Most health advice can be boiled down to simple behaviours, like eating a balanced diet, exercising and getting good sleep. During a pandemic like COVID-19, many of you are staying indoors more than normal, which has probably thrown a spanner into the works trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So , here is a Coronavirus Guide to keep you healthy while cooped up inside.
Like most of you, as our normal routines were being flipped upside down and the necessity of coping with a new ‘normal’ was setting in, we’ve been looking for ways to stay healthy, informed … and sane.
You achieve good immune through a balanced diet, proper hydration, restful sleep, regular exercise & stress control. Your immune system must be strong enough to fight off invading microbes.
First and foremost, make sure you are drinking plenty of water, regardless of your diet. Just because you are stuck inside doesn’t mean you need to survive off frozen pizzas. Being at home more often gives us a unique opportunity to cook and eat well. It is key to have a plan before you stock up on groceries — both to guarantee you pick up the right things, and to avoid panic-buying and wiping out community supplies. Take inventory of what is already in your pantry and then plan around these items to create healthy meals. While most people are going straight for grains and canned goods right now, it’s actually a good time to buy fresh produce including vegetables and fruits. Vegetables are high in dietary fibres, vitamins, and folic acid. While vitamins enhance our immune system, dietary fibres help to reduce blood cholesterols. Fruits are a good alternative to your snacks. You can add fruits in your salad or to your protein shakes. Berries and bananas can be included in your breakfast cereals.
Some peoples healthy eating habits have gone out the window! Whether it is because of stress, too much time spent sitting at home, or the availability of food just a few steps away, you might find yourself eating more in general, and more ‘comfort foods’ in particular. Cut yourself some slack! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve fallen off the healthy-eating bandwagon recently. Know that it is okay to take occasional breaks — be they planned or unplanned. The goal is to be consistent in your healthy eating habits, not perfect. Sleep …. Everyone knows that sleep is important to both our physical and mental health, now more than ever. With added stress for many people right now, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to allow your body to stay healthy and your mind to recover. Consider a sleep tracking device if you would like to keep an eye on your sleep quality. Stay socially active If you’re spending more time alone than usual, don’t neglect your social needs if you’re feeling isolated. Some ideas include: Stay in touch with friends and family, even if you can’t see them in person.
Use facebook or skype to chat face-to-face .Organise an online movie or board game night • Play multiplayer games with friends. It never hurts to reach out and check on a friend or family member. Ask how you can help, ask for help, or just enjoy playing a game. Stay strong friends! Get some fresh air. If you are able and allowed, getting some fresh air (while maintaining social distancing) can work wonders for you both physically and mentally. If you can’t go outside, consider opening a window to let in some fresh air. Stay physically active. If you’re at home more, you might not realise that your usual physical activity has dwindled. You may find that any amount of activity helps improve mood. You may have days where you feel that you’re in a ‘slump’ that can only be fixed by getting your heart rate up. Just remember, when it comes to physical activity, something is always better than nothing. Anything that elevates your heart rate (even a little) is great. Here are some ways you can exercise without ever going to the dreaded gym:
- Running up and down the stairs (be careful if you are wearing socks)
- Pedaling a stationary bike while watching Netflix or playing a mobile game
- Walking around the neighbourhood (avoiding other people)
Others include using wine bottles for weights, dish towels for sliders (for exercises like lunges and mountain climbers) or a sturdy chair for step-ups. There are also plenty of no-equipment-required exercises — like squats, burpees, sit-ups, planks, push-ups and mountain climbers which you can even do in a small space. Try choosing five exercises, doing each for a minute, then repeating the circuit 3-5 times.
If you’re looking to get a more gym type experience in your home, but lack the equipment or space, check out YouTube for routines and exercises at all levels. Many gyms and fitness instructors are also offering virtual classes right now. Not feeling up to exercise? You can always do some stretches (especially if you are sitting more than usual), try some basic yoga, meditative breathing, or gardening. There are tons of great resources on the internet for beginners and experts alike – use them! Stay mentally active In addition to staying physically active, exercising your brain helps to feel like you’re moving forward and not stagnating in front of Netflix (although sometimes that’s important too). Staying mentally active doesn’t mean that you need to do something you don’t like. Find activities that you do enjoy. Here are some examples:
- Play a puzzle or strategy game you enjoy.
- Read a book you’ve been wanting to read.
- Learn or improve at a foreign language you are interested in.
- Practice an instrument.
It’s a unique situation hardly any of us will have found ourselves in before and can be daunting to feel like you’re trapped indoors. By following these few tips it be can be hugely beneficial for staying both physically and mentally healthy. These are just a handful of easy ways to make sure you are staying healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak. And how you can try to maintain your lifestyle without leaving the house. Making some healthy choices at home could reduce your risk of more severe symptoms if you were to get Coronavirus. Trying to create a routine might help us feel a bit more at ease. Whatever you are doing to pass the time, your mental and physical health will benefit – even when the outbreak is over.