The COVID pandemic has undoubtedly impacted life in so many ways. Sometimes, it feels as if everything has changed. For the general population, maintaining an active lifestyle and staying on track towards health goals has been particularly challenging during the pandemic. With the recent emphasis on remote learning, working, and interpersonal interactions, people have found themselves generally more sedentary day-to-day, at home more often, and possibly snacking more due to stress or changed routines.
Dr. Anuruddh (A.K.) Misra is aware of the far-reaching impact of COVID, particularly as it relates to his patient population. Dr. Misra is double Board Certified in Sports and Internal Medicine, a Qualified Medical Examiner, and a member of the InBody advisory board.
Although COVID has disrupted some of Dr. Misra’s routine of patient care, he knows that continuing to regularly engage patients and keep them focused on health and wellness is particularly crucial, especially during these trying times. He has developed innovative means of patient communication, monitoring, and feedback so his clientele continues to make steady progress towards optimal health—something that has never been more important.
Avoid the “Quarantine 15”
Recently, Dr. Misra has noticed a phenomenon called the “Quarantine 15”. In general, people are spending more time at home, eating unhealthy snacks, and finding fewer opportunities for organized physical activity. Many gyms and fitness centers have altered their services and limited group exercise opportunities (soccer games, basketball games, swimming, etc.). These changes can affect a patient’s health and wellness.
The “Quarantine 15” is an unhealthy weight gain due to altered activity levels or increased food intake during the pandemic. In response to this, Dr. Misra has focused on several key points to assess patients’ health and body composition. Specifically, he targets and studies diet, exercise, insulin levels, and body composition.
Dr. Misra notes that unless patients pay close attention to their bodies, some see undesirable changes in their physical well-being. Eating routines, for example, significantly affect insulin levels, so a change in eating habits can cause insulin changes, weight gain, and increased body fat. In other words, the body is a precisely calibrated machine, so patients who do not regularly monitor and fine-tune their “machine” can experience negative changes like increased risk of chronic health conditions.
The Relation Between Body Composition and Optimal Health and Wellness Regimen
More than numbers on the scale, body composition evaluation can provide an accurate reflection of a patient’s overall health and wellness. Why? Bodyweight alone does not account for how much fat a person is carrying inside. Some fat is visible in the mirror (subcutaneous fat), but other fat is deeper and surrounds the organs. This deeper harder-to-identify fat can significantly impact the body’s functioning. Overall, high body fat levels cause health risks for certain diseases.
If a patient wants a comprehensive assessment of health and wellness, body composition analysis is the best option.
Body fat also impacts hormone function, insulin levels, and many other body activities. A carefully designed plan to address body composition can significantly alter a patient’s health for the better. The first step in treatment is identification.
The InBody is an easy-to-use, high-tech solution for regular assessment of body composition and identification of body fat changes. It allows patients to receive real-time health data and work with their physicians to develop a regimen to maintain optimal health.
The Effects of the Pandemic on Your Body Composition
Many patients find that their weight has increased, or their body fat levels are now higher during COVID. Dr. Misra has firsthand experience with this trend regarding some patients in his practice.
Some of his patients with the healthiest baseline have come in for follow-up appointments only to find they gained 10lbs of body fat, without even knowing that anything was going awry.
Perhaps numbers on the scale were not moving much, but the fact was, body composition changed considerably, and the patient was unaware. Had the patient been able to monitor body composition between doctor visits, diet and exercise changes could have altered the outcomes. Also, Dr. Misra noted that it did not take long for patients to gain 10 lbs of fat under stay-at-home orders, increased stress, and changed routines.
Important to note, these changes occurred even in some athlete body types. This fact makes regular monitoring even more important. Moreover, unhealthy changes that occurred over 2-3 months took 6-8 months to reverse. The implications are significant. The prompt realization that body composition is changing can lead to immediate action, thus helping the patient stay on track to a healthy lifestyle.
How Often Should You Test Patients’ Body Composition?
In general, frequent, regular body composition testing is one answer to optimal health and wellness. While no two patients are alike, it is not an overstatement to say that the more often body composition testing occurs, the more accurate the picture of health status is. In other words, interval testing, say every 2-3 months, will only provide a snapshot in time.
Having a long interval between testing does not allow for lifestyle changes that could likely correct a problem. It makes sense to have regular assessments so the most accurate, helpful medical advice can work. Additionally, seeing positive changes in body composition is highly motivating for patients. When a patient sees that their prescribed regimen is working, positive momentum will build, and the patient can begin to realize even more significant benefits.
Ideally, Dr. Misra recommends InBody testing every 4-6 weeks to precisely track progress, provide relevant feedback, and increase the likelihood of outstanding patient outcomes. However, it is worth noting that this testing interval is subjective and will vary depending on the individual and how close they are to achieving their goals.
To help monitor progress between testing and avoid the Quarantine 15, patients should use a medical-grade body scale like the InBody H20N to analyze their body composition at home.
The InBody Plan
As stated, the COVID pandemic has affected health and well-being in numerous ways. More patients than ever notice how an increase in screen time, unhealthy food choices, and decreased exercise can alter their health and well-being.
By incorporating InBody analysis into a wellness program, patients will stay more engaged in their health program and be more apt to succeed in their health journey.
Dr. Misra incorporates the InBody system into patient care to strategically track and assess body composition. This valuable tool allows him to create a personalized exercise and diet program that gets results. Patients find themselves streamlined for success when they have all the necessary information. InBody is crucial because it can assess health changes that are not necessarily visible.
“[InBody] is the only way I could know these granular data points, particularly visceral body fat.”
By regularly tracking body composition with the InBody, Dr. Misra helps patients look and feel better. He leverages this advanced medical technology to create a highly personalized program that can adapt to body changes. Targeting real-time data, Dr. Misra and the patient can collaborate to affect positive change. The InBody can help positively impact the health outcomes, keeping patients on course towards their specific goals.