COVID-19Health Tips

COVID-19 and Weight Gain: Why Staying Active and Eating Healthy is So Important

beating the covid weight gain

A few weeks ago we discussed what we have been doing to stay active while the gyms have been closed. With these closures still on-going, the importance of staying active at this time continues to be critical for your health.

Why are we at risk?

The American Heart Association calls it the “COVID 19” (a parody of the phrase “Freshman 15”).

Not everyone visits a gym, after all, there are many outdoor exercise alternatives that our community can still engage in. So why is there an increased risk of weight gain?

The concern noted by the American Heart Association is that we’re home more. This increases the temptation to eat more snacks or watch more TV than we traditionally would prior to spending more time at home.

What about the kids?

A peer-reviewed article from earlier this month noted that it is anticipated that “the COVID-19 pandemic will likely double out-of-school time this year for many children in the U.S. and will exacerbate the risk factors for weight gain associated with summer recess.”

One would assume a child’s BMI would improve during summer vacation due to the increase in opportunity for physical activity. However, a 2007 study proves otherwise.

Results indicated “growth in BMI was typically faster and more variable during summer vacation than during kindergarten and first-grade school years.” This is likely influenced by a combination of physical activity and diet.

Staying active and eating well during this time is not only important for adults but also for their young children.

How can we beat this?

Try to maintain the same diet and exercise practices you maintained prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you were doing well with your diet prior to COVID-19, keep it up. It may be tempting to buy less produce and more packaged foods so it lasts longer, but do your best to stick to a diet that worked for you previously.

For those who are exercising at home for the first time due to gym closures, find something you like doing (like riding a bike or walking) and do it regularly. Build a routine around it just like you may have done with your visits to the gym.