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NBC4 Turns To Dr. Papuchis To Weigh In On The Risks Of Inactivity During Quarantine

Authored by Dr. Steven Papuchis, DO, NBC4 Washington. April 16, 2020

While we’re trying to evade the big health risk right in front of us – the Coronavirus, we don’t want to be complacent and let other health problems build up. Our recent inactivity can cause four major problems:

  1. Weight Gain: Weight gain or weight management in general really boils down to the simple equation of calories in versus calories out. When you’re more sedentary, you aren’t burning as many calories as you would be if you were more active.
  2. Joint Stiffness: When you’re stuck at your desk chair all day, your hip flexors get really tight, your hips and your back can get tight and stiff, your shoulders can get stiff. Over time, that can put more stress on your joints and they don’t recover as well. 
  3. Muscle Atrophy: You may not be seeing indents in your muscles or losing bulk, but the cellular effects of muscle atrophy can happen in as little as 72 hours. 
  4. Mental Health: We’re social beings. We need to be out talking to coworkers and having face-to-face contact. These are all things that can add stress and when you can’t exercise as a key part of that stress management, it becomes very difficult. 

There are things we can do to minimize these risks:

  1. Get your cardio in: invite a friend for a walk while you social distance. If the weather is bad, take an online workout class. 
  2. Get creative with “weights”: use household items like canned goods, laundry detergent or even wine bottles to curl those muscles
  3. Add yoga to your lifestyle: great for flexibility and overall mental wellness

We’re all at home, sitting at a desk that may only be 10-feet away from your bed. It’s important to remember to get up and be active. Try to develop a new routine to maintain healthy habits. We don’t know how much longer things will be like this, but we do know we can do everything we can to keep ourselves safe, healthy, and active.

Reviewed by: Dr. Steven Papuchis, DO.

Reviewed by: Dr. Steven Papuchis, DO.

About The Authors

Dr. Steven Papuchis, DO

NBC4 Washington

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