by Gowhar Rashid
With people stuck in their homes, the sedentary lifestyle has started taking the toll. What I witnessed a few days ago was a shock. As I went to the market early morning to buy the essential commodities for my home, I met a friend. A close one. A fitness freak, when I saw him, he was a different man. Protruding tummy, fatty face, a lump of flesh after glancing over him. I got goosebumps.
When we exchanged greetings, I asked about his change. His response was “exercise in times of corona would be a risk” and the routine he said was “khuen choen ti shunghun” means eating, drinking, and sleeping.
After the conversation as I reached home, I looked out for the literature guiding me to analyze what my friend told me. I surveyed the research literature and what I found was contrary to my friend. I got to know that moderate exercise enhances the immune system and it is just a myth that exercise leads to corona infection.
Now it is almost one month that we are being in isolation due to the pandemic. Most of our time is spent watching television and browsing the internet. This harms our lives. The disastrous news regarding the upsurge of positive Covid patients bringing a negative impact on our mental health also.
My perception says that more people are prone to depression in current circumstances rather than contracting Covid infection. Currently, we have no access to gyms and health clubs, it seems difficult to work out and causative agent in bringing down our mental status.
Researchers in various western countries are regularly advising the people to keep up the regular exercise at home as it helps in the boosting of the immune system. According to the work published by Researchers in various journals like the international journal Exercise Immunology Review assessed over the last forty years and investigated the role of moderate exercise over the immunity. The Research concluded that regular moderate-intensity exercise helps boost immunity. According to the study conducted by James Turner from the University of Bath, their work has concluded that there is very limited evidence for exercise directly increasing the risk of becoming infected with viruses.
It is seen that Glucocorticoids such as cortisol get elevated during periods of isolation and confinement and the ability of our T-cells to multiply in response to infectious agents is markedly reduced and hence weakens the immune system.
Thus it is mandatory for the people in the valley also to carry out the moderate level of exercise in isolation regularly. This would be beneficial in boosting immunity and to stay physically as well as mentally healthy.
Inshaallah soon we will hit the roads and will rise from this pandemic, as rightly said by Mirza Ghalib:
Guzar Jayega ye Daur bhi Ghalib Zara Itminan to Rakh
Jab Khushi na Thehri to Gham ki kya Auqaat Hai
(Author is a researcher with SKIMS, Soura. Ideas are personal.)