From Harvard Health Letter
Because of the pandemic you may have lost endurance or strength without realizing it. Below are ways to get it back.
We’ve moved past some of the immediate effects of the pandemic with many people returning to their previous physical activities. But some people are finding they’re a bit worse off functionally than they were before COVID-19 changed the world.
COVID surges have caused many people to take breaks from exercising regularly over the past few years. Unfortunately, once we stop being active, our physical function and energy levels go downhill quickly. Muscles get weaker and use more energy to do their jobs. The bodies balance system (which involves coordinated actions among our nerves, joints, senses and brain) get rusty and the cardiovascular system gets out of practice at providing enough blood and oxygen when the body demands it during an activity.
Some telltale signs of being deconditioned are:
- Your former 30 minute walk is now 15 minutes.
- You don’t have the energy to shop so you order everything online and pick up or have delivered.
- You don’t meet a friend to walk but for coffee.
You worry about falling and you’re more cautious about where you step.
How can you reclaim the function you had?
- Set a big goal. Ask yourself what you’ve lost because of decreased function and what you want to regain.
- Track your activity. If you have a smartphone, pedometer, or fitbit use it to track your steps each day.
- Take action. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
- Get help from the pros. Regaining strength is vital to our health. To get a program just for you, to meet your goals, go with a Personal Trainer. They are there to guide you through your workouts and give you consistency.
- Set small goals. Just like an athlete in pre-season, you will need to build your activity level gradually, so you don’t get injured. Again this is another reason to get a Personal Trainer.
- Don’t give up. Once you increase your activity, you will notice a difference in your energy levels right away. But it could be four to six weeks before you see real gains in your muscle strength.