Monday, January 18, 2021

Why you shouldn’t take up fitness challenges while self-isolating

It’s time to change our workout priorities during a global pandemic, says fitness mentor Ash Nath

Reading Time: 2 minutes

From gym sharks to workout novices, many people have been inspired to take up fitness challenges in the last few weeks. As the common adage goes: ‘it takes 21 days to develop a habit’. However, strenuous exercise might be doing more harm than good in these troubling times.

“Many fitness geeks are only thinking of how to continue their workouts while adapting it to present circumstances,” says veteran marathon runner and fitness mentor Ashok ‘Ash’ Nath. “But we’re missing the bigger picture that immunity is kept higher through low to moderate exercise.”

- Advertisement -

Studies have shown that exercises of low to moderate intensity stimulate the immune system by improving the circulation of blood and immunity-building substances in the body. This provides a positive effect for days after the workout.

Conversely, high intensity exercise temporarily reduces immunity by releasing stress hormones like cortisol that run the risk of lowering defence systems for one to three days after the workout.

Last week, a viral video from France showed a 32-year-old man training for a marathon at home, running over 42 kilometres along his balcony. On Instagram, fitness challenges have friends tagging each other to complete certain exercises in under one minute and post it online.

Instead of blindly following trends, Ash advocates re-thinking our fitness goals while in self-isolation.

“Eat around 70 per cent of your daily calorie intake to detox and cleanse your system,” he suggests. “Go for simple, clean food with mindfulness towards boosting immunity. Spend time with family and rediscover positive habits like reading, cooking and painting. Only then should you assess the intensity, duration, and frequency of your exercise regime.”

According to the 57-year-old running evangelist, it’s better to switch to a relaxing, de-stressing exercise routine. While low to moderate intensity varies according to individual fitness levels, some common exercises to follow include yoga, easy jogging, and stationary cycling. Some people can opt for exercises on the stairs at home, innovating based on accessibility.

It’s time to change our workout priorities during a global pandemic, says fitness mentor Ash Nath

He recommends an hour of relaxed movement including exercises with body or weight resistance.

As people are mostly going to be indoors, he also suggests adding Vitamin D and zinc supplements to your diet.

“Ask yourself – ‘if something was to happen to someone dear to me, how would I wish I had spent these days?’ Live that life now, not following some 21-day fitness challenge that drains you of precious energy,” Ash says.

READ ALSO: Boost your immunity with turmeric

- Advertisement -
Rhea Nath
Rhea Nath
Rhea L Nath is a writer, editor, and content creator studying at the University of Sydney.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...

Latest News

Seniors, adult, match, cricket, sport, outdoors, park, day, ball, holidays,

Have you registered yet for National Backyard Cricket Day?

  If you played gully cricket as a child in India, you're probably already into backyard cricket. Well, here's your chance to do a bit of...
indian diaspora

India has world’s largest diaspora: UN

  India has the world's largest diaspora with about 18 million people born there now living abroad, according to John Wilmoth, the director of UN's...
netflix film tribhanga

Review: Tribhanga (Netflix)

  The great thing about Kajol is she can light up a scene as few stars do, with her zeal to enthral. The flip side...

Tandav on Amazon Prime: REVIEW and backlash

  Tandav opens with a raging kisaan andolan in Greater Noida over a government decision to turn farm land into a SEZ for urbanisation. Soon,...
lilly singh

WATCH: Lilly Singh’s rivalry with her overachieving ‘cousin’, Kamala Harris

  "Growing up I always got compared to my Indian cousins," shares Lilly Singh, reminding us of those unforgettable sibling rivalries we've all experiences at...