Exercise Matters – For Your Body, Mind, and Spirit | Center for Sport Psychology and Athlete Mental Health
April 3, 2020

Exercise Matters – For Your Body, Mind, and Spirit

For athletes, exercise (or physical training) is just part of their lives…although it differs a bit by sport, athletes eat, breathe, live their workouts. Not only does it prepare them to be their physical, technical, and strategic best when they compete, it also can give a general boost to their psychological well-being.

Listen to OnPoint from WBUR on "Staying Active at Home: The Psychological Benefits of Movement (https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2020/04/02/staying-active-movement-coronavirus)

In this time of physical distancing, when we are not allowed to be gather in groups or be in close proximity to others, almost all facilities where people would exercise and be physically active have closed. Even for athletes, from youth sport to high school to college to the pros and the Olympians, where and how they exercise and train has changed. Gone are team practices…workouts are now done alone or perhaps with a personal trainer or coach (who is properly distanced!).

No Gym? No Problem: 5 Exercises for Working Out (https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/03/26/coronavirus-at-home-exercises)

Even though it may take a bit more creativity to do, exercising and being physically active are even more important during this time of physical distancing and sheltering in place. So keep in mind our past tips - Getting Outside and Routines - and think about what you can be doing now to stay active. Even if it's just a little bit! You do not need to go for a 10-mile run every day to reap the psychological benefits of being active. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Identify the ways that you prefer being physically active. Depending on what these are, you may want adjust them (or pick some new things) to fit our current climate.
  2. Get outside…if possible, pick some activities that you can do outside, such as going for a walk, a bike ride, or doing bodyweight exercises in a park or yard or open space.
  3. Develop a routine…plan times throughout each day and across each week when you will be physically active.
  4. Make a commitment…to be active in the ways you identified! For some, being physically active is second nature and staying motivated will be easy. For others, though, committing to a regular level of physical activity may be something new and challenging. If you fall into the latter group, you can use an app like https://www.stickk.com/ to help you!
  5. Enjoy…by being physically active, in the ways that you prefer, on a regular basis, you will begin to reap the rewards…physically and psychologically!