CrossFit, yoga and aerobics are among the current physical activities practiced at or near home. Online courses and live videos on Instagram help beginners and those who want to experience new sports.
Dr. Alessandro Zanasi, an expert member of the Sanpellegrino Observatory and professor at the University of Bologna, notes, “Physical exercise is clearly a healthy habit. It helps maintain psychological wellbeing and fosters good functioning of the musculoskeletal system. It stimulates the immune system, improves circulation and reoxygenates tissues. It helps eliminate waste, reducing stress and anxiety -- two factors which accumulate in the body, especially in the current period. It is important, however, to be aware of the possible consequences of practicing a sport without the supervision of coaches and instructors.”
Beginners can make mistakes.
"One of the most common mistakes is to start with training that is too intense for your abilities, and not dedicating enough time to stretching before and after the activity,” notes Dr. Zanasi. “Another bad habit is to drink water only at the end of practice or when you’re thirsty. It is better to drink before, during and after physical activity, without waiting to feel thirsty."
To engage in physical activity, proper hydration is as important as a healthy diet: it is essential to replenish fluids lost during physical exertion. "Any fluid loss must be sufficiently compensated, especially if the effort is long and the ambient temperature is high. In addition, with sweat, you lose liquids but also mineral salts, about 1.5g per liter,” notes Dr. Zanasi. “To rehydrate quickly, it is good to drink water with low salt content because it can be absorbed very quickly. After exercising, it is recommended to drink water with higher fixed residue that allows the recovery of mineral salt levels in the body."
Proper hydration helps to improve performance during training.
On the other hand, even slight dehydration (a 2% reduction in water in the body) affects the whole body’s psycho-physical performance.
1 Consensus paper “Acqua&Salute. Come l’acqua protegge e migliora la salute nei suoi vari aspetti” (Water & Health. How water protects and improves health in its various aspects) – FEMTEC World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy