20200923-covid-body-impact

This is what happens to your body over months in isolation

Updated 0954 GMT (1754 HKT) September 26, 2020

(CNN)Since the pandemic officially began in March, we've been told staying home is the best way to avoid catching Covid-19. And it is. But life in confinement can cause physical ailments on its own.

Being homebound for so long contorts the body, weakens the heart and lungs and even impairs brain function. The effects of life in isolation may stay with us beyond the pandemic's end (whenever that may be).
This is what half a year of isolation, staying home and staying sedentary can do to your body.

You start losing muscle

A week homebound, whether you're working, eating or sleeping, may feel comforting and necessary. But all the inactivity can undo hard-won progress.
That's because it can take months to build muscle and just one week to lose it. Humans, for all of our hardiness, also lose muscle more quickly the older we get, said Keith Baar, a professor of molecular exercise physiology at the University of California - Davis.
When you lose muscle, you're not necessarily losing bulk, but you are losing strength, which Baar said is one of the "strongest indicators" of how long you'll live.
"The stronger we stay, the easier it is for us to maintain our longevity."

Your heart and lungs get weaker