Fight the COVID Blues with Exercise

Exploring Intensity

Fight the COVID Blues with Exercise

For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a daily reminder that our lives are not back to normal. And now that it’s been months of social distancing and other struggles in life, you would be forgiven for feeling some extra doses of stress.

But a new study points to evidence that exercise is the way to make the best of this trying situation.

This has not yet been peer-reviewed, and it depends on a questionnaire, which isn’t our favorite, but regardless a few different institutions decided to see how exercise and psychology were connected, finally getting 3,000 relatively healthy people of all ages to dish on what their lives look like right now. The questions were mostly about exercise regimens, current living arrangements and self reporting on mental health. And the results were pretty noteworthy, according to this article:

…they found a consistent pattern of more exercise correlating to better cheer and vice versa. In particular, people who once had been active but rarely exercised now were significantly more likely to feel depressed, anxious, lonely and otherwise worried and dour than people who had continued to work out for at least 150 minutes a week…The effects were most striking among the people in full quarantine, few of whom had maintained their prior exercise routines and most of whom reported feeling sad, depressed and solitary now.

Again, we’re not sure how rigorous this study is, but it certainly makes sense to us. If you’re feeling cabin feverish or just down in the dumps, exercise is probably gonna make you a lot happier than just ordering takeout again.