Virtual Conference

Severa Carrillo Barrantes

Costa Rica University , Costa Rica

Title: Physical exercise, physical activity. How to continue it in times of pandemic?


Physical activity and physical exercise are medical recommendations that have been implemented since ancient times by the same Hippocrates, so much so that in the first third of the twentieth century, was included in medical schools teaching physical education in the USA, by Dr. McKenzie, which is lost when arriving specialization. However, at the end of the twentieth century, the term "exercise is medicine" begins, supported by epidemiological data, which suggest that this intervention is associated with the reduction of the rates of all causes of mortality, achieving that the medical community included it in its therapeutic arsenal.This is how since the late 80s, began in Costa Rica, by  the Costa Rican Social Security  (CCSS), cardiac rehabilitation programs, with a comprehensive approach, and have been maintained today, along with private initiatives, the modality of care is face-to-face, despite a percentage of patients,  receive home treatment, since geographical, economic, family situations must choose this option.   When at the end of January the institution began negotiations in the face of the threat of COVID-19, already classified as a pandemic, the coordinators of the Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) programs began conversations to offer an alternative to users of this type of program. There are many benefits of physical activity and exercise, in this population, as well as comprehensive intervention, which includes, among others, psychosocial support, so exhausting all options became part of the task. The benefit of technological progress and its reach through social networks, has allowed visual and auditory communication in real time, so using it was the best option at that time, taking into account that 95% of the general population has access to a smartphone, and having the institution with communication platforms, telerehabilitation began, with a novel project of cardio dance, counselling, education and consultation through WhatsApp, after each session.


Medical surgeon, specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Master in integral health and human movement. Coordinator of the oncological and post-covid pulmonary cardiovascular rehabilitation program Hospital San Juan de Dios, Costa Rica.  Postgraduate professor at the University of Costa Rica. She has several publications, writer of chapters of medical books, member of the editorial board RevistaMHSalud.