Dear Students,

It is reported that an epidemic such as COVID-19 has not been seen in the world since the Spanish flu, which became an epidemic in the First World War. COVID-19 has caused dramatic difficulties in terms of economic, social, and individual lifestyles in the globalizing world, especially in health. The most important damage from the virus is direct damage to the respiratory system, impairing the immune system, exacerbating underlying medical conditions, and ultimately deteriorating human health with dysfunction in the organ system. For this reason, various measures have been taken by the states. Quarantine and social distancing are some of them. There have been dramatic changes in lifestyles, both on an individual and social basis, due to quarantine and physical inactivation (inactivity). For example, Research has found that inactivity due to hospitalization and bed rest and physical inactivity due to constant quarantine and social distancing reduce the ability of organ systems to resist viral infection and increase the risk of damage to the immune system. In fact, recent studies have clearly stated that COVID-19 affects the respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and brain systems. 36.4% of patients infected with COVID-19 developed neurological symptoms such as headaches, confusion, and dizziness.

It is not as difficult as it seems to activate functional coping mechanisms for human beings who have managed to survive since their existence. So, what should we do in the face of such a challenge? First of all, it should be tried to develop an optimistic and positive attitude in order to alleviate hopelessness, panic, and fear. Because in conditions where stress, fear, and anxiety are above the optimal level, thinking processes are negatively affected. The harm and suffering that the coronavirus can inflict on a person is not only related to factors such as age, gender, race, and medical conditions but also to the individual's lifestyle during the pandemic. It is an important power in the hands of the individual to prevent or reduce the formation of the negative picture mentioned above (in the first paragraph) created by more than one condition. When we consider that our mental health has a connection with our immune system, it is directly related to individual resistance to virus infection. Then we must make our defense stronger against an enemy who can do us so much harm. One of our greatest weapons to strengthen our bodily and spiritual immunity is activation." The Ministry of Health has reported the effects of activation (movement) on our physical and mental health as follows:

Maintains muscle strength and strengthens muscles,
Maintains body posture,
It reduces the feeling of fatigue.
Regulates heart rhythm
By strengthening the heart, it increases blood flow to the heart and reduces the risk of a heart attack.
There is an increase in respiratory capacity.
Regularly active individuals are more successful in getting rid of their smoking addiction than inactive individuals.
Regular physical activity helps control diabetes and blood sugar by controlling insulin activity.
Helps balance the body's use of water, salt, minerals,
By forming the habit of meeting energy needs by burning fat, it accelerates metabolism and prevents weight gain.
It reduces the risk of developing early dementia (dementia) and forgetfulness due to the increase in blood flow to the brain due to its effects on the vascular structure.
It reduces the risk of vascular diseases of the brain.
Due to its positive effects on healthy muscle, bone, and joint structure, it creates individuals who are at peace with their bodies and self-confident by improving body smoothness and awareness.
Improves the ability to think positively and cope with stress,
It increases the level of well-being and happiness.

What Kind of Exercise Is It?

Studies have shown that long-term, high-intensity exercise increases susceptibility to infection. It has also been shown that moderate exercise strengthens our immunity. It's good practice to start exercising at lower intensities and durations and work your way up slowly. For example, walking is the most natural and practical form of exercise and is beneficial for many organ systems. Starting an intense exercise program suddenly can lead to decreased immune function. As healthy individuals in the COVID-19 epidemic, Social distancing exercises should be done to stay physically active. Some perspectives may need to be developed to exercise social distancing. Becoming physically active and reducing sedentary behavior can easily be achieved by avoiding prolonged sitting, taking short breaks of movement or activity, using online exercise classes, and using mobile technologies such as phone apps to encourage movement. Examples of home exercises that do not require large spaces or equipment while being easily performed at any time of the day include walking, climbing stairs, lifting and carrying food, push-ups, sit-ups, rope skipping, yoga, and pilates. For example, walking seems to be a suitable exercise for which suitable conditions can be provided. The metabolic rate of skeletal muscle can be increased 100 times with activation or movement compared to resting conditions at home. Experts in this field define 10,000 steps per day as a high level of activation and 1500 steps per day as a low level of activation.

In addition, exercise has a healing effect on psychological disorders and problems such as depression, anxiety disorder, acute stress disorder, exhaustion, relationship problems, irritability, insomnia, poor concentration, and fear caused by social isolation. You should be active while following the precautions, and you should not be inactive during this process. Maintain a normal working and resting rhythm, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and never neglect family and friends, even if it is through virtual contact (following social distance). It should not be forgotten that "physical movement" (exercise, sports, dance) and "spiritual movement" (communicating with others, such as family and the social environment) are also important.