The expression “Exercise is Medicine” started as the title of a wellbeing awareness campaign and is now a slogan widely used by exercise specialists, fitness trainers, medical professionals and others who encourage you to move.
The question on everyone’s lips nowadays is: “Is exercise and physical activity really as effective as prescription medicines?”
“The answer is Yes! It should be considered as medicine and even better, it is medicine that is free and has side affects you want!” said Dean Wrigley, Regional Manager and Master Fitness Trainer at Moove Motion Fitness Club Secunda.
There are many studies that prove that exercise and physical activity protects your health but how does it protect you, you may ask.
The Bulletin spoke to Dean Wrigley, Regional Manager and Master Fitness Trainer at Moove Motion Fitness Club Secunda and received some valuable and educational information.
Dean explained that the many benefits of exercise and physical activity are continually backed by mounting research.
He continued to explain that exercise and physical activity can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression and anxiety.
“Physical activity also improves sleep, physical endurance and mental health,” said Dean.
And now, as everyone is dealing and coping with the significances of the coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to forget an essential element of health and wellness related to the immune system which is… Exercise!
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues indefinitely, it has raised a lot of concern around how exercise can protect us from infection by boosting immunity.
While detailed statistics linked to COVID-19 and exercise have not yet been concluded, research exploring the body’s response to exercise reveals a force of cellular mechanisms that help fight and protect the body from viral illnesses and infections.
This is becoming more relevant as many of us have restricted access to the gyms and recreational parks where we would normally undertake exercise and physical activity routines.
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Although we have no clear indication of when Fitness Clubs will reopen this could be an especially important benefit of maintaining an active routine during this period of isolation and stress.
Dean said that while exercise may not prevent anyone from becoming infected if exposed, it is likely that keeping active will boost your immune system to help minimise the harmful effects of the virus, better our symptoms, speed up our recovery times and lower the likelihood that we can infect others with whom we come into contact.
“That is merely an observation, but I do expect a large interest of exercise immunology research to follow after this horrible pandemic so that we can provide more specific exercise recommendations as they relate to infection risk and control in both healthy and clinical populations,” said Dean.
It is important that we find inventive ways to exercise while practising social distancing and proper hygienic practices.
“At Moove we have been working hard behind the scenes to get the gym ready for our member’s return and to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Research suggests that total rest (not-training) causes significant on average 3% fitness loss per week. We encourage our members to take it easy for the first few weeks back and to give your body the time it needs to regain your pre-lockdown fitness levels. We want our members to be in the healthiest, fittest and safest environment possible.’’, said Dean.
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What advice does Dean have to improve your fitness and to stay healthy?
Dean prescribed the Your own Moove Motion Fitness Exercise Prescription to everyone:
“Aim for half an hour of moderate physical activity 3 days of the week, or 150 minutes a week. If that seems intimidating, start with a few minutes a day and increase the amount you exercise by 5 or 10 minutes every week until you reach your goal.
If you do not want to walk, run or cycle, consider other moderate-intensity exercises, such as swimming, stair climbing or online fitness classes.
Moove Motion Fitness Club has online workouts available to everyone. Anyone can access these from our social media platforms; we have posted during lockdown.
You can also access complimentary Les Mills workouts from there via the Les Mills on Demand platforms.
Remember that household activities can count as well, such as gardening, mopping the floor or anything that gets your heart pumping so much that you break out in a light sweat.
We are looking forward to welcoming back our members soon!”