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    Run Away Social Isolation

    During this time of social isolation, it is more important now than ever that we as Sailors maintain our physical fitness readiness. Regular exercise is about more than maintaining physical fitness standards — physical readiness directly contributes to our emotional and mental health as well.

    The Navy’s OPNAV instruction 6110.1J says Sailors should be participating in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical fitness a week. That’s the same recommendation the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. The CDC also says 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is equivalent to 150 minutes of moderate exercise, and the benefits seen from this exercise start as soon as after the first session. Moderate exercise includes a brisk walk — faster than a stroll, but not a racing walk — bicycling at less than 10 mph, or even general gardening. Vigorous exercise includes going for a jog, aerobic dancing, or using a jump rope. It’s about getting your heart rate up and keeping it elevated for a sustained period of time. All of this can still be done while in social isolation.

    After just one session of physical fitness, you already get benefits. The CDC says one session will reduce short-term anxiety, improve sleep, and help with your cognitive functions. Keeping up regular exercise for even a few weeks to a month helps you with reducing long-term anxiety, improves deep sleep, and helps you with your executive functions. These executive functions will help you better plan, organize, initiate new tasks, and even help you control your behaviors and emotions.

    We are a social species by nature. Even those of us that are introverts need to spend time with at least one or two of our closest and most trusted friends from time to time. Social isolation gets in the way of that, which leads to feelings of depression. According to the CDC, well-being is dependent on three factors: good health, positive social relationships, and availability and access to basic resources. The CDC has also found regular exercise has been shown to help prevent depression, and for those that have depression, it helps improve depressive symptoms by as much as 50%. And if you are reaching out to an accountability partner via social media or phone calls, you are helping to improve that positive social relationship. And since your basic needs of food and shelter are guaranteed by the Navy, the combination of the three of these will help you ward off the anxiety and boredom that comes with our required social isolation.

    Even if you aren’t a gym rat, or you don’t know where to start, you have the ability to find a way to have fun and get your heart racing. There are video games that require you to get physically involved. Taking your family for a daily walk is still an option in many places. Even throwing on your favorite band and dancing for a half hour a day will help you meet these physical goals. When this ends, and we return back to our normal lives, we will be expected to meet the Navy standards of physical fitness. You can start today to develop that culture of fitness now — helping to improve your physical, mental and emotional fitness along the way. You can run away those negative aspects of social isolation.



    Date Taken: 04.15.2020
    Date Posted: 04.15.2020 22:09
    Story ID: 367519
    Location: HONOLULU, HI, US 
    Hometown: AUSTIN, TX, US

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