What not to do while on COVID-19 lockdownSunday, April 05, 2020
BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY
MOST people are completely aware that they should practise physical social distancing at all times, proper hand hygiene and never touch their face with unwashed hands in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Individuals are also aware of the risks associated with touching, coughing, sneezing, talking, and very likely breathing as each breath expels water from the lungs (think of breathing in a cold environment where you can see the condensed water cloud).
While other people know that it is unhealthy to be excessively fearful and constantly consuming and sharing misinformation, such as drinking hot water every 30 minutes, cutting onions, drinking coconut oil, gargling vinegar, and other similar practices.
But many people are unaware that there are behaviours, while at home, which could increase their chances of becoming a severe to critical COVID-19 patient.
Experts are concluding that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is responsible for coronavirus disease, isn't going anywhere. The main question is not if you will encounter the virus, but when and how severe your illness will be.
The goal, of course, is to develop vaccines and treatments before too many people contract the virus.
How you are affected will depend on several factors:
• Your age, more specifically your biological age as opposed to your chronological age;
• Any underlying health conditions, such as heart conditions, respiratory issues, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, impaired immunity, and autoimmune diseases.
And, based on studies related to the flu and other coronaviruses being overweight, obesity, poor lifestyle and activity levels and poor nutritional habits may also influence how you are affected by COVID-19.
When at home under lockdown, these factors could put you at increased risk:
1. Being overweight and eating as you always have.
Yes, these are unusual times, but you need to be stronger and healthier than ever. If your family is with you, try to minimise nutritionally weak snack foods in the house.
Please, keep in mind that, sadly, there are also now victims of the virus who are children. Protect your young ones, and protect yourselves, for their sakes.
It is also important that you monitor your weight. It is an easy measure of your susceptibility.
2. Putting on weight while at home,
If you are not overweight, you have an advantage. Now is not the time to lose that advantage by overeating and gaining weight.
3. Not focusing on your immunity-supporting foods.
Scarfing down empty calories, refined flour and sugar every day will create inflammation, deny your body of the micronutrients and healthy microbiome, and stress your immune system.
Focus on healthy, natural foods laden with vitamins A, Bs, C, K, zinc (berries, legumes, fruit, vegetables, proteins, fibres, nuts), and they will help you physically and mentally.
4. Becoming a chair jockey.
If you are working from home, get up at least once every 60 minutes or so, walk around. Do not be a work hero, be your own hero who works efficiently.
Sitting all day can lead to potential health problems such as deep vein thrombosis.
5. Embracing the bed or couch potato life.
A strong body, healthy muscles, lungs, cardiovascular system, and sunlight (vitamin D) are of pre-eminent importance in surviving an infection.
No matter how simple, maintain a routine of daily physical activity. Exercise daily, but I would recommend mildly. I have a personal concern about the potential inflammation and subsequent immunity vulnerability which may be brought on by consistent, intense, vigorous exercise.
Develop and maintain a daily routine, including work if needed, family time, relaxation, and communication, but be sure to prioritise healthy food planning and preparation and daily exercises.
Get the help and guidance if you are finding this too challenging, you are worth the effort.
Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863- 5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org.
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