How Isolation Could Be Impacting Your Body


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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 

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Stop those aches and pains

All of a sudden, you’re moaning and groaning when you get out of bed and not just because the alarm went off. Poor posture, lack of movement and not exercising can cause circulation to slow and muscles and joints to seize up creating a real musculoskeletal impact. “A sluggish blood flow reduces the availability of vital nutrients and oxygen to the joints and metabolites and waste products aren’t cleared away as easily making for swollen joints and a stiffer feeling,” continues Joshi.

Practice Pilates moves like ‘cat and cow’ flexion and extensions and the plank to help strengthen your core. It’s also worth giving yourself a desk assessment – are you looking down at your screen or is it at eye level (where it should be) and what are your arms doing? If your elbows are at 90 degrees when you’re typing, well done, if not, you may need to readjust as you’ll be compromising your neck, back and shoulders leading to more aches and pains.

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Stretching and foam rolling are another good idea – for every hour of exercise you should do ten minutes of rolling, so even if you’re only doing half an hour, that still means five minutes a day. Finally, flip your mattress. You don’t realise how much of an imprint you leave so by turning it regularly you get a new area to lie on which could prevent stiffness come morning.

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