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The Power of Physical Activity

To learn more about the benefits of physical activity, Clara conducted interviews from her home in Brazil.  

During the coronavirus pandemic, many people have discovered the importance of physical activity in their lives. “Physical fitness can prevent and treat many illnesses and mental-health problems, like obesity, diabetes, anxiety, and depression,” says Talles Henrique, a personal trainer in Brazil who is studying the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries.

Henrique is a personal trainer for Eduardo Caetano, a physician who has been treating patients suffering from COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus. Caetano decided that it would be safer for Talles and for his own family if they conducted the training sessions online. 

During the course of their work together, Caetano became infected with COVID-19. “Physical conditioning was essential for my recovery,” he says. “If it hadn’t been for my previous physical conditioning, I might have had further complications.”



Juan Pablo Barea, a physical education teacher, agrees that keeping fit is crucial to our well-being. “When you’re physically active, you improve your immune system, which is basically your shield to any disease, including the coronavirus,” says Barea, who is currently working on an advanced degree that focuses on inclusion for children with physical disabilities. 

According to Barea, studies also show that physical exercise benefits the human brain. “To me, the most amazing way physical education affects us is that, as recent studies show, in our brain, new neurons are made,” he tells me. “When you’re physically active and developing, your brain also develops. So that means that every other area of your life will be improved.”

Physical fitness can mean something different for everyone. But with it, Barea says, “We live a better life, a longer life, and a healthier life.”



Photo courtesy of the author