According to the World Health Organization (WHO), regular physical exercise is beneficial for the body and mind. It can reduce hypertension, help control weight, and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also strengthens bones and muscles and increases balance, flexibility, and fitness (1). And in that sense, after a few long months in which the physical activity of Colombians was considerably reduced, it was time to resume and give movement to the body.
“From an evolutionary point of view, we walked great distances for our survival and we had developed great physical capacity. Without going that far, 100 years ago the population was mainly rural and carried out physical work throughout the day. This gives us an idea of the great physical capacity that we had, but this capacity we have lost, since we carry out activities in which we spend sitting all day and not combining physical exercise, makes us sedentary, with all the alterations that they are generated in our body, due to having such a low level of physical activity ”, explains Juan Alberto Ríos, SMART FIT sports doctor.
And it is scientifically proven that physical exercise positively influences our health, producing a series of advantages and benefits at the body and mental level, because, with regard to this last concept, when endorphins are released, a feeling of well-being, which is why it is part of the activities recommended by experts, for people with a compromised state of mind such as anxiety disorders and depression.
In the midst of this context, it is important to clarify that the key lies in the frequency with which a certain program or exercise is carried out, which is why the WHO suggests that all adults should perform at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity or at least 75 minutes per week of high intensity exercise, increasing the time up to 300 minutes per week (1).
“We must guide physical exercise in the first place, as a habit to be healthy, and habits to be healthy, we must practice them most of the days of the week and preferably every day, where there will be some days of low demand (intensity ), alternating with days of higher demand ”, adds Ríos.
A training for each type of person
Age, physical condition and health condition are three points that define the type of exercise that a person can perform, especially when they are a beginner, so it is essential that when making the decision to start training, see a doctor or physical therapist.
“After verifying the specialist’s prescription, the training is aimed at improving the cardio-respiratory and vascular systems, low-intensity exercises in band, elliptical or bicycle, to later improve the strength of the middle or core zone, lower body strength and general flexibility “, says Sergio Hincapié, a graduate in Physical Education and a teacher at SMART FIT, to which he adds that, taking into account that most people seek to reduce weight when they play a sport,” the first thing they should do is try to increase caloric expenditure, and in this regard, we need more training frequency, hopefully four or five times a week. Also, improve muscle mass by doing hypertrophy strength exercise and hopefully accompanied by proper nutrition ”.
Eating: the axis for a good exercise
Eating around physical activity plays a fundamental role, if it is borne in mind that before, during and after exercise, are the sum to obtain results, which means that a healthy diet requires being balanced, balanced, complete and adapted to the conditions, thinking about the objectives and the state of health of those who carry out this activity, together with perseverance and perseverance.
“In basic terms, diet is what we consume on a daily basis. Based on this definition, there are countless diets, this depends mainly on the objective to be achieved, that is, if you are looking to reduce weight, achieve a body recomposition or toning as it is commonly known, or an increase in weight (…) If the objective is to reduce weight we must start from a caloric deficit or negative energy balance, this means, consume a little less than the daily calories according to your requirement. If the objective is body recomposition, we are talking about maintaining a balance between what we consume and what we spend per day and if the objective is to gain weight, we must make a caloric surplus or positive energy balance, consume more calories than we expend per day; all this adjusted to individual needs, accompanied by the practice of physical activity, hydration and adequate sleep that guarantees rest and recovery ”, says Elizabeth Avendaño García, dietician nutritionist of the SMART FIT chain.
Physical activity increases the probability of beating covid-19
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, some vitamins help the immune system to defend itself against infections and, acting as antioxidants, protect cells and tissues (2), understanding that, when it is spoken of the immune system it is necessary to know that there is an innate and an acquired immunity. Innate immunity is the system with which we are born and is represented in the barriers that stop external threats such as the skin, the enzymes of saliva, the acids of the digestive system, among others, while, when an external factor passes one or more Several of these barriers, another type of immunity is activated, that is, the acquired one, which develops throughout life. But to prepare the immune system and strengthen it against viruses and bacteria, not only diet is vital, exercise also influences and increases the probability of surviving diseases such as covid-19.
The University of Los Andes relates that physical activity has the potential to reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, which is related to what happens in the lungs during an infection. The immune system detects the invading virus in the lungs and attacks it. The conflict between the virus and the immune cells creates inflammation. This inflammation causes damage to the lung tissue that interferes with breathing and can become severe enough to require medical interventions, such as mechanical ventilators (3), and it is at this point that you need to have reserves that give the possibility to body to respond and react correctly to an infection, that is, those that are acquired through sport.
In the words of Elizabeth Avendaño García, dietician nutritionist, “an adequate energy balance, which includes the necessary macros and micronutrients, excellent hydration and a good rest and recovery is just as important as training”, so today the invitation is to move on the street, at home or at the gym, and, if your choice is the latter, Zona Prieta and Smart Fit joined forces for the physical and mental health of Colombians. The renowned urban genre group invites the country to move through its new musical release called ‘Muévete Smart’.
“We wanted to emphasize the importance of movement in our lives. Moving improves our self-esteem, our physical and mental health. Body language is a powerful art form through which we express ourselves and manage to communicate, that is why our invitation from Zona Prieta is to let the movement flow ”, say the artists.
For his part, Álvaro Navarro, commercial and marketing director of Smart Fit, confirms that from Smart Fit the “invitation is always to take care of physical and mental health through physical activity. It is scientifically proven that those who exercise regularly are healthier people, but also happier and more emotionally stable. On the street, at home or at our headquarters, we want Colombians to join this challenge of moving ”.
1. WHO. #SanosEnCasa – Physical activity. Available in https://www.who.int/es/news-room/campaigns/connecting-the-world-to-combat-coronavirus / healthyathome / healthyathome — physical-activity. Accessed June 2021.
2. FAO. Learning about vitamins and minerals. Available in http://www.fao.org/3/i3261s/i3261s06.pdf. Consulted in July 2021.
3. UNIVERSITY OF THE ANDES. Physical activity is essential in times of coronavirus. Available in https://uniandes.edu.co/es/noticias/psicologia/la-actividad-fisica-es-fundamental-en-tiempos-de-coronavirus. Consulted in July 2021.