STAYING ACTIVE in times of a PANDEMIC
With the ever evolving situation that people around the country and the world find themselves, it becomes more challenging to maintain health, especially physical health during difficult times. The COVID-19 virus is a highly infectious pathogen, this means that it is easily spread and transmitted through the air or the virus particles settled on to a surface, which then enters the body via the mouth, eyes and the nose.
The most alarming factor of the virus is the way it can easily spread from one person to another. Any infectious pathogen can cause fatality, but most of the infected cases reported by WHO (World Health Organization) have presented with milder symptoms.
Most of the cases that died an unfortunate death due to the virus had an underlying condition such as hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease that weakened their immune systems.
With that being said, older individuals (over the age of 60), people with above mentioned chronic diseases and severely compromised immune systems should exercise at home or outdoors minimizing human contact. For all the others, moderate intensity physical activity will work towards betterment and maintaining a good immune system. Regular physical activity will also reduce feeling of stress and anxiety present in the background of the current situation.
Based on the National Physical Guidelines, 150-300 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity coupled with 2 sessions per week of strength and conditioning. Following these guidelines especially when many of us find ourselves working from home may get quite challenging. It is important to do as much as you can as every minute can count towards good health.
It is ideal to do any outdoor activity like a brisk walk or jog in the wee hours of the morning keeping in mind interaction with other individuals. Remember the most important strategy is to avoid coming into contact with others who may or may not be infected. Whilst others who find themselves indoors through the day can indulge in jumping rope, dancing to their favorite music or better if you own home cardio machines or involving other family members in interactive games. Simple body weight strength training involving squats, push-ups and lunges can be done in the middle of a TV commercial.
In the uneventful scenario, if one is infected with the virus but show no symptoms, continue being physically active. It is important to track your symptoms and use them as a guide to stop physical activity. Do not rush to see a doctor, as you may infect others on the way to see the doctor. Maintain quarantine if you do not have any underlying conditions. Reach out to your Doctor if you develop fever, cough or shortness of breath.
Prevention is better than cure and in this case there is no definite cure but only symptomatic supportive management. Some preventive strategies that need to be part of daily life should include regular hand washing, social distancing and keeping hands away from the face. The use of mask is only recommended for a person who is coughing or playing the role of a care giver.
C– Clean your hands
O– Off from Gatherings
R– Raise your immunity – Be physical active
O– Only sick to wear mask.
N– No to Hand shake
A– Avoid Rumors leading to stress and anxiety.
Dr. Atwar Hussain,
M.B.B.S, Msc. SEM (UK) ,Dip. SEM(IOC) Dip. SEM (FIFA).
Sports and Exercise Physician