To say that life has changed for many of us over the last few months is quite an understatement. Never, in the world's history, have so many people had to stay in one place for such an extended period.
The coronavirus is easy to catch and can be deadly. To stop the virus from spreading, people must avoid moving around. In best-case scenarios, people have switched to working from home.
Yet others have unfortunately lost their jobs or their businesses have stopped making money. Wishing each other good health has taken on a new and significant meaning.
By staying home we may avoid the virus, but how do we keep ourselves fit and healthy?
The temptation to sit around watching movies all day and snacking on junk is too much. How do we keep ourselves mentally fit?
A healthy mind in a healthy body has always been the goal of anyone pursuing good health. How can you do that when you can’t even go out to the gym?
How to Keep Your Body and Mind Healthy While Stuck at Home
As mentioned, fitness is much more than the absence of illness.
To be fit, the mind has to be healthy.
A healthy mind and a healthy body complement each other. But how do we maintain that under the current conditions in which we’re living?
There are some simple tips that we can use to get started.
1. Be careful with your diet
Eat healthy, home-cooked meals.
A lot of people complained about the lack of variety in their diet when food delivery was impossible. Without access to food like pizzas and burgers, they said, life was boring. Yet this was great news for their health. Processed foods with high fat and salt content are not good for health.
2. Have a basic routine for all your activities
Yes, I know everybody says this. But that’s because it’s 100% true. Confinement in the house makes routine essential. This is so you won’t forget to do anything important. Arrange a time for cleaning the house, a time for doing your office work, and time to spend with your children. Set a routine and stick to it for the good of your mental and physical health.
3. Be active during the day
If you’re active during the day you’ll be able to sleep better during the night. Some people have allowed laziness to creep in. They are staying awake all night and sleeping during the day. It’s not an agreeable habit.
4. Remember to get enough sleep
When someone is getting proper sleep, it solves many health problems. Sound sleep lowers the blood pressure and lessens anxiety. It also helps the body tissues to repair themselves. Getting a proper amount of sleep at a proper time is essential in the long term for good health.
5. Work on improving your immune system
Even when we take all the right precautions and stay healthy, there is always the possibility of catching the virus. In this scenario, a strong immune system is of vital importance. Studies have found that vitamin D boosts immunity.
There are various ways people can get their vitamin D. Sunlight is an excellent source of Vitamin D. It's also found in fortified breakfast cereals and fortified milk, both dairy and non-dairy.
To improve immunity, it's also advisable to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Always drink enough water to keep up your hydration levels. Exercise also boosts the immune system by flushing out bacteria and increasing the production of white blood cells. Both of these are important to increase immunity.
6. Attend to your spiritual needs
Religious services can’t take place under lockdown. Social distancing is almost impossible when sizeable crowds gather.
Yet people still have spiritual needs, which are especially important, especially during the lockdown. Religious communities are reaching their faithful followers through the power of the Internet. You may follow an organized religion or you may follow an alternative spiritual path.
Either way, there are resources available on the Internet. Most spiritual centers have websites and newsletters to which you can subscribe to stay updated. Many of them teach online courses too.
7. Remember to disconnect
Internet connectivity has been a lifesaver for many of us. It enables us to keep in touch with our family and friends at the touch of a button. But we shouldn’t stay online more than is necessary.
Take a break from the screens every so often and connect with the space around you. Let there be a few hours every day that you don’t go online. Too much connectivity can have a damaging effect on our mental health as it raises anxiety levels.
8. Adapt your exercise plan
Many people today have a regular exercise routine. It could be an exercise class in a local gym a few times a week or a long walk several times weekly. For some, no less than a trip to the gym will do. We need some imagination and creativity to figure out how to carry out our exercise while maintaining social distancing. The psychological problems attached to being stressed during difficult times tend to melt away with physical activity, so it’s important to keep active.
Carrying Out Exercise Safely
You can use exercise DVDs or YouTube videos for instructions. Some yoga and fitness instructors have started giving virtual classes, making it possible to carry out your exercise from a safe distance. Take advantage of what your living space has to offer. Do you live in a building with a staircase? That’s a readymade gym machine.
Depending on the staircase, you can plan to walk up and down them several times daily or weekly to get your exercise, if you have the stamina for it.
Making Your Gym at Home
Those who have some home gym equipment like a treadmill or an exercise bike can get full use from it now. But even a skipping rope, or a rope which you can use as a skipping rope, is a valid piece of gym equipment. You could also use a chair and use it for sits-to-stands.
No Excuses Necessary
The point is, being confined by the limitations Covid-19 has placed us under is no reason to neglect your health and fitness.
In fact, it is the perfect time to improve it. Don’t use lockdown as an excuse to avoid taking care of your health, mental, and physical. It is also important that you help the people around you to stay healthy.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your family to let them know the benefits of a healthy mind and body. None of us have experienced such a difficult and stressful time in our lives.
However, with a positive attitude and a focus on remaining active, we will get through this difficult time.
This article was written by Niall Hally of Village Physiotherapy. Niall has helped his clients exercise during lockdown by providing online tutorials and videos which has been essential in keeping his business running. It has also helped him provide an essential service for people during the lockdown.