During these trying days of the COVID pandemic, many of us have taken to exercising at home, walking, biking and running. Hopefully you have already experienced some of the benefits provided by these activities.
Exercise is one of the pillars among the Lifestyle factors, apart from Diet, Sleep, Relaxation and Social connections that help us maintain good health and immunity.
So, how does exercise help? As parents and kids are “working and studying from home” there is hardly any physical activity required during the day has decreased. Added to this is the fact that kids are missing out on their sports practices and games. Physical inactivity can lead to weight gain and increased BMI. People who have high BMI percentile, in the 90th or 95th percentile are more likely to have increased inflammation in the body. This inflammation can subsequently lead to elevated levels of Cholesterol in the body.
Several research studies have shown that exercise can also help with emotional health and is one of the important remedies for anxiety and depression. There is a system called ENDOCANNABINOID system in our body. This system helps us overcome pain, gives us a feeling of joy and happiness. One of the endocannabinoids that helps with our emotional health is called Anandamide. This is interesting, because Ananda, in Sanskrit means happiness, and that is what Anandamide provides us. Have you heard of the Runner’s high? The release of these cannabinoids is the reason for this.
So, ensure that you incorporate exercise into your daily routine. The exercise intensity should be moderate to see some of the emotional wellbeing benefits. This can include weight training, brisk walking (not a stroll), biking for at least 30 to 45 minutes a day and bring a happy smile to your face everyday.