Misconceptions and Facts About COVID-19

COVID-19

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most people infected with COVID-19 experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without any special treatment. Older people are likely to be seriously affected if they have underlying medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer. The best way to protect yourself and others is to maintain social-distancing, wash your hands with soap or alcohol-based rub frequently, and avoid touching your face.

The WHO’s COVID-19 MythBusters page brings up some misconceptions and facts that you must know about COVID-19 to avoid panic and stay safe.

Misconceptions about COVID 19

  1. Wearing mask is necessary while exercising

    While exercising, it is not necessary to wear a mask. If you wear a mask while exercising, it will reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. The mask may also get wet quickly and promote the growth of microorganisms. The only thing you should take care of during exercise is to maintain physical distance of 1 meter from others.

  2. COVID-19 can spread through shoes

    The chances of COVID-19 spreading through shoes is very low. However, as a precaution, people who have infants and small children in their homes, are advised to leave their footwear outside their home. This will prevent contact with dirt and waste that could be carried on shoes.

  3. Drinking alcohol can protect you from COVID-19

    Drinking alcohol cannot protect you from COVID-19. In fact, it can be dangerous. Too much alcohol consumption increases your risk of having health problems.

  4. Exposing yourself to the sun can reduce the risk of COVID-19

    Exposing yourself to the sun or temperature above 25C degree cannot prevent COVID-19. No matter how sunny or hot the weather is, you cannot the reduce the risk of getting infected with COVID-19. Countries with hot weather have reported COVID-19 cases. To protect yourself, maintain personal hygiene by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

  5. COVID-19 spreads through food

    There is no evidence to prove that COVID-19 can spread through food. COVID-19 causes respiratory illness and the primary transmission mode is person-to-person contact and droplets transmission when a person comes in direct contact with someone has respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing.

  6. COVID-19 is airborne

    Based on a review of available evidence, the WHO has clarified that coronavirus is not airborne. The only way you can get the infection is after coming in close contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces that have respiratory droplets of a coronavirus patient. No cases of airborne transmission were reported in an analysis of 75,465 COVID-19 cases in China.

  7. If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without difficulty means you are free from COVID-19

    If you are able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without any difficulty such as coughing or any other discomfort, it doesn’t mean that you are free from COVID-19 or any other lung disease. The most common symptoms of the disease are dry cough, tiredness and fever, with some people developing more severe forms of the disease like pneumonia. The best way to confirm whether you are infected is to get a laboratory test done.

Other Facts About COVID-19

  • COVID-19 is caused by virus not by bacteria

    COVID-19 is caused by the virus that present in a family of viruses called coronaviridae. Antibiotics will not work against COVID-19. Some people who are infected with the COVID-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. Here, antibiotics may be recommended by the healthcare provider. Till now there is no licensed medication to cure this disease. Call your healthcare provider or COVID-19 hotline for assistance, if you have any symptoms.

  • Thermal scanners cannot detect COVID-19

    Thermal scanners cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19. It can detect fever (if the body temperature is higher than normal). There are many causes of fever. So, if you have fever seek assistance from a healthcare provider. If you live in an area with malaria or dengue seek medica care immediately.

  • Most people affected by coronavirus recover from it

    Most people who are affected with COVID-19 develop mild to moderate symptoms and can recover from it. If you find difficulty in breathing, have cough and fever seek medical care early. You can call your health facility by telephone and ask for help.

  • COVID-19 is not transmitted through houseflies or through mosquito bite

    To date, there is no evidence that COVID-19 spreads through houseflies or through mosquito bite. As mentioned earlier, the virus is transmitted when you have direct contact with infected person through the respiratory droplets when he coughs or sneezes and through fomites in the immediate environment or surfaces around the infected person.

    To date, there is no specific vaccine or medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. Several drug trials are on and there is no proof yet that any drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. WHO is organizing efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat this disease.

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to maintain good hand hygiene, good respiratory hygiene, physical distance of at least 1 metre from others. Wash your hands frequently using soap or handwashes or alcohol-based rub and avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.

Important guidelines that can reduce risk of cancer

cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. The most common causes of cancer are:

  • Smoking and tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Environmental factors including excessive exposure to the sun and radiation
  • Infectious agents

One half of cancer cases are preventable through a healthy lifestyle. You can reduce your risk of cancer by following these recommendations:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of several types of cancer. By maintaining your body weight in healthy range and avoiding weight gain in adult life, you can reduce your risk of cancer.
  • Eat a plant-based diet: Eating a healthy diet that are high in nutrients and by including colorful vegetables and fruits that can help you to stay lean. Fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables and whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, etc. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and alcohol, and reduce the amount of red meat and processed meats like ham, sausages, hot dogs, pepperoni, etc., in your diet. Processed meats can cause cancer substance to form when they are preserved.
  • Stay active: Adults should engage in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. Achieving or exceeding the upper limit of 300 min is optimal. Children and adolescents should engage in one hour of moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity activity per day. Avoid being sedentary.
  • Avoid smoking: Don’t smoke and if you do, quit as fast as possible. Medical oncologist and researcher Dr.Steven Clinton says, “Data shows more than up to one third of all cancers are linked to tobacco”.
  • Vaccinate your children against cancer: The HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine is the best protection against HPV related cancer. All boys and girls between the ages 11 and 12 years old should get the HPV vaccine.
  • Protect yourself from sun: The best way to protect yourself against skin cancer is to limit your exposure to sun’s UV rays. You can use sunscreen with a min SPF 30 or higher whenever you go out.
  • Know your family history: If you have a family history of cancer, you may be at increased risk. Talk to your family and doctor about your medical history, so that the doctor can assess your risk of having cancer and help you to take precautions.
  • Screening exams: Screening exams can help to detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate screening exams for you based on your gender, age and risk factors.

There’s nothing that can bring your cancer risk to zero, but you make many modifications in your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Be cautious about these things:

  • When your car is parked outdoors under the sun in temperatures above 60 degrees F, the dashboard and the seats are heated up. According to a research study, the dashboard, air freshener and the seats emit a cancer-causing toxin called benzene, and if it goes up to 40 times the acceptable level, inhaling this can cause cancer. In addition to this, it also affects kidney, liver and poisons your bones, causes anaemia and reduces WBC. So, when you get into your car, open the windows and doors, and allow some time for the interior air to go out.
  • When you are cooking or reheating food using microwave, don’t let plastic wrap, plastic utensils touch food during the microwaving because it may melt, and eating the food will cause carcinogen to enter your body.
  • Avoid putting hot water in plastic bottles, and water in plastic bottles stored in warm environments. Plastic bottles can release harmful chemicals into the water if stored in a hot vehicle. This can increase breast cancer risk.
  • Use cosmetics that are paraben free. Paraben it is a chemical that affects the mechanisms of normal breast cells and potentially influence their abnormal growth, which leads to increased risk of breast cancer.

Following these guidelines and making simple lifestyle changes can bring down your risk of cancer.

What does Healthy Weight actually mean?

Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is important to stay healthy. Gaining unhealthy weight increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other serious health conditions. So, what does “Healthy weight” actually mean? For adults, healthy weight is defined as the appropriate body weight in relation to height.

You can determine your healthy body weight by calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI measures your weight with respect to your height. The formula is: BMI = weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Knowing your BMI helps you find out if you are at a healthy weight.

A normal BMI score falls between 18.5 and 24.9, which indicates that the person is within the normal/healthy weight range for his/her height. The chart below shows the World Health Organization’s recommended body weight based on BMI values that show whether a person (men or women, age 18 or older) is underweight, overweight, or obese.

Category BMI range/sqm
Severe Thinness <16
Moderate Thinness 16-17
Mild Thinness 17-18.5
Normal 18.5-25
Overweight 25-30
Obese Class I 30-35
Obese Class II 35-40
Obese Class III >40

However, BMI calculations are different for muscle builders, pregnant women, the elderly, and young children. As the measure can’t distinguish between muscle and fat, muscle builders may have a high BMI, but may not be at a risk of health problems. Growing children have a lower muscle mass while seniors tend to lose muscle mass, and both these groups may have a lower BMI. BMI cannot accurately indicate the state of a woman’s health during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

BMI is considered an indicator of health risks because it calculates the amount of fat present in your body. Experts say that if the fat tends to settle around your waist rather than the hips, this can lead to a higher risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Generally, this risk of these conditions is higher with a waist size that is greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men.

Being at a healthy weight reduces your risk of several health problems. Low BMI (underweight) and high BMI (overweight) increase the risk of health problems. People with a high BMI are at risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Premature death
  • Gallstones
  • Breathing problems
  • Certain cancers
  • Depression and other mental disorders
  • Osteoarthritis

People who are underweight or have a low BMI are at a risk of:

  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Osteoporosis
  • Decrease in immune function
  • Growth and development issues (particularly in children and teenagers)
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Potential complications as a result of surgery
  • Anemia

Here are some simple tips to maintain a healthy weight:

  • Eat healthy, Include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Avoid sugary and caloric-rich foods.
  • Keep track of your calorie intake.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Exercise and stay physically active – it will help you to burn calories and build muscles.

Don’t skip breakfast. Eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism, and gives you energy throughout the day. It has been found that people who skip breakfast have higher BMIs than people who eat breakfast. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet and staying physically active will help you to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risks of developing health problems.

Simple Stretches and Strengthening Exercises to Reduce Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain

There are many factors and conditions that can lead to shoulder pain. Understanding the “Anatomy” of the Shoulder explained by “Washington University Orthopaedics” can help you figure out the factors that cause shoulder pain.

The shoulder is made up two joints: the acromioclavicular joint and the glenohumeral joint. The acromioclavicular joint where two bones meet – the shoulder blade (scapula) and the collar bone (clavicle). The glenohumeral joint is where the ball (humeral head) and the socket (the glenoid) meet.

The shoulder joint gets its range of motion from the rotator cuff, which is made up of a group of four muscles and their tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the ball within the shallow socket of the shoulder. Tendons attach the muscles and bones. The muscles of the rotator cuff keep the ball tightly in the socket. The socket is shallow and flat. It is bounded with labrum, a soft tissue that makes a deeper socket to fit the ball. There is also capsular and ligament control in addition to muscle support around shoulder joint. The capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint is the fluid sac which is made up of ligaments and lubricates the joint. When stretched, the ligaments (soft tissues that hold bone to bone) help to tighten up the movements of the shoulder joint to restrict unwanted movement.

Shoulder pain can be caused by various conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Torn cartilage
  • Swollen bursa sacs or tendons
  • Bone spurs
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Broken shoulder or arm bone
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Heart attack

The most common cause of shoulder pain is due to a condition known as impingement. The two main causes of impingement are:

  • Posture related issues: You spend so much time hunched over your computer, other devices, at desks, even at the dinner table. As a result of the bad posture, your shoulders may feel tight and stiff. For instance, if you are standing, you let your shoulders round forward, your chest is tight and your head comes forward and then you try to rotate your hand over head there a mechanical block occurs and that will not let your hand to rotate further.
  • Rotator cuff weakness: If it is not keeping the ball securely in the socket, this can result in pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion.

Here are some stretches to improve your posture and strengthening exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles a keep the ball securely in the socket.

Stretches

  • Rotation:
    Sit or stand up straight.
    Keep arms down at sides.
    Rotate arms outward while trying to extend downward at the same time.
    Hold for 5 secs and repeat.
  • Cross-arm stretch:
    Bring your left arm across the front of your body at about chest height.
    Use the other arm to support/hold your left arm.
    Stretch out your shoulder and continue to face forward.
    Hold for 30 secs.
    Repeat on the other side.
  • Triceps stretch:
    Bring your right arm up and over behind you.
    Use the other arm to support the elbow.
    Hold for 30 secs.
    Repeat on the other side.
  • Ear to Shoulder
    Sit straight and tilt your head toward your right shoulder.
    Without lifting your left shoulder go far as you can.
    Use your right hand to gently pull your head down to deepen the stretch.
    Hold for 30 secs.
  • Head Tilt Clasp
    Clasps your hands behind your back.
    Slowly tilt your head side to side.
    Hold each ear towards your shoulder while taking up to three big, deep breaths.
    Repeat 10 times.

Strengthening Exercises for Rotator cuff muscles

These exercises can be done 2 or 3 times a week or directed by your physical therapist and should be performed slowly. If you feel worsening pain in your shoulder, shoulder blade or arm, stop the exercise. If you have rotator cuff injury, ask your physical therapist for assistance.

  • Doorway stretch:
    Stand in an open doorway and spread your arm out to the side.
    Grip the sides of doorway with each hand at or below shoulder height.
    Until you feel a stretch lean forward through the doorway.
    When you lean keep straight back and shift weight onto your toes.
    You should feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder.
    Do not overstretch.
  • Isometric Internal rotation:
    Put your elbow of your right hand by your side about 90-degree angle.
    Push your right hand against the opposite hand.
    Hold 10 secs.
    Repeat 5 to 6 times.
  • Isometric external rotation:
    Put your elbow of your right hand by your side about 90-degree angle.
    Use the opposite hand to resist external rotation.
    Push arm away from your body and hold 10 secs.
    Repeat 5 to 6 times.
  • Internal rotation with weight:
    Lie down on the side and put your elbow close to your side at a 90-degree angle.
    Hold a weight (can be soup can or vegetable can), bring it up and then down.
    Repeat 5 to 6 times.
  • External rotation with weight:
    Lie on your side with your top arm bend to 90-degree angle.
    Holding the weight and without moving your elbow rotate your hand outward taking the weight from your waist over to your top hip.
    Repeat 5 to 6 times.

It is recommended that your consult your physician or a physiotherapist before doing shoulder exercises.

7 Easy Steps to Get a Summer Body

Summer Body

Achieving a summer body is all about being comfortable in your own skin, being able to socialize and being proud of your appearance. It is about setting aesthetic goals for yourself and knowing you can achieve those goals.

So here are some steps to follow to achieve a good summer body:

  • Eat light

    Starving yourself is not the right thing to do because your brain will automatically slow down your metabolism when you starve. Eating right and eating light go hand in hand. Decrease the amount of simple carbs you are eating, increase the amount of lean healthy protein and most importantly, focus on a plant-based diet. Try eating smaller meals throughout the day.

  • Hydrate

    Drinking enough water is always important. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles, and helps the muscles work efficiently. Know the amount of water you need to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and soda, the caffeine in soda which can be a diuretic, will make you urinate more quickly, and you will lose more fluid. This leads to dehydration; when you are dehydrated it hurts your performance, increases the risk of injury, and hurts your circulation.

  • Exercise

    You have to exercise if you want to achieve your perfect summer body.
    But this breaks out into two basic categories:

    1. Weight loss: If you want to lose weight, focus on two main things – Cardio and Weight Training.
      Weight training helps you to gain muscle mass which not only makes you look good but also allows you to burn more calories throughout the day.
      For Cardio, focus on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). It means a period of intense exercise for about 60 seconds followed by a period of less intense exercise for about 4 minutes. Those intervals can be changed according to your athletic ability. But generally, the principle stays the same.
      It also applies to any kind of cardio, whether it is swimming, cycling, running etc. You have to do cardio workout 3 to 4 times a week for about 30 minutes.
    2. Weight gain: You want to minimize your cardio and aerobic workouts and increase your weight lifting. Focus on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bent rows, bench press, pull-ups etc instead of machines or isolation movements. Compound exercises are those that work multiple muscle groups at the same time.
  • Diet plan:

    To bulk up, try some of the following foods that contain healthy fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates that help build muscle and use fat to burn energy.

    • lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, peanut butter, cottage cheese etc
    • red meat with no growth hormones, such as grass-fed beef
    • nuts, such as almonds
    • fat-rich fruits, such as avocados
    • full-fat dairy, such as full fat milk
    • whole-grain breads
    • eggs

    To lose weight, think of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, particularly ones that taste especially best in the summer months, try to have foods which are rich in fibre, contain high percentage of water and are low in calories. This will help you reduce appetite, stay hydrated and thus increase your overall calorie expenditure.

    • Chilled vegetable soups
    • Watermelon
    • Strawberries
    • Grilled seafood
    • Grilled vegetables
    • Cucumbers
    • Tomatoes
  • Things to avoid
    • Refined carbs (fries, white pasta, white bread, pastry, fast food)
    • Sugary/fatty drinks (coffee with sugar, hot chocolate, energy drinks, milkshakes)
    • Alcohol (especially beer and spirits mixed with fizzy drinks)
    • Sugar/saturated fat (chocolate, sweets, cakes, fast food)
  • Sleep

    Sleep is one of the crucial aspects to stay healthy and also have a great physique. When you sleep, your muscles recover; sleep re-energizes your metabolism and refreshes the mind. It is needed for your physical and mental wellbeing. When you don’t get sufficient sleep (7 to 9 hours for adults), your capability to concentrate is reduced, and you are at increased risk of injury. Most importantly, your hunger pangs increase, so you want to eat all day long which is going to ultimately kill your physique.

  • Reduce stress: Excess stress can release a hormone called cortisol, and it can lead to unhealthy weight gain or weight loss. Meditate, get a massage, or spend more time on your favorite hobbies.
  • Limit alcohol

    Alcohol tends to have a lot of added sugar, you can’t process it or utilize it for energy. Alcohol is diuretic, meaning it will cause you to lose more water. This will hurt your performance. Alcohol is a toxin, so any time you are ingesting toxin, the liver has to neutralize it. It makes the liver work harder and has an effect on metabolism.

Know what your abilities are, what you are capable of, and how well you stay motivated. Setting realistic goals is the smart way to do this, because you won’t over strain yourself and you reduce the risk of injury. Follow these steps and build a lifestyle around rest, relaxation and self-care.

Useful Tips to Prevent Nausea

Nausea

Nausea is a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit. Nausea can be psychological or physical in origin. There are many causes of nausea. Pregnant women typically experience nausea in their first trimester. Nausea may be caused by some underlying disease. Taking pills on an empty stomach, eating too much or too little, drinking too much alcohol, and intense or unpleasant smells can also induce feelings of nausea.

Some common causes of nausea are motion sickness, dizziness, fainting, excessive sweating, food poisoning or gastroenteritis (stomach infection), overeating, or it can be the side effects of many health conditions like heart attacks, kidney or liver disorders, central nervous system disorders, brain tumors and certain forms of cancer.

The treatment option would vary, depending on what is causing the nauseous feeling. The tips below may help to alleviate the symptoms for those treatments that are not severe and do not require medical intervention.

  • Avoid any food that have strong flavors, are very sweet, greasy or fried
  • Do not lie down immediately after eating
  • Eat light and bland foods
  • Do not mix hot and cold foods
  • Drink beverages slowly
  • Avoid activity after eating
  • Drink clear or ice-cold drinks
  • Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day than three large ones
  • Stay hydrated by taking small sips of water at regular intervals
  • Avoid carbonated beverages

If you feel nauseated:

  • Natural remedies for nausea include ginger, and ginger and peppermint tea which can help settle your stomach.
  • Apply gentle pressure to the inside of the wrists with the thumbs.
  • Take deep breaths i.e. breathe in slowly through your nose, hold your breath for 3 seconds and slowly breathe out. Repeat several times until the nausea subsides.
  • Try reclining with your upper body elevated, and move around as little as possible.
  • If it is due to constipation, drink warm water with lemon juice which may stimulate your bowels.

Stay hydrated throughout the day by taking small sips of water at regular intervals – because nausea is also a symptom of dehydration, and dehydration can worsen nausea.

“Quarantine 15″ – Why it’s Harmful and Tips to Avoid it

Have you gained the “Quarantine 15”? Don’t worry – there are many ways to get back on track with your diet.

Quarantine 15

The “Quarantine 15” refers to weight that many people have experienced since stay-at-home guidelines went into effect. This weight gain is likely due to the interruption in daily routine and habits. The Washington Post reported on a study by Withings, the maker of popular Internet-connected scales and other body-measurement devices, that evaluated body weight trends of about 450,000 American users between March 22 and April 18 – when New York ordered people to stay home. The study found that despite concerns about gaining a “quarantine 15,” the average user gained 0.21 pounds during that month, with about 37 percent gaining more than a pound.

Weight gain is more likely to happen from the stress and self-isolation brought upon by the novel coronavirus. Boredom or stress or both have a powerful effect on appetite that cause people to eat even when they’re not hungry as well as to overeat. Spending more time in the house to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19 has fueled comfort-eating. Moreover, as there’s no prescribed lunch break – like in an office – or a breakfast to be grabbed before the commute, you might skip meals in between or will tend to snack

This eating habits can be harmful for the body. “People’s habits have changed quite a bit since we’re spending more time at home, and those changes can lead to health and medical issues down the road,” says Dr Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Healthy Living Programme at the Mayo Clinic.

Both snacking and skipping meals can be a factor of your weight gain. According to a study, skipping breakfast can disturb the body’s internal clock and cause weight gain, even if one does not overeat for the rest of the day. The good news is that you can reverse the trend and regain control. Here are six tips that you can adopt to avoid the Quarantine 15:

  • Eat nutritious foods: Eat nutritious food from all food groups every day such as wholegrain bread and cereals, vegetables, fruit, milk and dairy, and meat, fish or legumes. A well-nourished body has a stronger stress-resistant shield. Choose low-fat varieties that can fortify the body. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids such as seafood, nuts, seeds, and oils such as canola, flax, and soybean can protect against heart disease and relieve mild depression. Also, stay hydrated.
  • Portion meals: Eat a decent-sized portion without overdoing calorie consumption. Measure your food – if you don’t, you will end up eating more food than you want, which will lead to unwanted weight gain and obesity.
  • Mindful Eating: Practice mindful eating by listening to your hunger cues so that you can respond to them effectively. When the stomach’s full, your brain will receive a signal saying you’re full. Pay attention to those signals and you will be less likely to overeat.
  • Avoid unhealthy snacking: It’s okay to have a snack between meals, but avoid unhealthy snacks like candies, French fries, instant noodles, ice-cream and soft drinks. These calorie-rich items not only cause obesity but also affect our appetite and hinder the intake of nutritious food. Switch to healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, or yogurt, which can keep you becoming over-hungry as you approach your next meal.
  • Maintain a structured routine: If you’re working from home or are no longer working, it can be difficult to keep track of time. Try to stick to a schedule – this can help you better manage your meals. Instead of grabbing snacks every time you pass the kitchen, schedule eating times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and stick to them.
  • Exercise: In addition to good nutrition, exercise is important to prevent weight gain. To compensate for the extra consumption of calories, engage in activities that burn more calories. Stay active on all days of the week. Try simple but effective exercises like walking at the beginning of the day and after dinner.

Importantly, maintain a positive attitude. If you feel you cannot get things on track on your own, you can get help online from a reliable therapist or dietician.

5 Important Things Not To Do When the Coronavirus Lockdown Ends

coronavirus lockdown

Several states in US and other countries are easing the lockdown imposed due to coronavirus restrictions. Nonessential businesses such as restaurants, stores or other businesses are set to reopen to get the economy up and running again. With the easing of coronavirus restrictions, people will tend to visit public places such as restaurants, malls, and salons. Many people will be planning to meet their friends or going out for shopping. However, the important thing to remember is coronavirus will not disappear instantly and completely. The risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 won’t go away until we have access to a vaccine. So, it’s important to continue taking the necessary precautions when restrictions are eased because life won’t suddenly return back to normal once this lockdown ends. CNET reported California Gov. Gavin Newsom as saying: “If we all pull back, we could see a second wave that makes this pale in comparison.”

People need to need to continue be careful and take good care of their health. The following are five important things you should not do immediately after the lockdown ends:

  1. Not wear a face mask when you go out: ‘Precaution is better than cure’ and this saying is very applicable in case of the use of face masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages wearing a face mask when going out in public as a voluntary health measure in areas with high transmission rates, and in places where people can’t maintain social distancing of six feet. The recommendation applies to face masks and coverings you make at home or buy.
  2. Don’t stop washing hands: Even if the spread of COVID-19 comes to an end, don’t stop washing your hands because it’s a good habit. Practicing hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly will protect you against the coronavirus and can also keep several other diseases at bay. Give your hands a thorough wash for the recommended 20 seconds to prevent the spread of illness.
  3. Not maintaining a safe distance: Along with using a face mask and washing your hands, you need to practice social distancing. According to a group of Harvard disease experts, some form of intermittent social distancing may need to be in place until 2022 (weforum.org). Until herd immunity is achieved, proper physical distancing measures and frequent hand washing may need to remain in place after the lockdown has been lifted.
  4. Shop for entertainment: The main idea of stay at home efforts is to keep you from transmitting the virus to others or acquiring it yourself. When restrictions are lifted, people will tend to try and resume normal activities such as shopping. However, indulging in a post-coronavirus shopping spree can be very risky. Shop only when you need to.
  5. Don’t party in clubs or bars: Protect yourself and your family by avoiding social gatherings as much as possible, because, with large number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases coming up, you might never know who is infected and who is not. So it’s ideal to avoid big parties in clubs and bars. “Continuing the weekend tradition of packing the bars is selfish and reckless during this pandemic”, says an article in the New York Times.

Remain cautiously optimistic about regaining your freedom to move, but remain realistic that we don’t know what the future holds (cnet.com).

Improve Health and Fitness with Home Workouts during the COVID-19 Crisis

Improve Health and Fitness with Home Workouts

The novel coronavirus crisis has led governments to adopt stringent measures to contain the spread of the disease. This includes temporary shutdown of various businesses and putting their citizens under lockdown for social distancing – the only way to reduce contact between people and prevent spreading of this virus. Gyms are one of the businesses that have been forced to shut down during this pandemic, affecting many people’s fitness regimens.

“With gyms, beaches, and parks temporarily closed and people being encouraged to stay at home, it’s easy to let your exercise routine fall by the wayside. And working from home or lacking a daily routine can make it hard to keep up with any physical activity at all”, notes a Harvard Health article. However, fitness experts say that even if you don’t have a dedicated workout space or fancy machines, all this shouldn’t stop you from getting a good workout in your home.

Physical activity and exercise offer both immediate and long-term health benefits. With social distancing mandated during the COVID-19 outbreak, exercising at home would provide additional benefits:

  • It would lift the mood, which is very important when faced with the challenge of staying inside and finding activities to do to substitute for some of your usual ones.
  • Exercise lowers risk for heart disease by improving cholesterol profile and lowering blood pressure.
  • Staying active is important to sleep better and manage stress efficiently, both of which can be difficult when schedules are disrupted.

Here are some exercises you can do at homes without any equipment or machines:

  • Squats: Start by standing straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and your arms at your side. Keep your chest and chin up, push your hips back and bend your knees as if you’re going to sit on a chair. Make sure that your knees don’t bow inward or outward. Drop down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, bringing your arms out in front of you in a comfortable position. Pause for one second, then extend your legs and return to the starting position.
  • Push-ups: This is a basic exercise where you start with plank position, keep your body tight, shoulders pulled down and back. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body and when your chest grazes the floor, extend your elbows and return to the starting position. Keep your elbows close to your body during the movement.
  • Sit-ups: This is an effective exercise for the abdominal muscles. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Keep your arms behind you head and slowly begin to roll up from your head, engaging your core throughout. Don’t strain your neck during the upward motion. When your chest comes close to your legs, begin the controlled phase back down to the starting position.
  • Bent over row: Hinge forward at your hips. Pull a weighted barbell toward your torso while keeping your elbows close to your body and your back straight. Perform sets of six to 12 repetitions, performing each set to muscle failure to improve muscular strength and endurance.
  • Burpees: This is an effective exercise for your whole body. Begin by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms on your side. Put your hands on the front and start to squat down and as soon as your hands reach the ground, pop your legs back to a push-up position. Do a push-up and then get back to the starting push-up position and jump your feet up to your palms by hinging at the waist. Your feet must be as close to your hands as possible, landing them outside your hands if necessary.
  • Wall Sit: Lean on a wall in the house and sit against it as if it’s a chair with your legs at 90 degrees. Stand still in the position and hold. Back straight, stay in that position for three minutes. Once you get used to it, increase your time. Do it three times in the set of three.

Stopping the spread of COVID-19 may mean unprecedented changes to daily routines, but staying healthy through it all is still a priority. One of the best things about exercising at home is that you can do it in your living room while watching television or listening to your favorite music. However, check with your doctor before you start any new exercise regimen.

COVID-19: Tips to Protect Your Mental Health During This Pandemic

COVID-19: Tips to Protect Your Mental Health During This Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens across the nation, numerous spots of business – schools, offices, the New York stock exchange, theaters, wellness studios, clothing and beauty stores, have all been requested to temporarily shut down and millions of people are being asked to self-quarantine in order to safeguard themselves and prevent the disastrous spread of infection. However, during this period, it is important to pay as much attention to your mental health just as your physical health.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus that originated in Wuhan City of China, causes severe respiratory disease. Coronavirus was declared a global emergency on January 31, 2020 and announced as a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO) because of its high mortality rate. With more than 25,000 positive tests of Covid-19 and 210 deaths from the virus reported in the United States alone, this outbreak is serious and is quickly spreading to all parts of the world. Since no immunizations are available as of now to prevent coronavirus sickness, the ideal approach is to abstain from being exposed to this virus. For that, the U.S and many other countries have announced temporary lockdown to ensure social distancing. However, the uncertainty and the constant depressing news about the pandemic can be stressful for many, and take a toll on peoples’ mental health, particularly those already living with conditions like anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Many organizations have come forward offering tips on how to tackle one’s mental health during this outbreak and WHO is one among them.

As we all face uncertainty and are confused about this pandemic, there are measures we can take to stay calm. The tips include:

  • Limit your exposure to news and social media because there is a lot of misinformation swirling around. Stay informed of COVID-19-related news and updates by sticking to trusted sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), John Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Cut back the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which aren’t making you feel better, and perhaps decide on a specific time to check in with the news.
  • Keep things in perspective and take all the precautions by washing your hands frequently and practicing social distancing.
  • Social distancing doesn’t mean that you should not stay connected with family and friends. You can maintain these connections without increasing your risk of getting the virus – you can talk on the phone, text or chat with people on social media platforms. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normalcy and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress.
  • Remind yourself that most people who contract COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms, as the American Psychological Association (APA) points out. They say work is being done to help people who may be more vulnerable to the coronavirus, such as senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions.
  • Practice deep breathing or meditation which are great ways to alleviate stress and anxiety.
  • Engage in activities that distract you from current events.
  • Do practice self-care activities like eating healthy, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep and regular physical activity.
  • Engage in indoor physical activities as it can help ease anxiety and improve your mood by producing stress-relieving hormones called endorphins.
  • If you have negative thoughts and beliefs, write down positive statements right when you wake up or before going to bed. This can be very powerful in rewiring your negative mindset.
  • Communicate with your kids because it’s important to take care of your kids’ mental and emotional health as well as yours. Be honest and open with your children and give them enough space to process their feelings.
  • Be kind to yourself and others.
  • Sharing the actual facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make this outbreak and its impact less stressful. According to the CDC, when you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.

However, if your mental health worsens and you feel it is impairing your ability to function, then seek professional help from an experienced mental health professional at the earliest. Don’t forget that with COVID-19, you are not alone in how you are feeling. Coping with the stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.