Experts promote physical activity in a virtual world


Autumn Williams

Seniors Claire Thilenius And Seth Brand dance, a way to remain physically active, on May 24.

Gym and recreational facilities will remain partially closed as Virginia moves into “phase 1” of reopening and will only offer outdoor and virtual classes. As a result of these closures, quite a few individuals turned to exercising outdoors.

Health organizations promote the idea of getting active, deterring people from sedentary lifestyles.

According to the World Health Organization, “Sedentary behavior and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being, and quality of life of individuals. Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time.”

Health care professionals remind everyone that equipment is not necessary; they recommend everyone to engage in moderately intense physical activity.

“Every little bit of movement counts,” said Dani Johnson, a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. “So when we’re confined to our home, move, move, move.”

Furthermore, experts recommend everyone aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise and walk approximately 10,000 steps per day.

Sandy Younan, RD, Dietitian & Founder of The Dish on Nutrition asserts that it may take a little creativity to reach the physical activity baseline. She claims dancing serves a spontaneous and fun way of meeting the exercise goal.

While health organizations do not discourage outdoor exercise during this time, they do recommend people take certain precautions.

“Consider the number of other people who might be there and if you’d be able to ensure enough space — at least 6 feet —between yourself and other people,” said the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Students have taken up safe physical activities around their neighborhoods to remain in shape.

“I‘ve been spending time roller-skating outside since all the rinks have closed due to corona, and I go outside with my family on walks,” said junior Vanessa Shusko.

For those who prefer fitness center workouts, some facilities, like Onelife Fitness, offer online and outdoor classes and lone equipment. This said, fitness facilities anticipate reopening their establishments at limited capacity.

“We have the ability to control our cleanliness [regarding] how people enter our facilities and putting policies and procedures in place to prevent to spread of the COVID virus,” said Jeremy Levine, owner of Vault Athletics and Fitness.