How to stay fit and healthy during coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic – American Society for Nutrition

There is a direct relationship between your diet, physical activity, and health. Your nutrition is a key player when it comes to physical, mental, and social well-being. And it’s important for preventing disease.
Lifestyle factors may also determine if you’re going to get sick or remain healthy. One of those factors is physical activity (PA). A sedentary lifestyle is usually associated with an increased risk for chronic disease, loss of movement, and decreased immune health. For those reasons, physical activity and movement are extremely important during the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, I will cover the benefits of PA, where your focus should be, how to think about exercising, equipment, how much you should be doing, and much more.
*American Society for Nutrition student member, Antonio Faneite, a performance and health coach, has contributed his advice for staying fit during this time. Faneite’s focus is on Spanish speaking athletic and general populations.
Who is at risk?
Physically active individuals usually live longer than those who are inactive or may have a risk of heart disease. Inactivity is an important risk factor similar to high blood pressure, smoking, or high cholesterol. These are some benefits of exercise:
Steps to start being physically active at home:
Focus on weaknesses
As a general rule, you always want to have an intention before starting a workout routine or program. This pinpoints what you’re not good at, and therefore what you are trying to improve. I summarized a few abilities I think people at home, both young and older populations, should focus on.
Go through them and analyze which ones you excel at, which ones you are moderate at, and which ones you lack the most. I would start working on the latter, and progressively move towards the rest. This doesn’t mean when you’re working on one, you’re completely ignoring the rest, but rather is a tool to have a specific intent with your PA.
Hollow body hold for strength
1-arm plank for strength
Push-ups for strength
Squat jacks for aerobic capacity (feet in-out + squat)
Dynamic-high knees for aerobic capacity
1-arm quadruped stretch for flexibility
Hip RACs for mobility
Split your body
There are different ways to think about a program or work-out. I will give you 3 easy ways that don’t require you to be an expert on the subject. Focus on each for any given work-out and try to balance them throughout the week.
Some equipment is necessary to improve some of these exercise capacities. But you can get creative with it; you’re just trying to create some type of resistance. I will give you a couple of options to start with.
Body weight
House material as equipment
Be the scientist of your own body
Be aware and constantly check your body. How well your body is adapting to PA changes from person to person. Keeping an eye on your weight, brain function, energy levels, and even your stool will serve as a guide.
Include a partner and the kiddos
Humans are social creatures, including a partner in exercise makes it more competitive, fun and adds accountability. This is a way to keep you engaged. If you live by yourself, try contacting friends and family via video call, social media, sending each other a pic once you complete your workout, and use other platforms to stay connected.
PA is great way to improve health in children. Scheduling exercise as a family activity and including game breaks in the middle will keep children engaged and attentive.
Set daily and weekly goals
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Setting daily and weekly goals will keep you on track and aware of your improvement. Don’t set yourself up for failure though; make sure your goals are SMART:
Balance your sitting time
A lot of people are spending more time than usual on their home desks or just sitting around during quarantine. Being aware of how much time you’re spending being sedentary can help you maintain a balance. Great tools to help you with this are using a standing desk and setting an alarm as a reminder to stand and move.
How much exercise a week?
I use  the World Health Organization (WHO)’s recommendations on the amount of PA people should do.
That said, start whereever you can. Some PA is better than none.
How to include exercise in your day
Here are some ideas that have worked with my clients and myself whentrying to set up new habits.
I hope this article provided you with some value during this crazy time. And I hope you can take some of the ideas and concepts I shared and implement them in your life. I’m always happy to answer any questions and engage with people, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have issues understanding something.
To your health and strength,
Performance and health coach.
Callisto Performance, CEO.
Athletic Lab, Performance coach.
Morrisville,  NC, USA.
Ana Faneite photography
Instagram: thefaneite & thefaneitephoto
“Be Active during COVID-19.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 27 Mar. 2020,
“Finding Your Motivation for Exercise.” Finding Your Motivation for Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine,
“Selecting and Effectively Using Free Weights .” Selecting and Effectively Using Free Weights , American College of Sports Medicine,
“Keeping Children Active during the Coronavirus Pandemic.” Keeping Children Active during the Coronavirus Pandemic, American College of Sports Medicine,
“People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 Apr. 2020,
“Staying Physically Active during Self-Quarantine .” World Health Organization, World Health Organization,
“Transcript – CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Mar. 2020,
*Heather Schier is a PhD student at the Ohio State University and recently served as an ASN Science Policy Fellow.
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2 thoughts on “How to stay fit and healthy during coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic – American Society for Nutrition”

  1. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.


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