Containment and teleworking affect the population: ten tips to fight against a sedentary lifestyle during a pandemic
More than half of Spaniards (56%) have exercised less during home births due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by the Spanish Society of Obesity (SEEDO). This decrease in physical activity, coupled with a poorer diet, allowed 44% of the population to gain weight during the months of March and April 2020.
“Unfortunately, this trend that was born during these months of confinement continues to this day: restrictions on leisure and mobility, the generalization of teleworking and the fear of practicing sports that may involve physical contact or of remaining in closed spaces like the gym In general, this leads us to move a lot less from day to day, ”explains Eduardo Gonzlez Zorzano, an expert from the scientific department of Cinfa.
For the laboratory expert, the consequences of a lack of physical activity go well beyond weight gain: “Our body works like precise machinery which, to remain in perfect condition and continue to function properly, must move and stay active. If you don’t, in addition to being overweight or obese – in turn risk factors for chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease – many health conditions can develop, such as circulatory problems, musculoskeletal pain, poor quality of sleep. or constipation, ”he explains.
Benefits of sport
On the other hand, regular physical activity produces many positive effects on the body. Anatomically, it increases muscle mass and bone density, improves respiratory status, and reduces the risk of developing hypertension and cardiovascular problems. It also increases strength and endurance, as well as mobility and agility in the elderly, and strengthens the immune system.
“Therefore, even in this very uncertain environment, it is crucial to continue to engage in physical activity and, although the pandemic will not make it easier for us, we must find a way to devote time to exercise each day. physical. Its frequency and intensity depend on our age, abilities, needs and previous state of health. But above all, and taking advantage of the fact that we have just started 2021, it is about realizing a New Year’s resolution and betting on an active life: walking instead of taking the car, climbing the stairs instead of using the car. ‘lift or dedicate a moment for a weekend stroll, for example, ”emphasizes Gonzlez Zorzano.
Ten tips for avoiding a sedentary lifestyle during the pandemic:
1. Be active. The battle against a sedentary lifestyle begins with a change in attitude and the desire to move more every day. For example, walk to places instead of using the car or take the stairs instead of the elevator. 2. Get half an hour of physical exercise a day. In addition to having an active attitude, it is advisable to act and practice sport every day. If you can’t do your usual activities or go to the gym due to restrictions due to the pandemic, you can ride a bike, run, dance or walk, making the most of the outdoors. Remember to warm up first. And neither does stretching afterwards, because the two precautions are essential to reduce the risk of injury during moderately intense sports practice: warm-ups allow your body to increase the temperature and prepare for exercise. , while the following stretches are essential to alleviate. tension in muscles and tendons. If you are confined or quarantined, move home. Be physically active every day, depending on your age, level of mobility and your personal situation. For example, you can walk indoors for ten to fifteen minutes several times a day or up and down stairs. Take advantage of new technologies. Likewise, if the possibility exists, perform activities such as Pilates, Zumba or aerobics by following videos, tutorials or applications on mobile phone or tablet. Spend time making an exercise chart. Just as effective and beneficial as aerobic activity can be a series of toning or strength exercises and stretching. In this way, your body will gain, in addition to greater muscle tone and resistance, more elasticity of muscles and joints. Take care of your breath when doing physical activity, don’t hold it, and remember to breathe out when you exert yourself and take it in when you relax. This way, you will provide your body with enough oxygen to exercise, perform better, and reduce the risk of injury. This is especially important if you are exercising outside the home with a mask. When working from home, remember to get up regularly. Sitting for too long can be very harmful to the body, so if your working day is spent at home, take five or ten minute breaks for every fifty minutes you are working at the computer. With it, you will help take care of your back, legs and eyes and reduce mental fatigue. Don’t let age stop you. It doesn’t have to be an obstacle, you just have to adapt the intensity of the activity to your physical capacity. Ask your doctor what type of exercise is best for your age, and remember that you should not feel tired or short of breath. Hydrate your body. Try to drink about two liters of water a day, but especially before, during, and after exercise, when we lose a lot of water and electrolytes through sweating. Staying hydrated will also help you fight constipation that a sedentary lifestyle can cause.