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Dr. Dejaño: Exercise to boost your immune system

How to avoid a sedentary lifestyle while staying at home for the enhanced community quarantine

By: Mars G. Alison - Correspondent/CDN Digital | March 29,2020 - 10:00 AM
Dr. Rhoel Dejaño has posted these warning and recommendations on his Facebook account to warn about indulging in a sedentary lifestyle while Cebu is placed under the Enhanced Community Quarantine. | Contributed Photos

Dr. Rhoel Dejaño has posted these warning and recommendations on his Facebook account to warn about indulging in a sedentary lifestyle while Cebu is placed under the Enhanced Community Quarantine. | Contributed Photos

CEBU CITY, Philippines — For the majority of the Cebuanos, staying at home is of the utmost importance as our government officials, health workers and other frontliners fight to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  

While staying at home will keep you safe from the COVID-19, it also makes you prone to a sedentary lifestyle which could endanger you to other diseases, if you are not careful.

As his contribution in the fight to contain the COVID-19, Dr. Rhoel Dejaño, the resident physician of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi), has warned against the dangers of indulging in a sedentary lifestyle.

“My own little way of contributing in the fight against COVID 19. People have to be physically active because it boosts our immune system. I may be not in the frontlines but we also have other patients to take care, said Dejaño.

“I salute and praise my colleagues who are directly dealing with such patients. I fervently hope that in due time we will conquer this problem so we can all go back to our daily lives,” he said. 

Exercise tips

Dejaño, who posted the warning on his Facebook account, has also recommended some physical activities which you can do in the confines of your homes.

“They can exercise in the confines of their homes. Inside the house, living room, bedroom, lawn or garage,” the doctor said. 

According to Dejaño, doing the household chores would not be enough to compensate for having a physical activity.

“One commented on my post. Ahmm I cook, I do the laundry, I clean the house. It is not enough? I said no. The activity has to be continuous, uses the big muscles of the body and the heart rate is raised,” advised Dejaño. 

And, this is the reason why Dejaño thought of posting the warning and recommendations.

“Because people are restricted from going out. So there is a tendency for people to just be sedentary. Watching TV or Netflix for long periods of time, sitting or lying down, hooked to their gadgets like cellphones, tablets or computers,” he said.

Dangers of being sedentary

“If you are sedentary then this leads to a lot of complications as well as its a risk factor for most lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancers and obesity. Obesity in itself is a risk factor for COVID 19,” Dejaño further said.

In his recommendations, Dejaño has classified the physical activities into three age groups—children (Under 17 years old), Adults (18-64) and older adults (65 and older).

“Aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5x a week or 30  minutes of vigorous intensity activity 3x a week,” said Dejaño.

For the children, Dejaño recommends either walking, jumping rope, playing soccer and free play for an hour everyday.

For the adults, they can either choose to do walking, running, lawn mowing, biking and basketball, among other physical activities. In a week, they must do 150 minutes of moderate physical activities or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

The same number of minutes is required for the older adults wherein they can either do walking, gardening, water aerobics, among others.

Or, you can do your own choice of exercises depending on the availability of space and equipment at your homes.

“So best thing at this time in the house is using the treadmill, stationary bike or cross trainer. But if you don’t have these then you can do brisk walking maybe walk from your bedroom to the living room or in the lawn and garage. You can do stationary walking too or maybe dancing and some aerobic exercise indoors,” said Dejaño.

Engaging in continuous physical activities also keeps at bay depression and mental issues especially with the COVID-19 crisis, the doctor said.

“Some people develop cabin fever when they are confined to a small space for prolonged periods of time,” he said./dbs

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