walk break every 25 minutes
Plan a time every dayto be physically active, in a way that you enjoy 
If you are new to exercise, start slow, work gradually to increase the frequency, duration and intensity 
Check out an online workout /aerobics / dance tutorial 
Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated while exercising
Modify everyday tasks to include more physical activity 
o Walk around while talking on the phone 
o Shift your weight between your legs while washing vessels 
o Flex and extend your knees while working on the laptop 
o Climb stairs more often 
o Keep the remote control at a distance so you need to walk over to it when needed 
Set active goals for yourself and your family, set rewards for when goals are achieved

Websites with tips on being active :

Breathing and muscle relaxation exercises are useful to reduce physical and mental tension during stressful times.  Links to some sites that provided guided exercises are given below: 

a) Exercises:
b) Guided video : 

5.  How can I stay safe while being active? 

Do not exercise if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Please follow the required health regulations at this time. 
If you are able to go for a walk or bicycle ride, always practice physical distancing and wash your hands with soap and water regularly. 
If you are not regularly active start slowly and with low intensity activities
Choose the right activity so that you reduce the risk of injury and that you enjoy the activity.

6.  Some frequently asked questions: 

a. Can I go to the gym or any sporting space? 
Not recommended to use closed spaces or to share equipment with others during this time. 

b. Can I go to the swimming pool? 
Not recommended.

c. Can I take my dog for a walk? 
If you are symptomatic, no. 
Non-symptomatic dog owners, can walk their pet once a day, but it is recommended that they use open spaces close to their house and limit the duration of time

d. Can I do individual sports or go for a walk?
Yes, as long as this activity is practiced only between family members living under the same roof or always with the same friend, respecting 1.5 meters between each person.

e. Can I ride a bike/cycle for recreation?
No, all movements must be reduced to the maximum.

f. I am under quarantine but not infected. Should I limit my physical activity? 
There are no recommendations at this time to limit physical activity if you do not have any symptoms. Contact your health care provider if you develop a cough, fever or shortness of breath.  

g. Will exercise help prevent me from getting the virus? 
Moderate-intensity physical activity can boost your immune system. However high-intensity high volume training may suppress the immune function especially if you are unaccustomed to it. Balance your workout program. 

h. What if my kids are home with me? 
Being active with kids is the most fun of all activities! Find activities that you can do together – an active gaming video, basketball in the driveway, go for a walk in the neighbourhood. 

i. I’m under quarantine and infected. Should I limit my physical activity? 
People who are infected, but without symptoms, can continue the moderate-intensity activity, but need to use symptoms as a guide. Maintain quarantine to prevent spreading the coronavirus to others. If you develop fever, cough or shortness of breath, stop physical activity and reach out to your doctor or health care provider.