Melanie Schindele is a Personal Trainer based in Herefordshire. She has written an article for Your Herefordshire on the benefits of having a healthy lifestyle. A recent Sky News article suggested that obesity is a major factor in the risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19

“If we have learnt anything about ourselves from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that we are, by nature, social beings. The restrictions placed on us in this time have been necessary, but nevertheless detrimental to our physical and mental well-being. Our family and work life suddenly merged into one, as many were forced to balance working from home with providing educational and recreational stimulus for their children.

Our eating habits have also been tested with the extra burden of providing
more meals from home and an increased temptation to turn to ready-made meals or snacks. Sports facilities and coached training that was so widely available were forced to stop and close their doors, leaving many without the equipment, knowledge, or space to continue in isolation.

This inability to vent our stress through physical exertion or social interaction has taken its toll, but there is light at the end of the tunnel! With the restrictions now easing it is important to take back control of our body and minds!

We know that exercise is a great way to boost not only our physical health but also our mental health. The type of activity might differ for each person, whether it is Yoga, jogging, boxing, cycling or a sweaty HIIT routine, but there is something out there for everyone.

When we exercise, not only do our muscles become stronger, but our body releases endorphins and serotonin. These chemicals can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. In addition to this, with time we can see our energy levels increase and our quality of sleep improve. This is obviously positive for our mental health. Exercising regularly can also help us to reduce the risk of some serious health problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

What is particularly relevant to remember, especially with regards to the pandemic, is that exercise improves our immune system. It is not guarantee from avoiding all illnesses, but it will certainly contribute to protecting your body from infection. It’s important to be active regularly but staying motivated can be a challenging.

First of all, you need to find the type of activity that YOU enjoy doing. Set yourself little goals to work towards and monitor the progress you make. To keep things interesting, change your activities frequently.

Exercise with friends, family, or a trainer – it’s always easier and more fun if you train with someone else. It is also important to adapt your nutrition. Try to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods and drink plenty of water.

If you have been affected by the virus, give the body enough time to repair and take it easy. Once your GP gives you permission to start exercising, set yourself small and realistic goals and rest when you feel tired. Most importantly: listen to your body, it knows what is best for it!

Walking is a great start to regain your strength and fitness level. Slightly increase the time of your walks every week. Yoga is another good example, as the relaxing routines incorporate strengthening moves that will help you to gain back your physical condition.

Please consider using physical activity, exercise & good nutrition as a strategy to maintain health during this stressful period”

Sky News article ->Obesity ‘a major factor’ in risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID – study | UK News | Sky News