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HEALTH & FITNESS IN THE TIME OF CORONA

At the end of 2019, the world has been enormously affected by a rapid spread of a global pandemic caused by COVID-19, and the imposed social distancing policies were a disappointment for a lot of people who were forced to adopt unhealthy lifestyles, such as physical inactivity, and spending longer durations at home, which could be a challenge to people’s health and quality of life.

In light of the current situation worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO)1 is encouraging people to maintain regular physical activity which could have pivotal impacts on COVID-19 infection and severity including:

  • Immunity: Physical activity stimulates the immune function by reducing the development of inflammation and prevention of excess body weight which could reduce the risk, duration, and severity of viral infections including COVID-192.
  • Chronic diseases: Adequate physical activity reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, which could decrease the risk of COVID-19 infection 3.
  • Mental health: Physical activity improves mental health, reduces the risk of depression, stress, and anxiety, which are a result of the enforced sedentary behavior caused by COVID-19 4.

According to WHO5, physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic can be achieved using simple, safe, and applicable ways as the following:

Sit Less, Take a break

Whether you’re working, studying, or even taking a call, just take a break from sitting every 20-30 min, stand up, stretch your body a little and you can even take 1-2 min walk around.

Take online exercise classes or home-based exercises

You can join online classes or even try home-based exercise to maintain your fitness such as:

Knee to elbow: elevates heart and breathing rates.

Plank: strengthens belly, arms, and legs.

Squats:  strengthens legs and glutes.

Squats:  strengthens legs and glutes.

Dance, Dance, Dance

Dance to your favorite music and make your bedroom a dance floor, since dancing is an effective and enjoyable exercise alternative that protects your heart and stimulates the releases of Endorphins (hormones), making you feel good during the tough times of the COVID-19 crisis 6.

Take the stairs

The stairs could be your new best friend instead of elevators where COVID-19 guidelines limit the number of elevator users to avoid the spread of the infection. Therefore, using stairs provide more space, less crowding, and improves your health.

Eat healthy, stay hydrated

Maintaining a healthy diet and good nutrition during COVID-19 has a great impact on health, as they support the immune system to be able to fight against the pandemic7. Also, hydration is important to replace the body’s fluid losses and thin the respiratory secretions, as dehydration may result in pneumonia, respiratory problems, and worsening symptoms of COVID-19 8.

So, from now on, be more active, take care of your body, and most importantly, keep safety guidelines in mind 9.

Going to the gym? No worries, keep safety guidelines in mind9 and book a personal trainer with JISME.

In JISME you will find a wide directory of personal trainers selected by JISME team and are available in the UAE by region or by virtual training. Each personal trainer has numerous years of experience as well as great reviews and JISME makes it easy for you to select if you would like a male or female trainer, what Emirate they are located in and what services they provide best. Moreover, JISME convenient directory lets you select trainers and provides a brief description about them, what service they offer and their contact info so you can contact them directly, freely and at your pace. Once you have worked with the trainer you selected, you can leave a review on the JISME website for others to view.

Click here to view JISME’s directory of personal trainers.

  • WHO. Physical activity. Available from: https://www.who.int/health-topics/physical-activity#tab=tab_1. 2020
  • DR Laddu, Lavie CJ, Phillips SA, Arena R. Physical activity for immunity protection: Inoculating populations with healthy living medicine in preparation for the next pandemic. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2021;64:102-4.
  • DG Muhammad, Abubakar IA. COVID-19 lockdown may increase cardiovascular disease risk factors. Egypt Heart J. 2021;73(1):2.
  • R Endrighi, Steptoe A, Hamer M. The effect of experimentally induced sedentariness on mood and psychobiological responses to mental stress. Br J Psychiatry. 2016;208(3):245-51.
  • WHO. Stay physically active during self-quarantine. 2020
  • A Fong Yan, Cobley S, Chan C, Pappas E, Nicholson LL, Ward RE, et al. The Effectiveness of Dance Interventions on Physical Health Outcomes Compared to Other Forms of Physical Activity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2018;48(4):933-51.
  • F Aman, Masood S. How Nutrition can help to fight against COVID-19 Pandemic. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(COVID19-S4):S121-S3.
  • ASPEN. Nutrition and Hydration: Key Weapons i nthe Fight Against COVID-19. 2020.
  • CDC. COVID-19. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. 2021

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