Suggestions to Help You Stay Healthy While Being at Home
By Lou Vescio - Academic Coach, Trainer & Consultant
We know the social distancing measures currently in effect due to the COVID-19 outbreak have placed a great deal of hardship and stress on everyone. Many of us are suddenly working from home, and we are now having to balance our work obligations with other responsibilities including educating our children and caring for our elderly parents. This can be a difficult adjustment that may impact our work productivity as well as our health and wellness.
With these added pressures it is now more important than ever to prioritize our physical, mental and emotional health by practicing healthy habits at home. Below are some tips to keep you at your best:
1. Eat a balanced and varied diet
There are really no foods or supplements that can ‘boost’ our immune system and prevent or treat COVID-19. Nevertheless, eating a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant and animal proteins and healthy fats is the best way to get all the essential nutrients we need for good health and normal immune function. As self-isolation may lead us to be less active, it is also important to pay close attention to food portions and to keep our energy balance adjusted to meet our needs.
2. Establish a daily routine and practice being mindful
There are many reasons why COVID-19 could cause you to feel stressed or anxious including balancing work and taking care of children, constant news updates about the outbreak, lack of connection with family and friends, etc.
Thus, maintaining a normal daily routine will help manage some of this stress. One way we can do this is by sticking to regular mealtimes and planning meals in advance. This can help us better control hunger levels, meet our nutrient requirements and allow us to get the most out of the food we have, and reducing the waste of food.
During long-periods stress we may find ourselves eating more than we need. Plus, staying at home for longer periods may also lead us to snack out of boredom. Practicing mindful eating habits can be a useful strategy to maintain a healthy relationship with food and to helps us balance our energy.
3. Stay active and move more
While your regular workout or recreation facility may be closed, there are still plenty of great ways to get physical activity at home. You can still go outside and enjoy some fresh air by going for a walk, run or bike ride.
Physical activity benefits both the body and mind. Healthy adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity and healthy kids (5-17 years) should get at least 1 hour.
Follow these tips for staying physically active during self-isolation:
Plan time for physical activity in your day
Take regular breaks from sitting by standing up and stretching or going for a quick walk
Take online exercise classes
Think outside the box: activities like dancing, playing active videogames, cleaning the house or playing with your kids all count as physical activity!
Practicing these suggestions will help you stay healthy and fit during these very challenging times, and we hope that the restrictions will be eased soon so we can back to leading our regular daily lives.