Physical Fitness in Times of Covid-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted physical activity in people of all ages. In many countries, both indoor and outdoor sports and recreational facilities, such as gyms, public swimming pools and playgrounds, are closed.
Online communication for work, leisure and shopping is now part of daily family routines and children are using the internet for school work and social interaction.
But because of these very restrictions, it becomes increasingly important to find ways to remain physically active.
Physical activity includes all forms of active recreation, playing sports, cycling, swimming, walking or even doing household chores.
It need not always be a monotonous exercise regime but can also include play, dance, gardening and even house cleaning for that matter.
Why’s it so important?
Well, here are four reasons to get active in the times of COVID-19
- Great for your overall health: The physical benefits of staying active include musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health, helps you maintain or lose weight and increased neuromuscular awareness, for coordination and controlling movement. Physical activity also plays a crucial role in reducing high blood pressure, risk of heart diseases, stroke and various cancers. For older people, it helps by improving balance and in children, it helps with proper growth and development, which in-turn reduces risk of injuries or diseases.
- Improves blood circulation: Even a bare minimum of 3-5 minutes of physical activity including stretching or walking can ease muscle strain, relieve muscle tension and improve blood circulation — which is often hampered when we tend to remain sedentary.
- Keeps you mentally healthy: Regular activity can also help in the reduction of depression, delay the onset of dementia and improve the overall feeling of happiness and wellbeing.
- Helps improve your body’s glucose response: Even relatively low volume of simple physical activity, such as walking or cycling has been shown to induce promising effects on various metabolic markers. A study found that as little as 15 min of post-meal walking can lower the glycemic response in healthy women, and in women at risk of diabetes. Researchers also found that six minutes of stair climbing and descending helps reduce postprandial (PP) glucose levels in inactive middle aged men with impaired glucose tolerance.
While we are all stuck at home, finding innovative ways to stay fit while not being able to go out is truly a challenge. The answer is really simple:
- Reduce the time you sit for work or watching movies, and move around for at least five minutes every hour.
- Encourage your family members to join you in the activity along with you.
- Set some activity goals for you and your family and ensure at the end of the week those are completed and reward yourself if you achieve the same.
A word of caution
- Physical activity is important, but if you aren’t feeling well enough or have some muscle discomfort, then it is better to ensure proper rest rather than exert more.
- Remember that choosing the activity you would like to do should be based on your fitness level and is imperative to avoid injuries.
The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity for 2 or more days per week. But any activity is better than no activity.
Therefore, start with small amounts of exercise, gradually increasing the duration and intensity with time. Being active during COVID-19 is challenging for everyone but it is important to plan some form of exercise so you stay active and reduce the time spent being sedentary.
So, if you’re inspired and are looking for ways to stay active and lose the lockdown weight while stuck at home — our Reset23 program is for you. Reset23 is a scientific, expert-led weight loss program that can help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals the best way possible – all from the comforts of your home. We focus not only on diet but also your physical and mental well-being to ensure best results.
Sounds interesting? To know more about how Reset23 visit our website https://www.fitterfly.com/reset23 or speak to one of our counsellors on +91 224897 1077
Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participants. Lancet Glob Health. 2018;6:e1077–86.
Nygaard H, Tomten SE, Høstmark AT. Slow postmeal walking reduces postprandial glycemia in middle-aged women. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009;34:1087–92.
Lunde MSH, Hjellset VT, Høstmark AT. Slow post meal walking reduces the blood glucose response: an exploratory study in female Pakistani immigrants. J Immigr Minor Health. 2012;14:816–22.
Takaishi T, Imaeda K, Tanaka T, Moritani T, Hayashi T. A short bout of stair climbing-descending exercise attenuates postprandial hyperglycemia in middle-aged males with impaired glucose tolerance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012;37:193–6.
Peddie MC, Rehrer NJ, Perry TL. Physical activity and postprandial lipidemia: are energy expenditure and lipoprotein lipase activity the real modulators of the positive effect? Prog Lipid Res. 2012;51:11–22.
Miyashita M, Burns SF, Stensel DJ. Accumulating short bouts of brisk walking reduces postprandial plasma triacylglycerol concentrations and resting blood pressure in healthy young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;88:1225–31.