I wonder how the situation will be by the time you read this. However, I am certain that the situation right now is not very comfortable as it was before the pandemic. Precautions are still being taken. But what’s interesting is that we are a generation that knows exactly how to deal with a “pandemic”. And if you haven’t realized it already, I’ll list down the things that have helped/is helping you to survive one. And not so surprisingly, everything related to it is about health and lifestyle. So, let’s ponder on some provisions for a “pandemic”.
Food for Immunity
Immunity- The whole event of the ‘coronavirus’ circles around it. We all are aware of the “Immunity system” that exists within our bodies and what it does. Yet, let’s consider some additional facts. If you go through any of the sources for information, the basic advice that you will get is to eat healthy, avoid toxic substances, minimize stress, exercise regularly, etc. But what I want you to know is “how does it work?”. According to the Danone Nutricia Research, “70-80% of our immune cells live in the gastrointestinal tract along with the 100 trillion gut bacteria that make up the gut microbiota. The gut is a major entrance for pathogens, toxins and allergens and one of the major roles of the immune system in the gastrointestinal tract is to distinguish between harmless antigens, such as food and health hazards. The development of a healthy immune system is therefore reliant on the establishment of a healthy gut microbiota in early life, which is directly linked to nutrition.” Here, though the information stresses more on the importance of nutrition during the early stages of life, what I need you to focus on is that it is still your gut that is protecting you through your immunity and the only thing protecting your gut is “correct balanced nutrition”.
Food for the Mind
Exercise builds health. No doubt! But as a Health & Fitness professional, I feel responsible to atleast give you a 3600 overview on complete fitness. ‘Mind’, is not apart from the body. You cannot achieve a fit life only with a fit body and an unhealthy mind. This topic deserves a complete write-up for itself and I’m on it. But for now, we realize that this pandemic has taken its toll on our minds too. And that it is very easy and common for us to fall for anxiety and restlessness which is again only natural. But if you have been able to fight it, you would know that it is possible to deal with it. The only thing that has saved you from the ‘villians’ of the mind was a little extra effort in keeping your minds occupied with positive thoughts; keeping your time occupied with laughter, and exercising (for those who do), basically staying happy no matter what. And my friend, in case you haven’t noticed- Happiness is Fitness!
The “Pandemic” Workout
Okay! Finally, my thing. And just to maintain the chronology- “Exercise is the food for the body”. So the gyms have been closed, maybe it still is. But that’s not the point. The point is- Did you still workout? or you just spent all the time feeling guilty about not doing so. Was it really that difficult to find some time and opportunity to move? Well, the ones who have managed to dedicate some time for it and the ones who didn’t will have very different opinions on it. Let me tell you about the experience of the ones who did- A. Rejuvenated and fresh, each day because of proper blood circulation. B. Strong and energized, because of the regular movement and proper metabolism of the food eaten. C. Happy- Remember the feel good hormones I always talk about? Exactly! These may sound like normal things, but for a situation like the lockdown, these are medicines. So, if you ever face a situation like this ever again, “move”! Move your body. As I have also mentioned this in my previous write-ups, do whatever you like or enjoy but do something, anything. If you know the postures of a squat/ push-up/ lunge/ crunch then do it. Or if you like to dance, then dance, jump or run but never let go days without any movement.
At the conclusion, things that have actually helped (or is helping) you to survive the Pandemic are pretty simple- right nutrition, positive mindset and exercise. And they are not my words. Remember, food, movement and thoughts form the cycle of health. And when you keep this cycle proper and balanced, you are less likely to be caught up by problems related to health and more likely to avoid a pandemic like this one with grace.
The writer is a certified fitness expert. Having worked with brands like Talwalkers and Golds Gym, at present he is the Strength and Conditioning Coach & Nutrition Consultant of Guwahati City Football Club. Insta Handle: @the_badtrainer