Body Expert advice
Why You Should Be Exercising During A Pandemic

Yasmin Karachiwala

Pilates Master Instructor

3 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown us a curveball. Many of us possibly thought about every aspect of our life as we are invariably living in fear of falling victim to the virus. We are ready to try everything and anything to boost our immunity. It is for a fact that working out helps boost immunity. When we say exercise, it need not necessarily mean going out of the way and doing something which UR body isn’t used to. All I advise is to move UR body! To reiterate the importance of workout lets start by understanding how exercise has helped us during influenza and how it’s helping us now during COVID.

The Origins Of Pilates

The name ‘pilates’ was derived from Joseph Hubertus Pilates, the man who used a combination of various exercises. This gave birth to an incredibly effective workout routine that is still trending globally! He suffered a few illnesses during his childhood, making him interested in physical fitness.

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He was exposed to various types of physical routines in his life before he ended up in internment during World War I. He left Germany around 1912 and came to Britain. He was trained in boxing, diving, skiing, acrobats, self-defence, to name a few.

Attaching springs to the beds of the hospitals, enabled the physically challenged to get a full-body workout with ease. Today we know that piece of equipment as the Cadillac/trapeze table!

As the war broke out in 1914, Joseph was kept in internment where he developed his fitness routine by fusing several sport-specific workout variations in his unique routine. Slowly this routine was picked up by a few curious inmates stuck in internment with him. These inmates were his first students/trainees and the camp was where he introduced Pilates.

The immunity developing aspect of these physical exercises came to light when the Spanish flu was at its peak in 1918. It was observed that Pilates or the inmates he trained were able to ward off the diseases successfully. He was then positioned as a nurse in the hospital wing to care for the injured soldiers.

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Cadillac/ trapeze table

Pilates was tasked to help along with the recovery of veterans who were physically challenged fighting the war. He neatly worked out a practical and innovative idea to modify his routine to suit his soldiers. Attaching springs to the beds of the hospitals, enabled the physically challenged to get a full-body workout with ease. Today we know that piece of equipment as the Cadillac/trapeze table!

After the war ended, he returned to Germany and started working on reforming his techniques and incorporating techniques from the east and the west. He set up his first studio in 1923 in America, and we all know this legacy with its universal appeal. That was the beginning of an exercise powerhouse we now know as Pilates.

Importance Of Working Out During COVID

1. Boosts your immunity and improves your chances of fighting the virus, flu or infection.

2. Helps release happy hormones(endorphins) in the body which keep you mentally and physically fit.

3. Reduces stress, prevents weight gain and improves your sleep.

As we are living through a pandemic at the moment, it is essential to remember that when injured soldiers can have the urge to work out, we can too. While creating and adjusting to new fitness routines may take some effort, any physical activity during the coronavirus pandemic can help you optimize your health and wellbeing. Use this time wisely to make the most of your lockdown, work out at your pace and as I said before a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise. If you need a little push, then read our other article on how you can build your workout routine.