Your Top Questions About COVID-19 and Exercise Answered

Should I work out?

The short answer is that if you feel well, absolutely! In fact, exercise may help protect against acute respiratory distress syndrome, a major cause of death in patients with the COVID-19 virus. Read more on the latest research out of the University of Virginia here.

How hard and how often should I work out?

Like we say about, well, just about everything: moderation is key. Now isn’t the time to really push it or spend hours logging miles. Now is the time to exercise — assuming you feel well — a few times a week in ways that leave you feeling energized, not depleted, because while the right amount of exercise can help keep you healthy, overdoing it can actually weaken your defenses. Read more from the Washington Post on workouts and immunity here.

Do I need to wear a face mask when running, cycling, or walking outside?

The answer to this one depends on a number of factors — and the recommendations seem to be changing pretty quickly on it. Get a number of experts’ recommendations in this NY Times article, but basically, if you’re away from people, you’re probably okay without wearing one.

What should I do if all of *this* gives me anxiety — and exercise and food is the only way I seem to be able to cope?

You’re not alone. This is bringing up a lot of stuff for a lot of us (food scarcity, anyone?) and we’re all doing the best we can, day by day. We recently wrote a post on COVID-19 and diet culture. Read it here. And it’s also worth noting that there are a number of ways to get therapy, even now when we can’t leave the house; NPR rounded up a number of solid resources and tips, and we were just introduced to a cool new mental health platform called Frame, and we’ll be sharing some tips from their experts in the coming weeks.

What kind of workouts are you doing and where? I’ve been in my garage gym about every other day, along with daily walks with the family in our neighborhood (keeping a safe distance from neighbors, of course). –Jenn

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