The slow return to active living following the sedentary pandemic lockdown
By Dennis Archambault
Remote working conditions have given people the time and convenience to adopt a fitness regime – assuming you don’t mind exercising alone. However, for many, the lockdown, its related psychosocial stress, and the extended remote working experience has contributed to bad habits: specifically, reduced physical activity and increased consumption of comfort food. The result: “quarantine 15,” a general reference to the 15-pound weight gain that people have experienced during the crisis phase of the lockdown (https://khn.org/news/exercise-and-diet-are-more-important-than-ever-with-virus-at-large/ ).
Bad habits are hard to break, as they say, and losing weight takes a lot longer the older you are. For those of us in the northern climes, we don’t have much time left to make amends before the next sedentary season comes, followed by the holiday season, overlapped by candy seasons. With gyms about to reopen, the weather still conducive to outdoor activities, and the abundance of fresh, affordable Michigan produce, now’s the time to restructure routine meal recipes and fitness activities.
What has become increasingly relevant during the struggle to get through this pandemic is the importance of the immune system. As noted by Dr. W. Scott Butsch, director of obesity medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, with a viral pandemic like COVID-19, the best prevention is a strong immune system – which comes from being physically fit and a nutritious, well-balanced diet. So, we should have plenty of motivation to start moving again – if we haven’t been doing it all alone.
Dennis Archambault is vice president of Public Affairs for Authority Health.