How to stay fit in isolation

April 12, 2020

For many, one of the many downsides of living in quarantine is weight gain. But you can stay in shape even when staying at home.

This week our panel of experts answer your queries ranging from how to stay fit in lockdown to overcoming serious injuries in a bid to make a comeback.

Q: I am a squash player but due to the lockdown I am confined to my home these days. I noticed that my weight in increasing while working from home with no sports activities. Please advice a balance diet which may stop the weight increase. I am 33 years old. —Javed Ahsan

A: During past few weeks, the situation due to covid-19 is demanding social distancing which has forced not only common persons but also sportsmen to stay at home and shut out their scheduled trainings and normal practice. It’s a fact that when many of us sit at home, most of the time we want to eat every one and a half hour. It often results in consumption of highly processed foods which are usually also high in fats, sugars and salt.

It becomes more challenging as good nutrition is important for health in this time when we aim to strengthen our immune system which can be maintained by following healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyle practices.

To avoid weight gain, planning your food intake is very important. With chips, deep fried items and sweets many of us find comfort in binging on junk food during this stressful time. Another tip is to control your portion size by eating on a plate instead of straight from the packet. If you want to crave on something sweet, fresh fruits especially citrus should always be your priority. For desserts make sure they are in low in sugar and consumed in small portions, avoid mithai and halwas. Limit your fat intake and include healthy sources of fats like fish and nuts. Reduce intake of fried and fatty meat and gravies having too much oil. Another good option is to consume enough fiber like fresh fruits and vegetables which also help to keep a healthy digestive system and will also give a feeling of fullness and prevent from over eating. Drinking water is another important thing which should not be forgotten.

For good health and maintaining ideal body weight it is important to remain physically active, you can take help from WHO guidelines for period of quarantine which includes tips and examples of home based exercises and make the most of your time indoor and wait for the pandemic to pass.

Ms. Munazza Haq

Chief Dietitian

Liaquat National Hospital And Medical College

Q: Last year while skiing in Swat, I lost my balance and fell down. I suffered multiple injuries. I was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital where I was admitted for six weeks. Now after one year of this accident, I still have pain in my hip joint. The doctors here are telling me that it will vanish with the time. Please advise me what to do to get rid of this pain. —Aurangzeb Khan

A: The accident which you have mentioned is a high energy trauma. Your injuries might be serious as you were admitted for a long time. Long lasting hip pain in the scenario you mentioned can be a bone injury of the hip joint healed by rest. The persistent pain can be due to secondary arthritis of the hip joint due to that bony injury. It can be sought out through x-ray of the affected hip. If x-ray is normal, then it can be a severe soft tissue injury which has become long lasting.

For arthritis with a considerable pain, there is a surgical option. You have to consult an orthopedic surgeon for thorough assessment and discussion of management options.

If it is a severe soft tissue trauma, it will definitely subside with time and only requires pain control through restriction of vigorous activity and pain killers as needed.

Prof. Dr. Zaki Idrees

Professor and Consultant

Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Liaquat National Hospital And Medical College

Q: I am 44 years old. Every day a six kilometer walk was my routine. Now because of COVID-19 situation, I am at home. There is a huge ground in front of my home, and mostly it is deserted. Can I continue my walking in this ground while wearing a mask? —Rehan Shaikh.

A: Because of the covid-19 pandemic, the best way to keep ourselves and others safe is social distancing. If the ground near your house is deserted, you can walk wearing a mask and keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from others but if possible walk at home.

Dr. Saadia Aamir

Assistant Professor and Consultant

Department of Infectious Diseases

Liaquat National Hospital And Medical College

Q: I am 49 years old. Every month’s last weekend myself and a couple of other friends used to go fishing in high seas. Please advise whether going high seas in our private boat for fishing is permissible under the present coronavirus situation? —Syed Musa Raza.

A: Sport fishing may be a reasonable option during social distancing for recreational purpose. However, you need to be cautious and continue to maintain a distance of at least six feet with other people. It is not advisable to gather friends or relatives for this purpose. Also, while traveling to the fishing destination, make sure to follow the lockdown rules of the govt. Take all safety precautions like hand hygiene and masks. Moreover, if any of the participant has symptoms of cough, sore throat or fever, then it is advisable for the patient not to participate in the activity to avoid coming in contact with others.

Dr. Faridah Amin

Assistant Professor and Consultant

Head Department of Family Medicine

Liaquat National Hospital And Medical College


All the specialists on our experts’ panel are associated with Liaquat National Hospital. Please send your queries at [email protected] or [email protected])

How to stay fit in isolation