How to Recover from COVID Weight Gain
Has your activity level decreased since March 2020?
Were you used to being active at your job and the COVID shutdown changed those habits?
Were you in an exercise routine and then stopped?
Lower activity levels are a common reason why so many people have experienced the "#Quarantine15." Their weight has increased by 15 pounds or more since the beginning of this pandemic. Activity levels decreased and they didn't adjust their nutrition intake. Work from home attire became comfy and cozy. Social media users have created posts joking about remembering what jeans are again.
The quarantine 15 isn't something to take lightly. Weight gain can result in increased occurrences of depression and anxiety. Migraines can appear more frequently. The extra pounds can trigger painful episodes of heartburn.
It's time to break your inactivity habits and begin new ones. Start Simple by recognizing where you are now, and making a plan to gradually increase your activity levels. Make changes in your exercise duration, frequency, intensity, or mode.
For example, were you active at all during COVID shut downs?
DURATION: If not, increase your time spent exercising by going for short 10-15 minute walks most days of the week. After two weeks of doing this successfully, add an additional 5-10 minutes to your walks.
FREQUENCY: If you were active 1-2 times a week, try increasing your frequency of exercise to 3-4 times a week.
INTENSITY: If walking is your preferred exercise, try increasing your walking pace or vary your terrain by choosing a route with hills. If you enjoy strength training, try harder variations of an exercise, more repetitions, increase the weight or resistance, or vary the tempo of your lifting speed.
MODE: A well rounded fitness program includes strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility components. Often, a person will choose one component, like walking or biking, as their only physical activity. If they were to add in strength training 2-3 times a week, they could experience benefits such as a higher metabolism and increased bone density. To help make this a permanent lifestyle change, choose exercises or activities that you enjoy doing.
Floating around in your backyard pool does not count as exercise, but creating #TikTok dance videos does.
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