DO we have another week or so to go before the “sentence” ends? Or would it be more days and weeks in confinement? Either way, at its best, life is indeed unpredictable, so let us be prepared for the best or the worst.
One thing I noticed is there are as many people who may have lost weight during the lockdown as there are those who may have gained the spare kilos.
For those of us who are able to resist the munching syndrome and start healthy eating habits with creative ways of working out, it may have been easier to shed weight.
We also have those who never enjoyed working out, and this season is an excuse and reason to go bone idle.
None of us can claim ignorance on the importance of exercising as the literature on how important moving your muscles and body to a healthy body and mind is easily available.
I recently heard a heart specialist speaking about the transformative effects of exercising to the brain.
With repeated assertions that there is scientific evidence on the immediate effect of exercise on the brain’s neuro transmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are the anti-stress and happiness hormones respectively, working out is not an option any more.
Additionally, we would have heard the often-used quote that the difference between an ordinary person and a great one is the level and quality of attention and focus, and in this context, exercise plays a central role.
Having said that, it is no coincidence that when a wave of Covid-19 hit the world, a mere observation in the US found a tragic pattern, many of them who ended up on ventilators had the same attribute of obesity, and these are otherwise healthy, hard-working people.
Since the pandemic began, dozens of studies have reported that many of the sickest Covid-19 patients had been people with obesity.
In recent weeks, that link has come into sharper focus as large new population studies have confirmed the association and demonstrated that even people who are merely overweight are at higher risk.
A recent study done by America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed a startling metric: 78% of people who have been hospitalised, needed a ventilator or died from Covid-19 in the US were overweight or obese.
The US is one of the countries hardest hit by Covid-19. It is also a country with staggering obesity rates. According to CDC, 42% of the US population was obese in 2018. Around two-thirds of the US population is overweight.
Obesity is defined as a BMI (body mass index) of over 30. Being overweight is having a BMI over 25. Your BMI can be derived by dividing your weight in kilos by the square of your height in metres.
BMI is not a perfect measure but is still a useful, simple and universally-accepted benchmark and indicator.
Excess weight has always been associated with medical risks, such as cardiac disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint issues and stroke.
Now, health experts are adding Covid-19 to the list as well. However, while we recommended global lockdowns, mask mandates and social distancing, we have not made it obvious or a call loud enough to people on the need to shed the extra weight.
Let us be reminded that obesity is not unique to America.
The National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 findings in Malaysia, meanwhile, showed that 50.1% of adults in Malaysia were either overweight or obese, 30.4% were overweight and 19.7% obese. It would be safe to assume that obesity may have increased in the last year or so with severe restriction placed on many of our activities.
While we see the regulars, who are into workout and consider it as a daily ritual, those who were yet to get into the routine find it difficult to sustain their interest.
Then, we also have people who look for a companion to get started and keep going, which can be a greater detriment to
For those who equate exercising to just weight loss, the likelihood of the interest fizzling out is much higher. There are countless benefits other than weight loss to exercising, including healthy bones, immunity boost, improved mood, increased energy levels and stamina, better sleep, improved memory etc.
With all these which are so obvious and scientifically proven, and when exercising can be as simple as putting on your shoes and start walking, why wait?