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Fitness and COVID-19

by Andrea Lutz, doctor of physical therapy
CHCS Rehabilitation and Fitness Manager

COVID-19 has developed a double meaning: Echoing the dreaded “freshman 15,” it can describe the weight people have gained during stay-at-home orders and periods of stress and uncertainty associated with the pandemic. Many Americans had workout options limited. But just because quarantine limited when and where we could go doesn’t mean it should take over how our clothes fit and how healthy we feel. Routine exercise allows for good habits to form, so it’s time to resume your routine or start a new one! (Read more about evaluating eating and exercise habits.

The American College of Sports Medicine, or ACSM, advises 150-300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and two sessions per week of muscle strength-building activity such as lifting weights. According to an ACSM study, only 26% of men, 19% of women, and 20% of children get enough exercise daily. No matter your age or fitness level, exercise can improve overall health by:

  • Improving cardiovascular and respiratory function;
  • Reducing weight and increasing strength;
  • Decreasing stress; and
  • Boosting immune response to help fight infection.

Although we still have much to learn about COVID-19, we know that people who exercise regularly are less likely to develop severe respiratory complications. 

CHCS Fitness Centers in Onaga, Frankfort, and Centralia have reopened, and we have taken steps to counteract the spread of COVID-19. We have adopted social distancing and require cleaning equipment before and after use. We have also implemented improved ventilation, equipment spacing, and handwashing.

If you aren’t sure about the Fitness Center yet, we have some ideas for you if you want to get moving. If you’re interested in indoor activities, try dancing, jumping rope, using exercise videos, or doing yoga. Like the outdoors? Try biking, pushups, squats, running, walking, swimming, or hitting a local hiking trail. Mobile apps are also an option. Many apps cost money, but they can be helpful if you want to complete your workout at home. Take a look at the Peloton app, Daily Burn, Glo, Apativ, or Core Power on Demand.

As you decide to return to the gym, we are working to ensure that you feel safe in our environment. Below are some photos of our equipment. We hope to see you soon! If you have questions, call us at 785-889-4472, extension 5048, or email me at [email protected].

Some photos of equipment are below. The top three images are from Onaga Fitness Center; the bottom two are from Frankfort Fitness Center. 


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