The thought of infinite ‘rest days’ might have seemed appealing at first as we tip-toed our way into self-isolation, but now, aches are becoming more apparent, opening and closing the fridge door is quite often the only ‘reps’ we’re practising and the general feeling is one of sluggishness. The key is to recognise your slump and implement an action plan before your body really starts to play tricks on you because not moving can quickly lead to everything from digestive issues and decreased metabolism to weight gain and low mood.
“Sedentary behaviour has been proven in countless studies to be bad for the body,” explains Matt Lawson, dietician and health expert. “A lack of movement has a direct influence on your muscle mass, effectively reducing the levels of muscle and therefore reducing your metabolism.”
But don’t panic, here’s what you can do to tackle each and every niggle, so you’ll feel nicely nimble for the foreseeable future…
This article originally appeared in Harper's BAZAAR UK
Bypass extra body fat
Not moving and reaching for comfort foods could lead to an increase in visceral fat, which is the type of fat stored around our vital organs and the stuff we can’t always see. “Sitting still for hours on end will impact on your daily energy expenditure, meaning that you are burning fewer calories than you ordinarily would be in your more active daily routines.
It is also thought that excessive sitting can impact on your ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and to metabolise fat so it’s really important to take regular activity breaks, even if it’s going to put the kettle on,” explains Kate Shilland, performance nutritionist at CPFC Academy. If you are worried about your body composition, you could always invest in a device like the Tanita BC-401 which measures body fat levels, muscle mass and total body water to ensure you’re ticking those boxes. However, it’s also crucial you cut yourself some slack as the last thing you want is to be agonising over is numbers and causing yourself more stress in lockdown.