Personal Desire, Not Shame, Should Be Motivated to Get Out of Unhealthy COVID Pits | WVU today
Even for those of us who have dodged the virus itself, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit us in more ways than one.
We remember March 2020 as a screenshot frozen in time: we stayed home, let our gym memberships expire, and ate whatever was available in the closets.
According to studies done in the past year, most people have decreased their physical activity, increased their sedentary time and gained weight.
George Kelley, a professor at West Virginia University School of Public Health, said the results are not surprising, although he thinks the key now is to move forward and let unhealthy lifestyles in. dust like the peak of COVID-19.
A solid first step is a real personal desire to lead a healthy lifestyle, rather than feeling ashamed, Kelley said.
âLiving a healthy lifestyle is a choice that should be driven by the desire to lead a healthy lifestyle rather than the feeling of being obligated to live a healthy lifestyle,â said Kelley, who is also the director of the meta-analytical research group in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
âWhile it is well established that being overweight, and particularly obesity, is a major public health problem in the United States and beyond, bodily shame does not lead to improved health. “
Kelley noted studies suggesting that the more people are exposed to weight-related stigma and discrimination, the greater the risk of gaining weight and dying from any cause.
“Additionally, and unsurprisingly, the shame of fat has been linked to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and avoidance of exercise,” did he declare. âOverall, the best approach is probably one that focuses on health versus weight, pointing out that health benefits can best be achieved by focusing on behaviors and providing positive reinforcement versus reinforcement. negative. “
So what impact has the pandemic had on our personal health?
As the leader of a research group, Kelley keeps her hand on the pulse of health-related studies around the world. Kelley noted a systematic review of 19 studies that found high rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological distress, and stress in the general population in several countries, including the United States.
Additionally, an American Psychological Association survey conducted in February 2021 reported that 42% of adults said they had gained more weight than expected since the start of the pandemic, with a median weight gain of 15 pounds.
Other studies have reported that adults consume more alcohol, the reasons being increased stress and boredom.
The link between physical and mental health was fully visible during the pandemic, Kelley said.
With the reopening of gymnasiums and the deployment of vaccines, more and more people have returned to society at different rates.
If you’re going to reverse the negative health effects of the pandemic, you need to change behaviors, Kelley advised.
“When it comes to physical activity, a behavior that has the potential to have a positive impact on more physical and mental health outcomes than any other non-pharmacological or pharmacological approach, the biggest challenge for many is overcoming the obstacles, âhe said.
According to Kelley, seven specific barriers and ways to overcome them are:
â¢ Lack of time (specify periods of at least 30 minutes for physical activity)
â¢ Social support (invite people to exercise with you)
â¢ Lack of energy (recognize that exercise will make you more energetic)
â¢ Lack of motivation (put exercise on your calendar)
â¢ Lack of skills (activities such as walking and climbing stairs do not require new skills)
â¢ High costs and lack of facilities (consider walking, jogging, push-ups, etc.)
â¢ Weather conditions (indoor exercise)
Eating behaviors are also the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, Kelley added.
Routine = Success
Kelley himself practices what he preaches and has intentionally increased his weekly regimen of six day biking, three times resistance training, and 15 to 20 mile walk / hike.
“Why the increase? Simply put, my goal was to maintain my current body weight and, more importantly, my body fat percentage, by balancing the number of kilocalories consumed with the number of kilocalories expended each day, âKelley said.
Kelley, 64, attributes her physical activity behavior during her lifetime to the following factors:
â¢ Make physical activity a priority and a regular part of a daily routine, similar to
shower and brush your teeth.
â¢ Put it on a daily âto doâ list.
â¢ Support and reinforcement of a loved one. In Kelley’s case, it’s his wife, Kristi Kelley, a WVU research instructor, who runs over seven miles a day and does weight training and walks / hikes with him.
But Kelley doesn’t want her diet to intimidate others. You have to start somewhere, he said.
âIt’s important that people find the right balance for themselves,â he noted.
js / 07/06/21
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