Exercising during COVID19

Living a Changed Life: Diet and Exercise Jokes

The only habitable planet in the solar system may be imploding under the pressures of COVID-19, but it’s population on the other hand is supposedly the fittest it has ever been. It would seem more of us now have time to lift a kg weight than to place the equivalent into our stomachs. One of my MS patients even went as so far as to say that they had reduced most of their symptomatic treatments since they didn’t need them anymore. That encounter left me thinking whether we were medicalizing our patients without meaning to?

In an online survey of MS patients related to their physical activity, on the otherhand demonstrates that not everyone has benefited; 31.7% reported that their level of fitness decreased during the COVID-19 period. This finding is made more significant by the fact that the majority of the respondents were ambulant. Although a further ‘38.3% reported that they continued or even performed more physical activity than usual during the COVID-19 epidemic and 68.3% reported that their level of fitness was maintained (or even improved) compared to the period before the epidemic‘.

It must be born in mind that many would have been self-isolating during the pandemic. But, we may need to going forward populate ideas on safe spaces with adequate social distancing, exercise strategies at home to achieve full cardio work outs and online feedback sessions on performance. Please place your suggestions in the comments.


Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020 Oct 27;47:102603. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2020.102603. Online ahead of print.

Physical activity behavior in people with multiple sclerosis during the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel: Results of an online survey

Alon Kalron Mark Dolev Michal Greenberg-Abrahami Shay Menascu Lior Frid Sharon Avrech-ShezifiGil Harari David Magalashvili Anat Achiron

Multiple sclerosis (MS) itself and first-line disease modifying therapies do not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. However, home isolation is likely to result in a significant decrease in participation in leisure time physical activities and an increase in sedentary behavior. Therefore, using an online cross-sectional survey we examined the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on physical activity (PA) behavior and fitness level in an Israeli cohort of people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). The survey PA questionnaire included 10 questions. Specifically, participants reported on whether, and to what extent, the pandemic conditions had altered their PA behavior. One hundred and twenty PwMS filled out the online survey, 78 were females with a mean age of 43.0 (S.D.=12.9) years. PA behavior during the pandemic demonstrated that 17.5% who were engaged in PA before the COVID-19 pandemic, ceased PA, 33.3% reduced their PA, 20.0% continued their PA as before, 18.3% increased their PA during the pandemic, and 10.8% did not perform any PA in the past and did not so during the pandemic. As for the patient’s self-reported fitness level, 31.7% reported that their fitness level had decreased during the pandemic, 60.0% felt no change, and 8.3% reported an improvement. Our findings serve as a call of action for all professionals involved in MS management to address physical activity behavior in PwMS during the COVID-19 epidemic.

About the author

Neuro Doc Gnanapavan


  • I’ll so jealous of everyone who has managed to increase their activity during all this! My running mileage has gone right down without a run commute to do. And without a large open plan office to move around and another office 1km away to walk to, my incidental activity has gone right down too.

    And no parkrun every week, marathons cancelled so no race on the horizon to help with motivation… I’ve probably done a bit more yoga but everything else has gone down!

  • It used to be that families did almost everything or they didn’t flourish and survive, from clearing and tilling the land and growing their own food, building and/or fixing their own homes, managing animals, etc. Even though most of that was part of life long ago, there is still much that hasn’t changed except we have just moved far from it with modern conveniences. Why not a move back to being more self-reliant in this present environment? Many things could be accomplished with a little research and planning, and most of what is needed is already at hand—there’s plenty of time due to circumstances, and most people have access to the most incredible store of information in the World Wide Web. People could feed themselves healthier and cheaper, fix and clean their homes, garden and grow food in their yards, and get all of their needed exercise—including cardio—for their health from doing all these things themselves instead of pushing virtual buttons on their phones from their couches. And save money while doing it. But most importantly they would be exercising in ways that use all parts of their bodies, getting physical and occupational therapy from different types dexterous movements, and finding relaxation and relief from stress in accomplishing tasks instead of getting bored with strict repetitive exercise regimen.

    Just an idea

  • I have discovered online group exercising is great for motivation. I got given an old turbo trainer by a friend in March and now love riding around in Zwift having hooked up the bike with a speed sensor. There are group rides, workouts and races all through the day as added motivation. I know I can ride outside but it’s really good for rainy, cold days or dark evenings. There are lots of Facebook groups too dedicated to group rides which allow you to connect with others.



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