Fitness: Why you need to keep exercising through COVID, according to the WHO

Has COVID-19 got you stuck inside? This is why you need fitness to work out your lockdown woes

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With the ongoing COVID-19 global health crisis disrupting our daily lives, we're moving less than ever before. Some gyms have closed their doors entirely, while other are limiting class sizes, preventing as many people from taking part due to safety reasons. Many of us are no longer leaving our homes to work, let alone exercise, and Christmas is likely to be a very small affair for most people. 

However, even through all this, we must continue exercising or risk another epidemic, according to experts at the WHO. 

"The WHO urges everyone to continue to stay active through the Covid-19 pandemic," said Ruediger Krech, head of health promotion of WHO, reported by AFP. "If we do not remain active, we run the risk of creating another pandemic of ill-health as a result of sedentary behaviour."

The WHO recommends adults need to do two and a half hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week, while children and adolescents should be moving for at least an hour every day. While exercise is less important than diet when it comes to weight loss, it is vital for maintaining mobility, muscle and bone function, cardio fitness and mental health. 

When if there's no gyms or facilities open, or limited space, and you're no longer walking or cycling as much as a means of getting elsewhere, hitting this target every week can seem like a challenge. However, there's plenty of ways to get active while in lockdown. 

best trail running shoes: On Cloudventure

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With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend deals still in full swing, you could take the opportunity to grab one of the best Black Friday treadmill deals or Black Friday rowing machine deals, both pieces of fitness kit allowing you complete lots of aerobic exercise without even leaving the house.

Treadmills act as a more comfortable running surface than concrete roads, allowing you to tailor the gradient of the surface to your training rather than the other way around. Rowers, meanwhile, train your back, biceps, forearms, core and legs, providing resistance training as well as cardiovascular fitness.

Alternatively, you can always try some of our best shoes for walking or best trail running shoes and get into nature. There are no limits on outside activity, and studies have shown spending time in nature decreases the production of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. This is bound to be essential due to the stress being caused by the ongoing pandemic.

Alternatively, YouTube channels such as Yoga With Adriene and Joe Wicks have seen record jumps in subscribers, so there's plenty of opportunity to follow along with workouts in the comfort of your own home. All you need is some comfortable clothes to get active at home!

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Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.