During this pandemic, I can sense the unhappiness from the personal trainers in Asia. However, due to the restriction/ lockdown established recently, a lot of the personal trainers could not fully operate their fitness business. All of us love our job as passionate personal trainers and I still think personal training is an important. And I dare to say that Personal Training is an essential service in Singapore!
Why Personal Training is an Essential Service?
For as long as I can remember the fitness industry has been promoting the values and benefits of regular physical activity and the health risks and/or diseases that often accompany a sedentary lifestyle. The notion that you need to train with the relentless strength of a professional athlete or bodybuilder is outdated. Today’s personal trainers (especially the good ones) know that 20-30 minutes of focused and purposeful movement – aiming for around 150 minutes over the course of a week – is all it takes to improve your quality of life (QOL).
Recent reports from the world of science have given a big boost to our ideas around the benefits of physical activity. According to a study published in the April edition of the peer-reviewed medical trade journal BMJ, physical inactivity is directly associated with “severe COVID-19 outcomes.” Of the nearly 50,000 adults included in the study, those who met or exceeded that 150 minutes-per-week standard “had lower odds of being hospitalized, requiring ICU admission and dying from COVID-19.”
The study further states: “being consistently inactive was a stronger risk factor for severe COVID-19 outcomes than any of the underlying medical conditions and risk factors identified by CDC except for age and a history of organ transplant.”
Personal trainers, we are essential to our clients’ health due to our influence for enforcing physical activity!
Pretty compelling evidence, if more was needed, that having an above-average level of fitness is worth the time investment. But why is this such an important factor? What is it about exercise that protects against COVID’s most harmful effects?
Spend some time on social media and you’ll encounter all sorts of personal trainers who are proclaiming this study’s results, making it seem as if with every deadlifts one executes, their immune system grows along with their muscles, making them all but bulletproof in the face of this pandemic.
I feel this is an oversimplification, but because the two-year Bachelor Degree I earned in Exercise and Sport Science didn’t included a whole lot on the subjects of infectious disease and virology, I am going to defer to an actual expert on these matters, Dr. Martha Fulford, infectious diseases specialist and associate professor of medicine at McMaster University.
“There are things about the immune system we don’t understand,” said Dr. Fulford. “The impact of emotional stress, for example. Clearly, there’s some link. When people are under a lot of stress, they’re more vulnerable to infections of all kinds.”
This is an important point to remember. Stress is a powerful force, one that counters many of the positive benefits of exercise. In fact, exercise itself is a form of stress, which may help to explain why even the fittest people on the planet – like Canadian Olympic gold medalist Alex Kopacz – are still susceptible to COVID.
Along with BMJ study, there is another report on the impact obesity has on COVID-19. These findings show that people with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 who contact COVID-19 are 113 per cent more likely to require hospitalization, 74 per cent more likely to be admitted to an ICU and 48 per cent more likely to die.
Obesity and physical inactivity are already well-known to be heralds of future health concerns. What these studies indicate is that while many of these health concerns – Type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation – can be managed on their own, they seem to create a perfect environment for COVID-19 to thrive.
That said, it’s a mistake, says Dr Fulford, to conflate physical fitness with any level of increased immunity. regardless of your BMI or how impressive your 10 Km run timing is, everyone has the potential to contract and spread COVID-19.
“Being fit doesn’t mean you won’t get COVID,” said Dr. Fulford. “What it means is that if you do get it, you’ll have a much better chance of a positive outcome.”
Source: COVID-19 Virus