It is important to maintain physical fitness during the isolation period

It is important to maintain physical fitness during the isolation period

From the very origin, humans needed movement. It is for this very reason that this isolation is difficult for us, even though we have neglected movement in our regular daily activities. We asked Dr. Tamara Ratkovic, professor of sports kinesiology, how to establish healthy habits and whether we can emerge as winners from this situation.

Isolation and lack of movement are difficult for everyone, how do you look at it?
We are all isolated in our homes. We need to take the whole situation very seriously and responsibly. Moments like this make us think about how much exercising, as little as we used to do every day, is now missing. For this reason, we need and must move in these conditions and not let the inactivity affect our mood, or make us worried or anxious.

With a little activity and exercise throughout the day, our mind will be focused on other things.

What is your advice in the isolation situation?
If you have ever exercised, I'm sure you know at least 5 exercises that you could incorporate into your daily rituals. If not, there are enough examples online on how to exercise. Just make sure which advice you’re taking. My colleagues (from AFC STAR) and I did not want to do on-line classes and then charge people in such difficult times we are all in. Movement is just as important as solidarity. And we are all entitled to it. Every day we come up with new exercise ideas and motivate people to get started by setting an example.

It is very important to remain positive, be responsible and solidary.

What should generally inactive people do?
For those who don't like to exercise ... my advice is this: roll up your sleeves and start cleaning your home. This is enough physical activity which will boost your metabolism and activate your muscles. After work is done, you will feel positive – your home will be clean, thus healthier, and you would have done a good "functional" workout. Just make sure that you do not pull or lift heavy loads during this physical activity. Your back muscles are not ready for such work at the moment, so be careful.

How do exercises affect our psyche?
We exercise to activate large muscle groups that further engage the heart and lungs. The heart rate increases, the pulse speeds up, the blood circulates faster throughout the system and thus the change improves. Our brain, as the main "software" of the body, receives more oxygen, which is necessary for it to function effectively. In this way, we also improve concentration. During aerobic physical activities, our hormonal system is healthier.

Certain studies have shown that, with regular physical activity, people are less aggressive and more focused, better concentrated to solve problems peacefully.

Although until recently it was believed that nerve cells cannot regenerate, recent research shows that moderate physical activity is an effective way of repairing them. Spirit and body are two unbreakable friends who support one another. Therefore, we need to work on both at the same time because as it says "in a healthy body, a healthy spirit", and both our mind and spirit are healthy when the body is functional.

How important is breathing during exercise?
With good breathing, in addition to the strengthening of the deep muscles of the cortex (the so-called body core), we also affect the CNS (central nervous system). Good and quality breathing has a positive effect on our internal organs - massaging them and improving their peristalsis. Breathing calms down the heart and puts it in balance with the whole body. By deep exhalation, we act on our parasympathicus and calm down the organs and the entire CNS which in addition to the endocrine system controls our homeostasis. Breathing affects the quality of the diaphragm and the lungs, as well as enhancing immunity, which is very important to us at the moment. Short, superficial, rapid or shallow breathing affects many of our body's dysfunctions - from disturbances in movement biomechanics, pelvic dysfunction, to decreased motor performance or anxiety and depression. So, increase your BREATHING consciousness through exercise. During meditation or prayers, breathing is very important, because it acts on the pituitary gland and calms the entire body.

ADVICE: How to get kids involved in exercise

Depending on the age of the child, we can adapt the exercises. If we have a baby, then it can be extra weight and an additional challenge for our body. If the child is older, between the age of 2 and 5, we can get them involved through simple games. What matters is that the exercises keep their attention, so it is always my suggestion that they are designed as a play, competition, or polygons. In the case of children that go to school, exercises for girls can be those for shaping the body, play and dancing, while boys can compete. Today, with the online school curriculum and the availability of various social networks, anyone can find something for themselves.

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