If you’re isolating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of your physical health is just as important as supporting your mental health.
The World Health Organization and The American Heart Association both recommend 150 minutes of moderate level, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, every week. These suggestions can be accomplished from home, without fancy equipment and even within a confined space.
Here are 7 pointers on staying active and healthy, while self-quarantining at home
1. Take Short Breaks Throughout the Day
They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The same can be said for taking small timeouts throughout the day for physical health; they add up fast. Simple ways to clock activity include having an impromptu dance party in your kitchen, try horsing around with the kids in your backyard after lunchtime, and tackle labor-intensive chores around the house such as gardening, vacuuming, and sanitizing.
2. Get Creative with Exercise
You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or carve out a ton of time. However, you do need to schedule exercise. Take advantage of countless online exercise classes and tutorials, many do not require payment. For example, check out class options that are free on YouTube. As with any new exercise routine, be conscious of your own abilities and limits.
Additionally, find moments to exercise during routine daily tasks, such as performing lunges while TV commercial breaks are on, slowly do a set of squats while you’re tackling laundry cycles, knock out some ab crunches while folding clothes on the living room floor, or try climbing your staircase a few extra times than necessary. Those moments may feel insignificant at the time, but the discipline compounds over time, known as having a Slight Edge.
3. Put One Foot in Front of the Other
Pacing during a conference call, or even walking in circles, can help you enhance your physical health efforts. Try to get some steps outside, too — fresh air can be invigorating. If your spouse or children normally walk the family dog, start taking turns so you can get a chance for a dose of sunshine as well.
4. Standing vs. Sitting
Lessen your stationary time by standing up as often as possible. One idea is to make a concerted effort by standing up every 30 minutes. If it would be helpful, set an alarm on your clock as a reminder. Or, at the top of every hour, make it a habit to stand and take a stretch. Want to take it a step further? Invest in a standing desk, or even a treadmill desk.
Meditation and deep breathing can be in invaluable tool for overall health and peace of mind. Stretching is another simple but effective strategy for relaxation, while increasing flexibility. According to the Mayo Clinic, we should aim for a good stretch session at least three times a week.
6. Be Mindful of What and Why You’re Eating
The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for crippling our comfort zone — schedules, routines and normalcy are a luxury of the past. “Stress eating” is an easy fix for coping with life’s uncertainties, particularly with easy access to the refrigerator and pantry while stuck at home. Eating has a way of calming our nerves, but it also has a way of bringing on extra, unnecessary weight. The next time you consider grabbing a snack or treat from the freezer, pause and ask yourself if you’re really hungry — if not, then ask yourself why you are reaching for food, then go take a walk or read a few pages of a good book. A boosted immune system is a good thing to have, during a pandemic or not, so eating healthy, whole foods is critical in fueling our bodies for optimal nutrition. If you are in fact hungry and want a bite to eat, choose healthier options such as a serving of nuts, fruits, and non-GMO whole grains, preferably unprocessed.
7. Stay Hydrated
Drink ample fluids to help keep your body hydrated. According to experts, about 60% of adult bodies are made up of water. Consuming water is critical to replenish cells and flush out toxins. Some of the best drinking choices include spring or ultra filtered water, green tea, clear soups and bone broths. If you’re feeling depleted and/or have a fever, choose a low-sugar drink with electrolytes.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on just about every aspect of our collective lives, so taking care of our minds and bodies is incredibly important. Be sure to stop by our Auxo Medical blog from time to time for relevant and timely information as we navigate this new norm together.