COVID-19 and Exercise: A Rocky Relationship

Image labeled for reuse by wikimedia commons. Although exercise may look different during the pandemic, it's more important than ever.

Image labeled for reuse by wikimedia commons. Although exercise may look different during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever.

The pandemic rages on. As people across the country adapt to this new form of living, a significant number of aspects of our daily lives have been pushed aside.

From my own experience, the pandemic has forced me to stay inside, eat more, and exercise significantly less. Before the pandemic, school kept me out of the house, away from unnecessary eating, and sports kept me active, however, due to unmanageable circumstances, I have had to alter my routine.

Back in April, I wrote an article stressing the importance and subsequent benefits of a consistent daily routine. I must confess, I have not taken my own advice.

As we embark into the uncharted territory that is online learning, it’s essential that we take our physical health into our control. We can still do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, but it’s time to focus on other aspects of our physical well being.

Motivating yourself to exercise is difficult under normal circumstances, but attempting to motivate yourself to exercise in this everything but normal time is near impossible. Speaking for myself, when quarantine started, I was firmly biased against exercising. When it was announced that Academy School District 20 students would receive an extra week of spring break, the last thing on my mind was keeping up with an exercise routine.

As the pandemic started to look like it would never end, I joined a club track team, where we met twice a week to work out and stay in shape for the upcoming season in April 2021. Although meets against other club teams were nonexistent due to social distancing concerns, I found that pushing my body to stay healthy was beneficial to my overall well-being during the long summer quarantine months.

I’m not the only Air Academy student who has come to realize the importance of exercise during the quarantine months.

Senior Gavyn McGough commented about his established exercise routine, “I didn’t work out for a while. But around July my friends and I went to a gym once a week and did a really tough workout.”

McGough almost perfectly mirrors my situation during the summer months.

“I think [exercise] is really important because I gained an extra ten pounds because I wasn’t working out” added McGough.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “Having obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above, increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

Although I don’t intend to label McGough as obese, the benefits of keeping your weight down reach far further than cosmetics.

To add to the innumerable benefits associated with regular exercise, establishing a plan to stay healthy physically often translates to mental health.

As the school year comes into full effect and there’s an end in sight, I encourage every AAHS student and staff member to stay healthy and safe.