COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we work, study, teach, consult our doctors, shop for our groceries etc. Everything is at just a click away.
In cities and countries which are densely populated, it is difficult to maintain social distancing if you were to step out and in countries that are not densely populated or have achieved good control over the community spread of infection, restrictive social gatherings can be attended.
Thus for most of our day and often for the entire day we all have been staying indoors or have greatly reduced the frequency and duration of outdoor visits.
What happens when I don’t move enough or exercise?
Decreased or restricted physical activity leads to not only a large decrease in muscle mass i.e. amount of muscle but also decrease in muscle strength, muscle function and increased fatigue in muscles.
To put it simply it leads to reduced muscle mass or wasting of muscles and can negatively impact the muscle mass to fat ratio in the body.
How does reduced physical activity impact my health?
- Increases insulin resistance
- Increases central adiposity (increased fat cells around the waist)
- Increased abdominal obesity
- Decreased metabolic rate
- Increases muscle fatigue
- Increases incidence of depression
- Increased constipation
- Poor gut function
Thus, it is imperative to exercise even if you are indoors or outdoors. It is recommended to exercise for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity throughout the week.
Is exercise enough to build my muscles?
As it is said, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Similarly, all exercise and no nutritious food will make Jack’s muscles fatigue. Nutrition and exercise and two sides of the same coin. Muscles need not only proteins but also a balance of carbohydrates and fats. Carbohydrate-rich foods such are cereals, millets, root vegetables and pulses as well are essential for protein spring action in the body i.e. only if your body has enough energy from carbohydrates can the proteins be utilised to build muscles. A balance of vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables and whole foods is also essential for the absorption, digestion and assimilation of foods.
5 steps to get active and nourished now
- Consult your doctor if you have been diagnosed with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, high cholesterol, dyslipidemia, arthritis etc. Let them know that you plan to start the exercise and get a guideline on the intensity, duration and frequency of exercise you can start with.
- Consult your Dietitian to check have you been eating enough or have you been overeating due to boredom, or trying new recipes since you are home more often now. She will help you strike the right balance of nourishment to rebuild your muscles as you take charge of your health.
- Set a goal to start walking 10, 000 steps a day. If you are at 1000 steps only then start small – walk for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity (if permitted by your doctor or exercise therapist)
- Sign up for a group programme online or an app that gives you personalised exercise recommendations.
- Success tip: Complete your 30 – 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise first thing in the morning. Feel accomplished as you start the day and enjoy the happy hormones released when you exercise.
Reach out to Sheetal Somaiya and her team for a complete evaluation and jump-start to get healthy and active again.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]