Advice by Sport
If you do exercise regularly, you'll be aware of the link between exercise and mental health. Staying active helps to boost energy levels and releases mood-boosting endorphins. A large amount of research has shown that exercise strengthens the immune system, which reduces the chance of getting sick and speeds up recovery.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have had fewer opportunities to exercise. In 2020, a research from Australia showed that lockdown policies resulted in an increase in negative feelings, including post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, anger and confusion. In April 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued guidance stating that people in self-quarantine should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week, in order to maintain their physical and mental health (this activity can be spread throughout the week in several sessions).
Therefore, we must learn how to look after our mental well-being during the pandemic. I currently have many patients suffering from depression and anxiety who are unable to engage in their usual exercise, and have reported an increase in negative mood and anxiety.
Like many people in Hong Kong, I have a lot of friends who have moved overseas, one of whom organises online yoga and stretching sessions with her friends in Hong Kong. As a new social tool, meeting online has become a new way to connect with friends and families.
When many people are confined to their homes, it’s important to find ways to stay physically active. Here are some suggestions made by experts over the last two years of epidemic research studies: