By Stacey Shannon
The Covid-19 pandemic is still running amok, and we are yet to see if 2021 will be a sequel of the nightmarish 2020. And here we thought that we avoided the apocalypse in 2012. 2020 brought us the most boring apocalypse in history, with us sitting at home in our jammies and washing hands religiously. We didn’t want new roaring twenties like this; no one mentioned that the quarantine was included in the mix.
We are trying our best to remain optimistic, although according to the new cinematic arrival Songbird—there will be COVID-23. Since we are continually talking about how retro things are finding their place in this era, we hope that we will not get some retroviruses today (what is the Spanish flu doing nowadays?).
This year changed things big-time for everyone. If you were an introverted geek that enjoyed their little domain tucked in with all bare necessities, nothing had probably changed. Although, there is one danger lurking around you are not probably aware of. A sedentary lifestyle is plaguing the new generations. There is a saying that sitting is worse than smoking. And that is correct, unfortunately. But what can we do now when we are under lockdowns, practicing social distancing? Improvise, of course.
Now Let’s Dive Into Numbers
First, we prepared some numbers to back us up, to help you better paint the picture of how a sedentary lifestyle combined with quarantine can deal you double damage.
- A sedentary lifestyle increases the mortality rate by about 71%. Well, you know what that means—RUN! Literally! Because cardio can decrease the risk of premature death by 33%. We know that cardio is sometimes boring and that you are dreading the treadmill in the corner of your room—just remember that centuries of evolution created this amazing body. It is possible to do amazing things—so why waste your precious time watching TV?
- Cardiovascular diseases are increased by a staggering 147%. This is linked to increased obesity and high blood pressure. Just remember what happened to Thor.
- Since the ’50s all jobs went through a transformation and now about 83% of jobs are sedentary. 2020 decided to spice things up a bit and we all moved to Zoom—which means that there is no taking a walk to work. Yikes.
- If you are sitting for more than 7 hours a day, it is most likely that you will develop depression, dementia, or Alzheimer’s later in life. You still have your wit and sharp humor now, but what about later? Mens sana in corpore sano. Just saying.
So Now, When You Jump Off Your Couch, What Can You Do?
We are glad that we managed to get your attention. We just want you to live long and prosper. If getting back to the gym is not possible at this moment, it is time to set up your own playground in your lair. You don’t have to go full Bruce Wayne at first. The point is to move, and after, to find the best way to keep on moving. In the end—to like it. To enjoy what the exercise regularly is doing for your body, your posture, and your joints.
Social media is always serving us images of people struggling to keep up with a healthy lifestyle. After that, they have some tasty recipes and, at the end, horrible news about the obesity epidemic. No wonder you are confused and you would rather opt for another season of your favorite show on Netflix than start running. Also, there are some stereotypes about nerds and geeks being clumsy and not talented at sports. Two words for you—Henry Cavill, anyone? Try following that prime example.
It is maybe a cliche to say it, but it is true that all change begins inside. And yeah, humans are indeed creatures of habit. So, start taking care of yourself. It takes approximately 3 weeks for one change to become a part of your routine.
Kickstart My Heart
Cardio is, of course, one of the important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Doing cardio 3 or 4 times a week will increase your endurance, your heart will be healthier, and your joints will feel better. You can choose your intensity because there are various ways to get more active.
Jumping rope is a great and fun way, and you don’t need some expensive equipment to start. Bicycles are an all-time classic. Not to mention the ecological aspect of riding a bike. High-intensity interval training is great, but keep it for later, because once you get the sore muscles you are most likely to give up.
Feeling more competitive? Individual sports are amazing because they are helping you burn your calories, build stronger confidence, and improve your focus. Tennis is great and popular; you will respect social distancing and it is great stress relief. Want to try something different? Racquetball, for example, is gaining popularity and you can burn 800+ calories in one game. Amazing, right? If you are a more calm type, yoga is a great choice. And you can practice in your own room. It might look easy, but it is not. You will be amazed at what it is doing for your joints and flexibility.
Build Muscle Mass
We bet that you had that image of Arnold Schwarzenegger posing in the bathing suit once you read this part. People often think that building muscle mass happens overnight. This especially applies to ladies who think that touching the weights will make them bulky. It requires years of dedication and consistent work to get you there, trust us.
Yet, this shouldn’t discourage you at the beginning of your fitness journey. The rule is to keep it simple. You don’t have to use all the machines in the gym doing numerous series and, in the end, never come back. Better focus on a few simple exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and weight lifting. For this, you will need a kettlebell, which is not expensive. Make sure that you do shorter series with a few minutes of rest in between and focus on perfecting your form. You can do this between the Netflix seasons, when you get stuck in your favorite video game, or trying to find the motivation to do that project whose deadline is almost there.
Don’t Forget About a Healthy Diet
Diets are not always about eating just boiled broccoli. It is about finding the perfect fuel for your body. And yes, it can also be a pleasant experience for your tastebuds, as well. We know that you have your own stash of snacks for quarantine, but maybe it’s a perfect time for experimenting with more healthy alternatives. Your family can’t go anywhere now, so they can just enjoy your newfound love for Mediterranean cuisine.
On a more optimistic note: If anyone around you contracts Covid-19 and loses their sense of taste—here’s your chance to shine. We are joking; just keep safe and start exploring recipes that you love—in a healthier edition.
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