Take time out for some physical exercise, urge health experts


The COVID-19-enforced lockdown has significantly reduced physical activities and people must be feeling unhealthy and heavy. Since such an inactive lifestyle can also increase the risk of several health conditions or diseases, both physically and mentally, it is important to keep physically active even while under lockdown. And you can stay fit and healthy by doing simple but effective home workouts.

Since exercise and a healthy balanced diet are important for our health, fitness experts advise taking some time out for it. “You can start with simple exercises, short workouts if you are a beginner,” says fitness trainer-coach Prakash KC.

To help people stay healthy at their homes, he has also been going live on Facebook with his daily morning exercises consisting of different forms of basic to advanced level home workouts.

As per KC, the exercises one should do depends on the goal — losing fat, gaining muscles, getting stronger, improving immunity system, improving joint flexibility, strength and mobility, body building et cetera.

“Age, height, body weight and medical history of a person also should be considered while doing certain forms of exercises. For instance, an overweight person should not do jumping exercises as it can create problem in the ligaments.

Similarly, high-intensity exercises should be performed with caution by people with heart problems,” he advises.

He adds, “Everyone can do simple body movements and stretching as warm-up exercises which include rotating your joints such as hands, wrists, neck, shoulders, knees and waist. Jumping jacks, high knees, pushups and crunches are some common exercises that can be done every day.”

He adds that along with exercises, proper diet and nutrition plan and significant rest are important to achieve good health and results.

“For instance, doing extra exercise on an empty stomach and dieting would not help you lose weight; this is because you tend to be unaware about what is making you fat. In such case, you should balance your protein, carbohydrate and good/healthy fat along with exercising,” he suggests.

“You should also keep in mind excessive exercise can harm your body parts,” he cautions. He says exercising for 30-45 minutes or maximum an hour is enough in a day, while beginners can start with a minimum of 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the time in the following days. Exercise for two minutes and rest for 40 seconds.

Repeat this pattern. If this is difficult, exercise for 30 seconds and relax for 20 seconds, repeat,” he advises.

KC points out one should finish their pre-workout meal one hour prior to exercise.

“You can work out on an empty stomach, but only if you have the strength to do so,” he says.

Another fitness trainer Saroj Rajbahak of New Bulls Gym, Kumari Galli, suggests maintaining healthy food habit and exercising to stay fit and healthy during the lockdown. He also warns against overeating.

“Try not to overeat, avoid eating food containing sugar and carbohydrate, while you should eat good fats. Also, focus on consuming natural foods and avoid eating junk,” he says.

He recommends the basic cardio exercises you can do at home are jumping jacks, mountain climbing, jump squats, burpees and plank.

“Perform each exercise for 40 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds before repeating,” he advises. He also recommends stretching exercises while dynamic warmup exercise is also effective which involves movements of your whole body.

He adds, “You can do different exercises according to your health condition, stress, and different kinds of work you are involved in.”

For those who are reluctant to exercise, KC advises, “You have to motivate yourself to exercise thinking that this is for your health and well-being.”

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 15, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.