Low Impact Exercises For Students During COVID-19
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests working out for 30 minutes five days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week. While staying inside many of us have succumbed to the sedentary lifestyle. Students in particular are sitting more than usual and for prolonged periods of time. While students sit at the computer working on homework and assignments lower back pain from sitting too long and wrist pain from typing and writing may occur. While gyms and natural areas are currently shut down many students are looking for ways to get a workout while at home.
For beginners who are looking for a weight loss regimen to work up a sweat and get their blood pumping, the Body Project released a free thirty minute exercise routine on their YouTube Channel. This exercise is advertised as low impact and says anyone can do it. The instructor encourages that viewers work at their own pace and take breaks whenever needed.
Another low impact exercise that can be beneficial is Restorative Yoga. The Popsugar Fitness channel on YouTube has a free thirty minute lesson available. Restorative Yoga is the same practice as the well known Indian practice of yoga which focuses on the union of the body and the mind. Restorative yoga focuses on holding poses longer and focuses on stretching and releasing tension in the body rather than doing intense workout sessions.
The centuries old practice of Qigong (Chi Kung), the cultivation of energy, may also be of benefit for students during the pandemic due it’s benefits improving brain functioning as well as bringing benefits to overall body health and wellbeing. Barclay Powers has been teaching Qigong, Eastern and Western Martial Arts for several decades. “People who practice will have much better balance, much better strength, much better cognitive function and overall emotional wellbeing,” says Powers. “The practice includes meditation with breathing and movement, allowing vagus nerve stimulation which in turn greatly increases well being and emotional balance. It’s great for students.”
The Center Life Balance channel on YouTube has released a thirty minute energy cultivation video. The movements are easy to do and can be practiced at home or in nature as seen in the video.
For those who are looking for a low impact exercise and want to get out of the house there is also the option of going on a daily walk. According to Harvard Health Publishing daily walking improves immune function and may reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. “A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.” Walking has been proven to boost immune function, reduce inflammation and ease joint pain.
Working out from home may help students with better brain and body functioning. Exercising can also be a fun family activity or form of solo self-care while staying inside and social distancing.