|Gyms like this have been forced to close because of the spread of COVID-19. But many people are still exercising at home to remain fit and healthy. – VNS Photo Xuân Đăng|
Over the past few months, the world has been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the economy and every aspect of human life, including sports and physical exercise.
Many sporting events around the world have been postponed because of the pandemic. The Việt Nam Formula One Grand Prix, for example, which was supposed to take place in Hà Nội in early April, has been postponed indefinitely.
According to the official statement from the Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation, the difficult decision was made after the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a global pandemic and after guidance from Vietnamese authorities.
The national football championship V. League 1 has also been postponed indefinitely after completing only two fixtures.
Meanwhile, the games of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), in which the Saigon Heat represent Việt Nam, have been delayed indefinitely. The Heat had been scheduled to play the Kuala Lumpur Dragons of Malaysia on March 20 in an away game, but it was cancelled.
For the last three weeks, many cities and provinces have closed all entertainment sites, restaurants (except for delivery service), beer clubs, beauty salons, barber shops, gyms and sport centres.
Many people, including professional athletes, have started exercising at home.
Tâm Đinh, a basketball player for the Saigon Heat of the ABL, told Việt Nam News that he was sad that everything had to be postponed during the pandemic.
“Since I have been home, I have been practising exercises like push ups, crunches, wall sits, 30 seconds of plank twists, and other exercises. I do all the exercises with three sets each."
“I think working out at home is the safe and healthy thing to do during this time,” Tâm said.
“I also did a livestream on my Instagram and Facebook to interact with people and exercise with them. They told me through messages that they needed motivation and help on what they could do to stay fit at home during a time like this! So I had no problem helping everyone out.”
“I recommend everyone eat just about anything you want. But just make sure you work out every day and spend time with your loved ones because that's what's important during this time,” Tâm said.
Lê Gia Quốc Thắng, 24, a fan of English football, told Việt Nam News that he also felt "quite empty" because he could not watch matches with his friends every weekend.
“I usually go with my friends to the coffee shop to watch football matches with Arsenal. Now the league has been postponed, so my friends and I have had to choose something else to replace those weekly activities,” Thắng said.
Before the new regulation on the closing of all gyms and sport hubs in HCM city on March 24, we played one football match or one basketball game per week. But now due to the new regulation, we only do physical exercise at home now.”
Mai Bá Hùng, deputy head of HCM City’s Department of Culture and Sport, said regular exercise is good for the immune system and improves the body's resistance against disease.
People need to train regularly and properly, and should not worry about the postponing of physical training and sport activities during the pandemic, he said.
Dr Đào Hữu Trung of Tâm Đức Heart Hospital said that people should keep doing exercise at home.
“People should also take preventive measures like hand washing and limit close contact with other people. It’s not compulsory to wear masks while doing exercise at home,” he added.
Đặng Xuân Vĩnh, 18, said that he still does physical exercise at home three times per week. “I strictly keep my weekly routine during this time because this physical activity helps me to stay fit and healthy,” he said.
“Actually, I feel more comfortable when I practise exercise at home. I don’t have enough facilities like the gym, but with just some dumbbells, there are more exercises that you can do than you think,” Vĩnh said.
Dane Fort, general director of California Fitness & Yoga, said that people could exercise even when there was an epidemic to stay healthy. It could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or practising physical exercise by watching a YouTube instructional video at home. –VNS