Spring Fever 2021 is definitely going around. And it’s more contagious than ever, after the year we’ve all experienced. The arrival of Daylight-Saving time means longer, brighter—if not quite warmer—days that have us itching to be outside and moving. By now, we’re masters of Coronavirus restrictions, masks, and social distancing, so tackle spring fever by getting up and about. Pacific Surgical Center can make sure you do so safely and pain-free.
Doctors nationwide admit that “The novel coronavirus pandemic is disrupting every aspect of life—and exercise routines are no exception. COVID-19 closures of parks, gyms, and fitness studios are making it harder to exercise. However, exercise is important to maintain health, prevent weight gain, reduce stress, anxiety and improve sleep. Some studies even show that regular, moderate-intensity exercise may have immune-boosting benefits, but the impact of exercise on susceptibility to COVID-19 is not known.”
But exercise is harder when we go it alone. Experts agree that “With the challenges of working from home and limited access to fitness facilities, you may be finding it hard to stick to a workout routine. You may be missing the camaraderie of the gym, the relaxation of swimming laps, or the social connection from walking or hiking with a group of friends. If you were used to attending a fitness class with a motivating instructor, you might be disappointed in the intensity of workouts on your own.”
And then there are the financial and logistical aspects. They acknowledge “Maintaining an exercise routine at home can seem more like a ‘should’ than a ‘want to’ at the moment. And with so many people out of work and struggling financially, staying active can seem like much less of a priority. However, even a small amount of activity can make a huge difference to how well you think and feel. In fact, exercise is one of the most powerful tools we have for staying physically and mentally healthy.”
Exercising outside is a great way to maintain the 6-foot social distance and slather some much-needed sunshine onto our bodies. Sunlight provides Vitamin D, which is great for bone health, as well as regulating our body’s melatonin, strengthening the immune system, and fighting depression. But remember that all this can be accomplished in about 15 minutes, so sunscreen and a hat are always a good idea.
Uninspired to get moving? Let your kids, grandkids, and pets be the motivation. They’re almost always up for a walk, throwing a ball around, or exploring new paths and hiking trails. Undeterred by rain, cold, or time of day, their energy is often contagious…in a good way. Just be careful around puddles, those are impossible to pass by without a good splash.
If going outside isn’t an option, try to avoid sitting as much as possible. Space out your regular chores so every day has a reason to be on your feet. Stand up during Zoom meetings or pop off a few stretches during TV commercials. Doctors suggest standing every 30- to 60-minutes just to let your muscles do a little work and your eyes relax from never-ending screen-time.
But if aches and pains have intensified over the stagnant lockdown months, reach out to the staff at Pacific Surgical Center and schedule an appointment today. Doctors at Johns Hopkins explain that inactivity can lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, anxiety, depression, certain cancers, and falls around the home. “Thousands and thousands of deaths occur each year due to a lack of regular physical activity.”
The combined efforts of PSC and your primary care physician can work together to keep you active. They address podiatry, gastroenterology, urology, orthopedic, and general surgery needs on a minimally invasive, outpatient basis. Treatment can be scheduled by calling 360-442-7900. Much of the lab work, imaging, follow-up, and finances are done on-site meaning fewer trips and thus reduced exposure to COVID-19.
Spring Fever leaves us restless, excited, hopeful, and a little bit crazy. But somehow it manages to do so in a good way. Don’t ignore it, relish it. Turn on loud music and putter around the house in your socks. Open all the windows and air things out. Take the family on a rambling walk around the block, stopping at every daffodil or crocus you find.
The intoxicating mixture of movement and sunshine is good for the body, mind, and spirit. PSC can help get you on your feet again, but it’s up to you to take the all-important first step.