Staying confined can lead to loss of desire to eat, at a time when it is even more important to get proper nutrition. Dr Supriya Antarkar Joshi explains how exercises can bring back your lost hunger
March 2020 saw life take an unexpected turn. The largest national lockdown due to Covid-19 put the brakes on everything. Though restrictions are now easing for others, senior members of the community are still asked to continue home restrictions, as they are more susceptible for infection and its complications.
Due to restricted mobility during lockdown phase, many seniors reported increased blood sugar level, raised blood pressure, restlessness, anxiety and loss of appetite, etc.
Loss of appetite can be linked to low energy levels, being uncomfortable all the time, disrupted bowel movements, stress, flatulence and even weight gain or loss. One of the main reasons for not feeling hungry is poor digestion!
Healthy digestion not only helps to eliminate toxins but also keeps your stomach light and detoxed. Indigestion, constipation, irregular bowel movements and other digestive conditions take a toll on overall health. Apart from healthy eating and sleeping habits, exercises can really help improve your gut health and ultimately appetite.
These exercises can help improve the lost hunger:
One of the simplest exercises to include in your workout regime. Brisk walking for 30-40 minutes daily keeps you away from digestive and other medical problems like diabetes mellitus. If walking outdoors is not a suitable option for you, in house walking can be equally effective and safe if you can take care for following points-
Take at least half an hour walk from one room to other.
Preferably wear walking shoes. Yes, even at home.
Be careful of any furniture or walls, slippery surfaces.
If the house is small, see if family members can give you time and space during your workout.
If possible try to match your outdoor walking pace.
More importantly, enjoy the walk!
You can also do some fun mat exercises! There are plenty of simple exercise videos on YouTube to choose from. Select the appropriate exercise intensity according to you physical capacity.
If your health condition permits, performing Sun salutation is one of the best exercises. But don’t overdo or under do anything!
If mat exercises are not feasible due physical restrictions like cardiac condition, imbalance, arthritis, vertigo or neurological conditions, etc. you may try simple chair or seated exercises. They can be equally effective if done properly and regularly.
Core muscles are deepest group of abdominal muscles and play a great role in one’s posture and digestion. With growing age and accumulation of fat, these muscles start losing tone leading to “belly tires” and reduced control over digestive system causing flatulence and bloating. Planks, half curls, cycling in air etc are excellent abs workouts to improve the muscle tone and to bring back the digestive system on track. Even better these exercises can also help you lose belly fat when combined with proper diet.
Some yoga poses like Pawanmuktasana, Shashankasana, Urdhwa and Adho mukhashawanasana,Virbhadrasana, Paravatasana,Ardha navasana,etc are excellent for improving digestion and losing belly fat. They help stretch and relax abdominal muscles and reduce problems like flatulence and hyperacidity.
Yoga can also help you reduce stress level which is another factor that causes digestive issues.
You might not be aware of this but even the simple breathing exercise can improve your digestion. Proper breathing pattern can help problems like heartburn, hyperacidity and bloating. All you need to do is sit up straight and practice deep breathing, deeply and slowly, using your abdominal muscles and focus on active inhalation. This also helps reduce stress levels.
Disclaimer: This content provided is generic information. Always consult your physiotherapist or specialist doctor before performing any exercise workouts.