Your provider of choice for all things Physical Therapy and Fitness in Fargo, North Dakota.
     HOT OFF THE PRESS! Straight from the European Journal of Sport Science, we are seeing the indirect effects that COVID-19 is playing on our physical health. In this blog post, I’m going to briefly review the research and how it impacts your life. First of all, for anybody that’s been hospitalized for an extended period of time, discharge from the hospital is only half of the battle. A well respected research study from 1968 has demonstrated that individuals that were restricted to bed-rest for a 20-day time span had a 28% drop in maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), which is an indicator of physical fitness as it relates to how well your heart can keep up with exercise demands. In more basic terms, an individual who has to spend extra time on bed rest will be discharged from the hospital with increased difficulty in performing activities that he/she more than likely performed with ease prior to hospital admission.

As of May 1st, gyms in North Dakota have been allowed to reopen with precautions. While I know that some people may be skeptical, there’s research to back up that people need to continue to stay active in order to maintain successful aging. Several studies show that senior citizens who have participated in resistance training exercises have demonstrated decreased neuromuscular decline as compared to individuals who have lived a more sedentary lifestyle. To further support this, research posted in the Journal of Frailty & Aging demonstrated that individuals who perform high-intensity functional resistance training had improved gait speed, improved grip strength, and improved sit-to-stand times which can all be related to reduced frailty and reduced risk of falls.

Again, I totally understand why people may be nervous to get back into the gyms. But it’s still imperative that you get up and get active. A study performed in 2010 demonstrated that individuals who had a reduced step count (<2,000 steps per day) in a 2-week span showed increased insulin resistance which can increase your risk of developing pre-diabetes. While you don’t have to go to the gym to stay aerobically and metabolically fit, it is still necessary to get those steps in. If you’re looking for a solid number to strive for, studies within the article point towards >5000 steps with 7,500 - 10,000 being more adequate to reduce the risk of negative health effects.

COVID-19 has made 2020 one for the history books. As I’m typing this right now there is already a vaccine in trial stage 1 of 3 that has promising results. Fingers crossed everything goes well and we can go back to the way things used to be. However, in the meantime, let’s not let the indirect effects of lock-down keep us down. Try your best to stay fit, and let’s come out of this more robust and ready to say “Bring it on!” to the next thing Mother Nature throws our way in the future. However, let’s do it the smart way. Before initiating any change in an exercise program, speak with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy here at Total Balance Physical Therapy & Fitness. We pride ourselves in our expertise in anything musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and cardiopulmonary. We would love to work with you to help you be the best version of you!

If you enjoyed reading this or if you are craving more information, we will be coming out with additional blog posts relating to the topics mentioned above in the upcoming weeks. If you’re eager to make change or get out of pain, call our office at 701-293-6037 TODAY  or FILL OUT OUR FORM to set up a time to chat with one of our providers. We can find a method that meets you where you feel safest, either in our clinic or virtually!

Casey Sailer PT, DPT

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