Our immunity is on trial with the rising Coronavirus, (COVID-19). The fight cannot be won by the government alone; we all must play a part in keeping ourselves safe. Staying indoors, avoiding unnecessary movements, observing hygiene, and boosting our immunity is all we need to do to help curb this virus. Pioneer International University Sports Department wishes to make your stay at home lively. Before we do that, allow us to teach you about what we call PHYSICAL FITNESS.
Physical Fitness (PF)
PF is the ability to perform aspects of sports, activities of daily living and still have enough energy to respond to emergencies. We can achieve physical fitness through proper nutrition, engaging in physical exercises and having enough rest.
What are the physical fitness guidelines?
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following standards which we must adhere to: one should exercise 150 minutes a week at moderate intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity. The above gives you the bare minimum frequency, intensity and time for you to term your physical exercise beneficial and can raise your heart rate therefore causing perspiration.
What are the two categories of physical fitness?
The first category is known as Health-Related Physical Fitness components and the second is known as Performance/Skill Related Physical Fitness components.
Performance/Skill related Physical Fitness is further subdivided to:
- Reaction time
These are exercises customized for elite athletes in different sports disciplines. We will not go to details on the performance components at this time.
Health related fitness components, which is our key focus, is subdivided to:
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Body composition
- Muscular endurance & strength
Health components can be achieved through guided physical exercises.
What physical exercises improve immunity?
According to WHO, physical exercise is generally grouped into 3 categories:
- Flexibility exercises such as stretching which improve the range of motion of muscles and joints,
- Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, running and swimming which focus on cardiovascular endurance and lastly
- Anaerobic exercises such as weight training, functional training or sprinting which increase muscle strength.
Having the above knowledge on physical fitness we will be in a better position to start the next phase of what physical exercises we can do to improve our immune system.
We shall propose two types of physical fitness exercises. One is indoor based fitness and the other is outdoor based fitness.
- Indoor based fitness Entails all exercises which are done in confined places, for example, the gyms and in our houses, they include aerobics, calisthenics and weight training.
- Outdoor based fitness Entails all exercise which are not confined to any set-up, like jogging, running, swimming, cycling and event hiking.
What can you start with during COVID-19 pandemic Period?
The table below indicates various routines. The chart distinguishes between static and dynamic stretch or warm-up. Dynamic means active, energetic, or vigorous, so dynamic stretching involves movement – usually of more than one muscle group for example, arm circles, hip hinges and circles, twisted lunges, leg swings, high kicks, and moving quad or hamstring stretches.
Static means stationary, so static stretches isolate one muscle group at a time and hold a position rather than moving through a range of motion, for example, calf stretches, toe touches, standing hamstring and quad stretches, and many yoga poses.
Can you access a swimming pool, a running track or train at home? Choose whichever routine you find comfortable for you.
|Routine 1||Routine 2||Routine 3|
|Static stretch||static stretch||static stretch|
|dynamic warm-up||dynamic warm-up||dynamic warm-up|
|body weight exercises||body weight exercises||body weight exercises|
|static stretch||static stretch||static stretch|
The next article will give more details on specific workouts.
Nicholas Mwangi Sports Officer at Pioneer International University.