Diabetic patients needed to practice physical activity amid lockdown:

By Muhammad Atif Ismail

MULTAN, Apr 26 (APP):The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the routine life of almost every citizen as the ongoing situation of lockdown, which primarily meant to break the chain of virus, had also made people faced with social, economic, psychological and health issues.
Among the health issues, diabetes is one of the most important health problems. The diabetic patients are being faced with immense troubles to maintain blood glucose at normal level. They cannot manage their walk as parks have been closed in the wake of pandemic situation.
On one hand, mostly their families do not allow them for outdoor movement while on the other; the diabetic persons had weak immunity and can suffer complications owing to coronavirus. Therefore, due to lack of routine walk, the patients become more vulnerable. They have to take special care in terms of eating pattern, exercise and stress management amid the ongoing situation of coronavirus pandemic.
Talking to APP, a diabetic patient, Rashid Qureshi said, “I am habitual of about 45 minutes brisk walk on daily basis. Now, I am following government instructions and staying at home”. He said that owing to lack of walk he was facing some problems to maintain normal glucose level.
Qureshi said, “I have consulted the family physician to maintain blood glucose level during the lockdown situation. The doctor has issued me some guidelines to follow”, he added.
Dr Imran Rafique, a health expert suggested, “The patients who live near grounds, should hold walk early in the morning and late at night to control their blood glucose level. In case, the diabetic persons have no access to parks, then they should do light physical activity in home by keeping themselves busy in cleaning home or work in kitchen. It will surely help them in maintaining their health”.
Dr Waqas Arqam Malik, a medical practitioner at Sheikh Zayed Hospital Lahore said, “Diabetic patients should reduce intake of food items which contain carbohydrates, especially wheat bread, rice and bakery items”.
Dr Waqas said, “Such patients should use protein-rich foods i.e eggs, lentil, almond etc. The protein rich food will not increase diabetes. Similarly, the patients should manage adequate water intake”.
About physical activity, he proposed that the patients should manage walk at terrace or roof-top during the ongoing situation of lockdown. The patients can indulge themselves in physical activity, especially in gardening. This sort of physical activity will surely help them in normalizing glucose level.
Dr Fakhar Islam, another health expert at Burewala said that diabetic patients should hold walk with proper precautionary measures in streets. They should follow the government’s instructions about physical distancing and use of mask during walk because they had weak immune system and vulnerable to coronavirus infection.
About stress management, he said, “Diabetic persons should avoid taking any sort of stress. During the stress, the patients release a hormone identified as cortisol which increases glucose level in blood”.
Dr Mazhar Rasool, a medical doctor in Vehari suggested that the patients should hold walk in lawns, rooftops and streets while following the protective measures against the virus. Exercise was essential not only for diabetic patients but also for general masses because it helps strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system is of vital importance to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and other health complications”, he added.
Endorsing the viewpoints of the other health experts, Dr Mazhar Rasool stated that the patients should follow physical distancing, use mask and wash hands with soap soon after they return home from outside.