Everyone wonders what to do to keep fit and healthy while we are cooped up in our homes all day for fear of Covid-19., as all of us are confined indoors in the face of Covid-19 pandemic. Fitness and health are like siamese twins – they remain one to help each other thrive.
Maintaining a physically active lifestyle is one way to improve our health and fitness but it is only one way. The best way to ensure that we get out of lockdown fit as a fiddle to handle the challenges of making up for lost time and activity is a total package. It requires a whole new regimen that mandates us to watch our lifestyle, the things we eat, our weight, the onset of common and preventable diseases, and so on.
Here are six simple recommendations on what how to keep yourself fit and healthy during the period of lockdown – and long after it!
Good Lifestyle is Key to Health
Everyone wonders what to do to keep fit and healthy while we are cooped up in our homes all day for fear of Covid-19., as all of us are confined indoors in the face of Covid-19 pandemic. Fitness and health are like siamese twins – they remain one to help each other thrive. The quality of life we live is a function of where we are, what we do, and certain local practices all of which positively or negatively affect how we are fit and healthy. These signs give us a clue to what we call lifestyle.
One interesting article I read recently listed seven tips to keep the body young, including getting the heart rate up, catching some sleep, improving on your diet, and reducing stress. It identified the major factors that affect our lifestyle as poor diet, lack of physical activity, erratic sleep, and high stress. They are very dangerous because they accelerate the body’s ageing process.
Do a serious review of these four factors. How many of them are within your control? Control the ones you can and seek help on getting rid of the others. In this period of Covid-19 and prior to that, the persisting poor economy, have ensured that most people will have permanent lifestyle changes anyway. It is important to understand what you should change and by how much so that the body is not unnecessarily put under stress that will create health problems
Watch out for allergies
Our bodies are different and react differently to allergies and intolerances. An allergy is the rection of the body when it comes in contact with anything that it judges as dangerous, even when it is not.
Our immune system produces antibodies that help us fight diseases and strange things that the body does not understand. If a body judges a particular foreign contact as dangerous, it will produce what is known as allergens to fight the foreign substance whenever it comes in contact with it. Once a human body comes in contact with the thing for which our body has developed an allergen, the antibody (allergen) will fight back and in doing so provoke visible reactions which we call allergies.
Most people will have an allergy for something they touch, eat, or expose themselves to (for a beginner’s understanding of allergies and how to manage them, see the article here.)
On this introductory note, however, it is enough to know that allergies affect our fitness and health; in extreme cases, not attending to them could lead to death from any of three major causes, namely, the food we eat, the medications we take, and our exposure to insect stings.
Any of this can lead to anaphylaxis – a life threatening medical emergency that manifests in shock – and even death. Also note that that there are allergens that can induce asthma through the things we take in from the air. The risk of getting lung and ear infections are also increased for those who have hay fever or asthma.
Finally, do you have a family history of asthma or hay fever? This is the time to take stock of what you need to do medically to stay fit and healthy.
Adding Weight: Idleness is an enemy
A healthy weight is also the product of a balanced diet and simple exercises.As with everything else that has to do with how to keep fit and healthy, lifestyle plays a very big role especially in propensity to gain weight.
One of the commonest factors of weight gain is a sedentary lifestyle, according to an article in Healthline. Sedentary means doing or requiring much sitting, not physically active. Sedentary activities could be a desk job in an office, watching too much television at home, being on a computer all day or constnt use of a phone while sitting. Driving for a living is also considered a sedentary activity because it requires sitting for extended periods.
Time spent on each of the activities is the danger; some of us spend five hours and more every day in front of our TVs, hunched over our computers, or yakking all day on the phone. Whether it is for work or just a habit, those of us who do this are courting obesity and inviting other serious health complications.
The solution is to break out of the sedentary lifestyle. Home managers, office managers, cab drivers, receptionists and telephone booth operators, and every one of us on lockdown on account of Covid-19, should make the effort to break the monotony with bursts of activity. Things as simple as mild exercises, standing up, taking a walk, and working out at sequenced intervals in between the sedentary activity can help.
Watch the body system for changes
Do you know that more than 50 percent of people in the word live with chronic diseases? Before now, you didn’t have to be afraid if living with a chronic disease because one can live longer by carefully planning one’s diet.
Today, however, the world is battling with ravages of invisible enemies that science is trying to understand and cage before they destroy creation. The latest of such enemies is the Covid-19 pandemic. Before, we were told that the endangered species of humans whose immunity cannot withstand the onslaught of the new Coronavirus are the aged and those with pre-existing health conditions. Now, no one is sure any more because babies and young adults are also dying in numbers from the contagion.
One thing everyone is sure of is that there are health protocols that one needs to follow in order to avoid contracting the virus. Washing hands, avoiding large crowds, and taking immunity-boosting food and drinks are some of them known remedies that we have tried to highlight and which you can find in our special Covid-19 reports archives.
Having enough sleep will do it
Staying at home for extended periods of time is a heaven-sent opportunity because it gives us all the time we need to complete the process of restoring our bodies to health. However, if it comes at a time when you have no option but to stay home, there is a danger.
Sleep is the danger – lack of it or too much of it. There are many reasons why people don’t sleep enough or cannot sleep and the internet is full of them.
Not sleeping enough – because Covid-19 or other problems are keeping you awake wondering how your business can bounce back, how to get the job you lost as a result of the pandemic, or how to pay school fees just wont solve the problem. What it will ensure is that you get are serious problems. One healthcare article suggests that one can get as many as 10 problems when one does not get enough sleep, ranging from lower sex drive, weakened immune system, thinking issues, weight gain, and more serious increase in the risk of cancer, diabetes and domestic accidents.
What about if you are getting too much sleep? It is generally recommended to sleep between six and eight hours everyday to empower our body to build up stamina and boost its immunity. Some studies have suggested that too much sleep on a regular basis increases the risk of serious ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Why do people oversleep. Apart from not having much to do, prior lack of sleep or extended short bouts of sleep durin the week can force the body to yield to too much sleep.
Knowledge is Power
We can only improve our health with knowledge – in this case, Health education. Our attitude about Covid-19 and other ailments, our ability to practice disease avoidance actions, and our physical, mental, emotional and social health are enhanced by what we know.
Knowledge motivates, raises skills, and gives humans the confidence to take necessary actions to protect themselves from avoidable harm.
The world is indeed facing a pandemic but none of us can fail to notice the tremendous changes and opportunities that the virus has delivered. If you have not noticed changes in the way the world and its peoples are organized to manage the home, office and leisure, then you need to switch to learning mode.
The importance of learning about the new world that is being reshaped before our eyes. All of us need to be aware of how to prevent and manage the many chronic diseases that have landed in our planet. We need to refresh ourselves on the things we took for granted – maternal and infant health, domestic violence and its triggers, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic accidents and how to prevent them, nutrition, exercise and obsesity prevention. Everything we have talked about here requires us to relearn what we know equip oursleves with knowledge to confront our attitudes and risk behaviours.