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Exercise Is Medicine: How To Stay Physically Active During The Pandemic

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WEDNESDAY on "The Source" — Between working and learning from home, concerns about the safety of gyms and group sports, and the onset of colder weather, it's getting harder to find motivation to stay physically active.

The right kind and amount of exercise can increase immune function and boost the body's ability to defend itself, which is especially important for older adults who are particularly vulnerable to infection and for children, whose immune systems are still developing.

In addition to physical gains, exercise has myriad mental health benefits. It can relieve stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression, improve memory and cognitive function, and even help you sleep better.

Kids need to be ingrained with healthy patterns that will follow them throughout life and prevent short- and long-term health issues that can result from a sedentary lifestyle. Older children tend to get less exercise than their younger counterparts — a trend that's been exacerbated by virus-related shutdowns.

What are some creative ways to exercise during the pandemic? How can you incorporate physical activity into everyday home activities? What amount and kinds of exercise are most beneficial at this time?

How much physical activity should the average person be aiming for while in lockdown? What are the potential consequences of inactivity? What options are available virtually?

Is it safe to go to the gym, play sports, or exercise around others? Should you wear a mask while working out? Does walking or running past other people at the park a risk factor for coronavirus transmission?

How important is exercise for your mental health? What are some tips to stay motivated to work out when the world feels like it's falling apart?


  • J. Timothy Lightfoot, Ph.D., director of the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance and professor in the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University
  • Genevieve Dunton, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call  833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview will be recorded on Wednesday, December 2.

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