Saturday, Jan 28

Fitness In A Pandemic: Shedding Off Dead Weight And Staying Healthy

Fitness In A Pandemic: Shedding Off Dead Weight And Staying Healthy

Pre-pandemic were certainly days we totally revelled in and considered a routine as we heartily hugged family and friends, walked freely and comfortably sat close to people without any apprehension of an ominous germ creeping through their bodies and incapacitating them almost to the point of death. This was the norm until the unruly invasion of the SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) virus which brought the world to a standstill without a prior notice.

More than just bringing health to our stark consciousness, it unveiled also certain habits which may likely predispose persons to some health risks when one does not maintain a physically active lifestyle. By now, it is no brainer that COVID-19 is spread by droplet transmission which enters the body as a new host through the mouth, nose or eyes. Palliative measures of social distancing and handwashing were globally recommended to avert the infection. The imposed lockdown, which resulted in the closure of business activities, public places, fitness and activity centres and consequently altering the social life of people unarguably hampered many aspects of lives. For the people religiously resolute in routine fitness activities, they have had to find innovative ways of staying healthy and safe at the same time. That notwithstanding, the impact of the pandemic has been massive, making health and fitness and immune booster to put up a fight against the dreaded virus, a challenge.

Candidly, the primary devastation of the pandemic is to our health. And our health predominantly serves as a building block for our lives, organizes and charts the path to its fulfilment as well. It has brought to the fore the significance of having and living a healthy lifestyle, which when progressively inculcated as habits, will transform the overall state of mind and health of its attendants.

For all– young and old, regular physical activity remains an important strategy for staying healthy. Compared to being sedentary, moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function. Likewise, regular physical activity is associated with lower levels of anxiety and perceived stress which many are feeling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hedging One’s Bet By Boosting Immunity

Improving one’s diet has somewhat become a conscionable thing to do in COVID times. The food you eat plays a key aspect in determining your overall health and immunity. Eating low carb diets will help control high blood sugar and pressure. Also a low carb diet will help slow down diabetes and a focus on a protein-rich diet will keep one in good shape. Regular consumption of vegetables and fruits rich in Beta carotene, Ascorbic acid & other essential vitamins are also vital. Certain foods like mushrooms, tomato, bell pepper and green vegetables like broccoli, spinach are also good options to build resilience in the body against infections.

Emphasizing the need for an immune system, the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo in his 11th COVID-19 update address to the nation, urged Ghanaians to continue adopting a healthy lifestyle, particularly good eating habits to boost their immune systems as the fight against the pandemic continues. The President advisedly noted that, citizens must consume foods that contain Vitamins A, B6, C and E to strengthen their immune systems.

We must keep fit, and we must continue to eat our local foods to boost our immune systems. This is how we can prevent our healthcare services and our heroic healthcare workers from being overwhelmed, due to an increase in demand for hospital care.

To this end, he recommended foods such as ‘kontomire’, oranges, ‘dawadawa’, millet, cashew nut, crabs, plantain, okro, brown rice and mushrooms.

Fortunately, all these foods can be found in Ghana. So, patronizing these foods, ensuring our personal hygiene and improving our lifestyle habits, should become part and parcel of our daily routines.

In times upended by COVID-19, it seems as if our immune systems have received more attention than ever before. Many unhealthy behaviours, brought on by the pandemic as a result of working remotely, make it harder for our bodies to fight off infections. But to remain alive and well, the first line of defence is a healthy lifestyle. The novel nature and lack of immunity against the coronavirus has prompted a worldwide pursuit of effective treatments for COVID-19. That includes repurposing drugs with known safety profiles, including Vitamin C, an established immune system booster and antioxidant, which make it a logical choice to explore in COVID-19. This strategy is needed in response to infection with the novel coronavirus to ensure a strong immune response to stop the virus from replicating in the body, and to avoid the over-the-top, destructive immune response the virus itself can generate, if it does.

Ridding Excess Weight Via Fitness Integration

Days into the lock down in Ghana, following government’s advice to all Ghanaians to consider eating locally produced foods and exercise regularly which was in tandem with the World Health Organisation recommendations, people also began to engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week as the lack of it could result in consequences for the immune system. Interestingly, COVID-19 did not only have positive impacts on Ghanaians to exercise, but it also disrupted the lives of many who had regular sporty and physical activity.

Ghana was part of the many countries worldwide that cancelled and put on hold all sporting activities like football, volley, weight lifting, and more when restrictions were imposed. Many jobs were at risk, and that included gym trainers. The closure of gyms and fitness clubs, physiotherapy centres, and playgrounds was costing the people who had made it routine to stay fit. The pandemic pretty much has made people who were constantly and actively on the go to work and other engagement with other activities sitting ducks.

The lockdown and the eventual easing of restriction has never brought things to normalcy as some shops, restaurants and organisations remain closed with staff having to work remotely. Others have had to take their products and services online now to stay safe. What this means is that, people who hitherto raced the clock to work via various mode of commute will now have to loiter in an unnervingly small space and spend insane hours behind the desk. The regimen will be something like from bed to the kitchen, from the kitchen to the desk with sporadic breaks and couch intervals. This monotony in work schedule is bound to have a toll on the health of a person when the eating habits and menu are mostly greasy with less greens. When this happens, developing manhandles will be the least of your worries as calories build up in your system due to your current sedentary lifestyle. People who eat a well-balanced diet tend to be healthier with stronger immune systems and lower risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases.

Essence Of staying healthy

For the greater part of our day and lives, we spend it within the confines of our work environment although the scale has slightly tipped due to the pandemic, with some employees working from home. Many of those at risk from COVID-19, including individuals who are older and persons with comorbidities in the form of chronic medical conditions like osteoarthritis, hypertension and diabetes, tend to have lower levels of vitamin C, another reason vitamin C therapy would be considered a reasonable treatment of the virus. Experts also note that patients may develop a vitamin C deficiency over the course of their COVID-19 illness since, during an active infection, vitamin C is consumed at a more rapid rate. Insufficient levels can augment the damage done by an overzealous immune response. When push comes to shove, ensuring that one lives in absolute care for health is one which cannot be overemphasized.

woman doing yoga exercise at home royalty free image 1610056018 Therefore, ensuring fitness through healthy practices must be more than spot in one’s survival undertaking, it must be a lifestyle. The gyms may not be opened, however, there are lots of safe alternatives to getting physical activity without going against the preventive best practices recommended by the Control for Disease Center like social distancing and avoiding large crowds. Aerobics can be done successfully at home.

Another important point to consider is that avoiding crowds does not mean avoiding nature. Going for a brisk walk or jogging outside in uncrowded areas– outdoors, is still considered relatively safe. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping-jacks and more exercises are great ways to stay fit away from the gym. For all intents and purposes, when the COVID-19 pandemic becomes simply a blot in the history of the world, one thing will certainly remain which is a more conscious regard for our health.