WVU Extension Service explains importance of exercising during COVID-19 quarantine


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Gyms, public parks and many public places to get exercise may be closed because of COVID-19, but it does not mean the public can’t find other means of exercising.

That is according to Emily Murphy, an associate professor with the WVU Extension Service, who specializes in obesity prevention. Murphy said children need about 60 minutes of exercise daily and adults need 30 so doing things like walking, running, biking as well as some strength and resistance training is important while quarantining.

What is most important is keeping the public safety guidelines in mind and do things like practice social distancing and only exercise with those who some are quarantining with. Murphy said exercise is a great means of staying healthy regardless of what’s going on in the world.

“I always tell people that if there were a little pink or a little blue pill that was available that would have a multitude of health benefits that include decreasing your blood pressure, improving your stress, improving your anxiety level, helping with your immunity, decreasing your chances of developing cardiovascular heart disease. With all those things, everybody would be willing to take that pill,” Murphy said. “Well that is physical activity in its natural form, physical activity and exercise improves all those things and research has shown it improves all of those things.”

Murphy said there are many resources online to help people stay in shape. Those who are accustomed to going to a yoga class or lifting free weights at the gym, there are alternatives that can be found online and most times for free.

She encourages people to take advantage of these resources and to stay active. The benefits of exercising are needed even more so nowadays when many people are stuck in their homes for multiple hours a day Murphy said.

“In a time like this, definitely stress and anxiety levels are raised so getting outdoors, getting fresh air and just breathing — your breathing is changed with physical activity,” Murphy said. “It automatically kind of provides this kind of euphoria through the different hormones that are released as a result of physical activity so it really does help make you feel better, lower your stress levels and like I said activity can help you sleep better and do all sorts of things.”

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