The article was carried in The Free Press Journal on June 6, 2021. https://www.freepressjournal.in/weekend/virtual-reality-tiny-tots-face-the-brunt-of-the-covid-lockdown
Dr Kirti Sabnis
The concept of wellness is not new, but the pandemic really compelled us to take the time to focus on our health. Instead of working out to the point of exhaustion, people have taken a more holistic approach to their overall wellbeing. From how we work out, what we eat, what we drink, the products we put on our bodies and faces, the way we rest, everything has changed — and the impact of these changes will be felt into 2021 and beyond.
According to studies, people across the world have adopted fitness routines and immunity-boosting diets, making health as their first priority. Here are a few tips on how you can ensure your wellbeing in the new year.
FOCUS ON COMMUNITY CARE: The pandemic has compelled us to focus on community care rather than being self focused – a growing awareness that is helping propel people towards a greater pathway to happiness. Scientific researchers say that people are prioritizing giving back, donating their time, skills, and using their power to address systemic issues that are present in their own lives, workplaces, and communities.
BUILD STRONG METABOLIC HEALTH: With the adverse effect of COVID19 on one’s health, one of the most noticeable effects were weakened metabolic strength. People suffered from the disease because they could not fight the virus. The eating and lifestyle patterns have never been of much concern until this year. Now, everyone is concerned about what they eat, and whether their body has the strength to fight the disease. Food with all the vital elements to provide balanced nutrition to our body is now on everyone’s priority list. Green leafy vegetables, eggs, fruits like berries, apples, citrus fruits, Melon are good for metabolic strength and will become must-have’s in 2021.
MENTAL WELLBEING IS PARAMOUNT: For years together, the issue of mental wellness didn’t get much needed attention. However the pandemic changed this, and for good. In India, there is a surge in telemedicine services for mental health consultations, especially from tier II and III cities as well. People have now understood the relevance of caring for oneself and for the community too. There are newer technologies and wearable devices that now share alerts on your mental wellbeing. Coming year, you will see more devices with built-in alerts to remind you to stop and breathe when it measures that your heart rate is up.
SEEK OUT FOR VIRTUAL FITNESS TRAINING & EXERCISE MODULES: With fitness centers only opened in a limited capacity, many trainers have turned to virtual classes. This has created more access for fitness training for those who didn’t have the time or capacity to go to a gym. There are several platforms that offer holistic virtual programs. Also, trainers are leveraging social media to offer free classes. This trend will picked momentum this year.
MONITOR SLEEP PATTERNS: Not getting the recommended hours of sleep is linked to weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease, stroke, and a greater risk of death. Furthermore, sleeping for less than seven hours a day leads to impaired immune system, decrease in cognitive performance, and an increased risk of accidents. There are several apps that track your sleep and give you important insights into your sleep patterns. These apps are designed to help you improve your sleep patterns and help fight insomnia.
MINDFUL EATING HABITS: The trend of ‘eat fresh, eat local’ has been gaining strength in India. Moreover, people will continue to turn away from restrictive diets, especially those that completely demonize certain macronutrients, such as carbohydrates. I also believe there will be an increase in people embracing food in all its forms through the trend of upcycling food, which means that strange-looking vegetables and wasted food scraps can be turned into delicious meals and snacks. It is a step toward a healthier, more sustainable, and more conscious future.
BUILDING IMMUNITY: An optimally functioning body and a nutritious diet is the key to keep your immune system on track. A healthy immune system can safeguard the body from any disease, even fight COVID19. The awareness among people for immunity-boosting nutrients has now taken a peak, and everyone is now looking for health supplements or food with rich immunity-boosting elements. The immunity booster supplements whether it’s Green Tea or fruits rich in Vitamin C are now part of every household. This is something that has drawn maximum people’s attention and will be practiced in 2021 as well.
While the above mentioned wellness trends are significant for complete wellbeing of mind and body. It is equally important to seek expert guidance for all medical needs. Adhering to precautionary measures such as maintaining social distancing, sanitizing hands and wearing masks are key. Patients are recommended to follow treatment guidelines in managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardio-vascualr diseases, cancer especially in the elderly to ensure health and safety of everyone around us.
(Dr Kirti Sabnis is Infectious Disease Specialist at Fortis Hospital, Mulund and Kalyan)