Canadians encouraged to prioritize physical activity during pandemic


With another full lockdown already in effect for Toronto and Peel, and the looming possibility of more regions being included in the coming weeks, it can be difficult to prioritize physical fitness.

With gyms in the aforementioned regions completely closed, and others under strict restrictions--including a limit of 10 people inside--coupled with the snow and cold weather now upon us (November 22 saw a record amount of snow in Mississauga) exercising is becoming increasingly difficult.

However, while many may be lacking both a location to exercise as well as the motivation to do so, the Canadian Kinesiology Alliance (CKA) is reminding Canadians that staying physically active is vital during the pandemic.

As many can attest to, the first wave of the virus--which resulted in a more severe lockdown--led to increased stress, anxiety, depression, a sedentary lifestyle, and, as a result, weight gain.

However, physical exercise helps improve both immune function, as well as boost serotonin--the happy hormone.

Additionally, according to the CKA, obesity is one of the main factors leading to complications related to COVID-19.

Further, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the number of Canadians who have reported feeling depressed or anxious about the impact of the virus has steadily increased this Fall, and it's now approaching the same level it reached last Spring.

Moreover, many have turned to problematic coping mechanisms to get through these stressful times, including overeating, binge-watching television series, or increasing their use of tobacco, alcohol, or narcotics in order to relieve anxiety.

According to the CKA, those who walk, run, bike, or engage in some other form of physical activity, generally feel happier and less anxious.

“Knowing the intense emotions we are experiencing in time of the COVID-19, we urge Canadians to find ways to include physical activities in their daily routines,” Kathie Sharkey, president of the CKA, said in a news release.

“Exercise is accessible to everyone and has health benefits that go beyond mental health," she continued.

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