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SITTING is the new age SMOKING - The Lockdown Effect

By Vishal Gosalia|21st May 2020
The lockdown has left us confined to our homes, making our sedentary lifestyle even worse. Read further to know how this impacts our lungs.
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I recently attended a webinar hosted by a renowned physiotherapist. I was intrigued when she mentioned that SITTING is the new age SMOKING. It took a moment to comprehend that statement, but as she elucidated further, it got clear what exactly she meant.


The Problem


Most of us belong to a field of work which require us to work on laptops on our desks. Most of us drive back home or take the uber back home spending hours in traffic. By the time we reach home we are too exhausted to workout. The lockdown has made things even worse. Hours and hours of sitting without any action take a toll on our bodies.


Sitting for long hours make us slouch. Slouching means we let our shoulder drop and let the chest sink in. Our backs pop out and we somehow find comfort in this position. As this happens, the diaphragm pushes against the lungs making them collapse. Over time our lung capacity reduces and we begin to breathe shallower.


To add to the woes, the sedentary lifestyle does not give enough opportunities for a cardio work out. The lungs are never in need of excess air and thus shallow breathing becomes normal. When this continues over a long time, you will begin to notice that even slight exertion leaves you breathless and tired.

Now, as we enter the post covid world, we will be forced to wear masks. Breathing through masks like the N95 is going to be even more difficult, as there is a strong filter attached to these masks.


The Solution


The good news is that we can reverse this by changing our lifestyle. Few positive changes if done regularly can make a huge difference.


Posture correction is very important. We need to make sure that we do not slouch as we sit. Keeping a firm pillow behind our backs, and making sure that our feet are grounded well makes sure that our back remains straight. It is not going to be easy, but a conscious and constant effort will make it easier.


Taking breaks after every 25 minutes will make sure that we do not sit in one position for long. Take a small stroll for a minute before sitting again.


Not enough can be said about the wonders of Yoga. 20 minutes of morning yoga for the back and neck can be helpful. Many tutorials are available online and you could use any of them. Yoga will help you gain flexibility and also develop the core muscles, which will boost your immunity.


To further boost the immunity, Ayurveda can come to your rescue. Many household spices like turmeric, coriander seeds, saunf etc are actually great ingredients of ayurvedic medicines. Some research from credible sources can give you recipes for ayurvedic concoctions that can be prepared at home and can be consumed for boosting immunity.


So, during this lockdown let us get fitter.

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