Staying healthy during the pandemic | Former Surgeon General Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu

Good Day Central Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The pandemic has caused a lot of changes to our daily lives and it’s no different for those trying to keep a consistent fitness routine.

Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu, Former Surgeon General under President George W. Bush, joined Good Day Central Illinois’ Shelbey Roberts & Matt Sheehan to discuss healthy and safety tips during the pandemic, and what to do if you have the virus when it comes to being active.

Fitness can be seen as an anchor to many Americans. Dr. Moritsugu talks about how to remain exercise safely during COVID-19.

“Individuals need to continue to be fit and active regardless if we’re in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, and there’s many different ways we can do it. We need to be creative. If fitness centers are open, go use those fitness centers. But of course check them out, make sure they’re distancing, wearing masks, using ventilation and cleansing surfaces,” Dr. Moritsugu said.

Dr. Moritsugu said for those who don’t have access to fitness centers, use at-home equipment, or participate in televised fitness activities.

“Of course you can do what I do, everyday I walk 30 minutes around the neighborhood,” Dr. Moritsugu said.

“For people who currently have COVID-19, do you think people should exercise while they have the virus? What should they do? And for how long?” Sheehan asked.

“When you have the virus your body is really working overtime to cure you. Because of that, it’s not wise to exercise while you are infected. Let your body heal itself. Rest, drink lots of fluids, and just take care of yourself,” Dr. Moritsugu said. “After you come out of the infection, everybody is different, the bottom line is to speak with your health professional on when to start up again.”

Dr. Moritsugu recommends waiting at least two weeks after having the virus.

“We are acknowledging another phenomenon called “long-COVID,” where an individual who has COVID may maintain and manifest some symptoms for weeks or months after, and it’s not a good idea to exercise during that period,” the Former U.S. Surgeon General said.

“Does exercise protect us from getting those viruses? Or help our immunity for fighting them off better?” Roberts asked.

“As little as 20 minutes of activity boosts your immune system which helps protect you and your body as well as helps your body respond to challenges such as COVID-19. From a larger perspective, this really brings in a very fine focus on the fact that we are an overweight society,” Dr. Moritsugu said.

Dr. Moritsugu said 2/3 of Americans are “carrying a little bit too much weight,” and that it’s been shown that overweight individuals do not do well if they have COVID-19.

“From a short-term perspective, as well as a long-term perspective, it’s good to get into a fitness regimen and follow it,” Dr. Moritsugu said.

You can learn more about Dr. Moritsugu here.

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