Increasing incidence of functional pain and depression post COVID-19 era has led to deterioration of quality of life. The productivity has been severely affected in people who are suffering from chronic illnesses already along with increasing cases of newly diagnosed lifestyle diseases.
COVID-19 is a new disease entity and less is known on the pathogenesis and differential response of individuals to the same disease. The fear of contracting disease is such that it has often led to occurrence of symptomatology in disease free individuals also. In this difficult time as socialising has decreased, the role of family support, intellectual development, exercise and nutrition has taken precedence.
Role of exercise and nutrition cannot be over emphasised and many scientific studies suggest that regular exercises help improve both physical and mental health both. Physical health shows improvement in form of extended exercise tolerance and mental health shows improvement in form of improved focus, quality of sleep and zeal to undertake work.
Physical exercises can improve the immunity and help prevent onset and slow progression of chronic diseases. In case of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid issues and even malignancy, exercises have shown to benefit patients and improve survival rates and quality of life.
Here are few tips to start exercising and get results:
- Define your aim: Results define the effort and direction of efforts. Be clear of the motive and plan it accordingly. It may vary from burning calories, gaining bulk to just maintaining fitness.
- Consistency: First few days to weeks are most difficult. Muscle soreness, cramps and fatigue may lead to negative feedback and discontinuation of exercises. Key is to START SLOW.
- Warm Up: Don’t hurry and skip your warm up. Stretches improve blood flow and prepare the muscle groups for coming bout.
- Nutritional Support: Adequate nourishment is most important to replenish resources and to repair the wear tear. Proteins (in grams) equating to about the body weight should normally be consumed by an athlete post exercise. In case the body reserves are not completely replenished, it leads to a catabolic state where the lean mass is being used by the body for energy. Loosing muscle bulk can be a problem in the long run which may become difficult to reverse. Adequate amounts of fat, carbs and proteins are important and serve their own functions. Eat a BALANCED DIET !!
- Right Gear: Prevention of injury leading to discontinued exercise is important. Always use the right equipment and gear as per your body capability and type of exercise/sport. Training shoes for regular running and playing lawn tennis are completely different and minor changes lead to major differences in the performance and post-performance.
- Plenty of fluids: While exercising, keep a track of your sweating too. By the time amateur athletes feel that their tongues are parched, they are already dehydrated. It is important to supplement with salt, glucose and water to maintain muscle reserves and prevent post exercises soreness.
Mrs. Mimansa Singh, Clinical Psychologist (FMRI, Gurgaon) says that mental health plays a more important role than physical health in fighting a chronic disease. Behavioural therapy and counselling plays an important role in all patients suffering from physical disease to reduce its mental burden. She guides through a few tips to improve mental health during COVID-19 times:
- Work life balance: The most important thing that has gone loose is our priority for home and family time. As work from home has come in play the working hours have substantially increased and so quality of life has decreased. It is important to prioritize work and family time separately to be efficient in both.
- Identify stressors: Identifying the reasons for stresses and talking to your partner or friends is an important part of mental well- being. Hobbies like physical exercises, competitive sports and creative activities (painting/music) help in a huge way if done on regular basis.
- Breathing exercises: Exercises which involve rhythmic breathing in a peculiar fashion have also been documented to have a positive effect on concentration, sleep and quality of life. The efficiency of a person is improved and this leads to more time being saved for family and self.
- Adequate sleep: Deep sleep for 5-7 hours is said to be an important. People with regular sleeping patterns are found to have lower risk of chronic diseases. Deep sleep induces muscle relaxation and helps reboot for another day’s work.
For any queries on how to start exercising and balance it with right nutritional support, please get to us @ firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp us @ +91-9053267890. For any queries related to mental well being please connect with Mrs. Mimansa Singh @Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon.