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Exercising at home during the global pandemic

With the new coronavirus outbreak and consequently public life coming to a standstill, more and more people online are showing various ways to stay physically active, even at home. Regular physical activity is important for boosting the immune system and managing stress and anxiety.

The ban on gatherings during the epidemic in Slovenia has led to training sessions at all levels of sport and group exercise classes being cancelled, as well as gyms and fitness centres closing. Meanwhile, new and original ways of exercising at home are emerging, also due to the possibility of demonstrating the exercises live via web-streaming. People are ever more resourceful in finding ways to exercise at home during this time.

Over the past few days, a number of videos have appeared on social networks of people showing how they are staying active during the pandemic. At home, you can still do push-ups and squats, or look for guided workouts online.

A number of tips for exercising at home for all age groups can be found on social networks, with some including a live stream to demonstrate the exercises.

The purpose of one-hour-long live broadcasts of different exercises is to offer people a way to stay active and more positive even in times of uncertainty. Regular exercise is one way of staying relaxed in times of increased stress and worry about current events. Although people are mostly staying home, going for a walk and getting some fresh air is, according to experts, part of maintaining our health. However, it is particularly important that in doing so, precautionary measures are taken to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

People should perform physical activity on their own or with members of the same household, preferably outdoors.

Parents have been advised to use this time of social distancing to enjoy outdoor sports activities with their families.

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Exercise together with famous athletes

With the emergence of the new coronavirus epidemic, the Faculty of Sport, together with the Olympic Committee of Slovenia and with the help of RTV Slovenia, started a national campaign to promote physical activity at home. Kayaker and Olympic silver medallist Peter Kauzer demonstrated the first exercise. New exercises will be shown every day. The Faculty of Sport devises the exercises and the Olympic Committee of Slovenia will engage famous Slovenian athletes, who will record themselves doing exercises and give tips.

In addition to Peter Kauzer, the exercises will be demonstrated by Žan Košir, Ilka Štuhec and others. TV SLO 2 will broadcast short programmes showing how to perform exercises at home correctly. The campaigners also invited everyone to post their photos on social networks with the hashtags #vadidoma (#exerciseathome) and #trenirajdoma (#trainathome).

In this time of exceptional circumstances due to the increased risk for COVID‑19 infection, the Faculty of Sport has prepared various tips on keeping healthy under the slogan Z gibanjem nad korono (fighting coronavirus with exercise). Children are advised to exercise 60 minutes a day to break a sweat, adults at least 150 minutes a week. Every minute counts and one minute is still much better than nothing. General exercise tips are available on the Faculty of Sport's website SLOfit and on the website of the National Institute of Public Health. In addition, experts, together with partners, have compiled SLOfit tips and Facebook posts with videos and information for those working from home on how to take a professionally planned exercise break from work.

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Athletes play an important role in raising awareness

During the epidemic, the role of athletes, who are not only influential on sports fields but also in society and on social networks, has changed. They stress the importance of being responsible and respecting the countries' calls for people to stay at home, preventing the spread of the disease.

Athletes are not only role models for young people but for the wider population as well, that is why everyone likes to watch and imitate them. These days, their social responsibility has proven of even greater importance, as sports celebrities began urging their followers to stay home, take care of their health and thus the health of the most vulnerable groups.

Adding that in case you have to go outside, protect yourselves and most of all act responsibly. Such calls also come from many sports clubs, sports federations and organisations. No one ever dreamed that this could happen to us, but it did. Slovenian sports celebrities also emphasise the importance of self-isolation and following the instructions of experts, as this is the only way to fight the coronavirus.

Athletes across social networks show, among other things, how well they take care of their fitness at home and what they do to fill their free time.

 In the video:

  • Kaja Kajzer (judo): candidate for Team Slovenia at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo
  • Tjaša Kysselef (artistic gymnastics)
  • Tina Mrak (sailing): candidate for Team Slovenia at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo; together with sailing partner Veronika Macarol they already qualified for the Olympics
  • Tjaša Ristić (karate): candidate for Team Slovenia at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

Author: Vesna Žarkovič

Date: 26. March 2020

Time to read: 2 min