Worldwide social distancing policies during the COVID-19 pandemic is restricting people's daily activities. People are getting less opportunity to exercise and participate in outdoor activities like going to the gym or walking in the park. Insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide and a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases. Here is how you can safely exercise in this pandemic.
• If you have fever, cough or difficulty in breathing or any symptoms of COVID-19, stop exercising. Contact your health care provider regarding your symptoms because COVID-19 patients required specific exercise protocols according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). A respiratory physiotherapist can help you to make an effective respiratory exercise and rehabilitation plan.
• Maintain social distancing when exercising outdoors and practice good hand hygiene before and after exercise.
• If you are not used to physical activity, start slowly with low-intensity activities such as walking or low impact exercises for shorter periods and gradually increase the intensity of activity over time.
• Choose the right activity and intensity to reduce the risk of injury.
• f you feel any chest pain or discomfort during any kind of physical activity, stop the activity immediately and consult your doctor. Patients with heart diseases should measure their target heart rate (THR) before any physical activity.
The writer is a neurodynamic specialist and clinical physiotherapist at BRB Hospital Ltd.