Some of us have realised that the prolonged lockdown has been bad for our waistline and fitness levels as we desperately try to fit into our summer wardrobe or attempt a physical challenge. Let’s be honest, it has been easy to become sedentary especially over the prolonged lockdown.
We have seen the effects in all age groups. Children returning to sport after winter lockdown struggling with fitness. Some children have put on weight and then do not want to go back to school for fear of being bullied. Older patients who have kept themselves dutifully locked away for fear of catching COVID who are now struggling as they have such reduced exercise tolerance. We have investigated several patients for lung and heart problems to conclude that their shortness of breath is all due to inactivity. Others who have arthritis struggling with worsening mobility, no longer getting out for their walk are experiencing muscle wasting whereby walking is more difficult. If breathing is laboured due to becoming deconditioned and so walking is more difficult due to shortness of breath. It can be hard to break this vicious cycle.
We need to try and get moving again and the summer is the perfect time to start!
We have asked our practice doctor, Dr Caroline Saunders for her tips and advice on getting back to health after a prolonged lockdown.
“Getting started and maintaining your motivation can be the biggest challenge. Build things up gradually again. It may be a little like walking up and down your garden to start with. Setting yourself some goals to achieve will help.
You could use it as an opportunity to build a social network again. Ask a neighbour or friend to walk with you. Having a commitment will help to avoid you making an excuse not to go and make it a fun social occasion.
It could be a time to take up a new sport or restart something you haven’t done for years. Perhaps it is time to join a local sports club, walking group, or Pilates class. Having a set time each week for exercise then becomes part of your routine/lifestyle which will motivate and maintain regular exercise and it’s a great way to meet new people.
Exercise is important for keeping us healthy, but we must keep a check on what we are eating and drinking. There is no one size fits all diet but there are simple things we can do.
- Start by eliminating the temptation of snacks, don’t fill the cupboards with things that you struggle to resist.
- Look at your portion size, we have crept towards much larger portion sizes and this can be a good place to start making small changes.
- Watch your alcohol intake – keep within the 14 unit a week guidance and have days where you do not drink alcohol.
- Drink plenty of water, sometimes when you think you are hungry you are thirsty.
- Keep track of your progress, sometimes, your efforts can feel slow or insignificant but over time it will make a difference, monitoring your progress will help you to see what you are achieving even when it may not feel or look like it.”
Your Concierge Medical GP can help by assessing your general health to identify the cause of your weight gain or fitness concerns and discuss a plan to help you achieve your weight loss/mobility/fitness goals.
Founded in 2013, Concierge Medical Practice, a national award-winning private General Practice, provides the best healthcare to individuals and families throughout Cotswolds.
For more information contact:
T: 01451 600900