Healthy Living

Top 3 Strategies To Stay Healthy Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

There is no denying that staying at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic can cause us to become bored, anxious, stressed or socially isolated. Over time and together with unhealthy habits such as overeating, these could lead to various health issues -- and we all do not want to experience these along with a virus that has no proven cure to date. 

The good news is that there are things that you can do now while sheltering at home to stay healthy and make your days count. "Keeping yourself healthy includes heightened hygiene, exercise and eating right," said Michigan Medicine dietitian Sue Ryskamp, who shared some strategies to help you get through this unprecedented global health crisis, no matter what your age.

Top 3 Strategies To Stay Healthy Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Establish Daily Routines 

Whether you have kids to take care of at home, are working from home or a retiree who can't go out, establishing a daily meal routine helps a lot while on quarantine. 

"The kitchen is a great place to get your day started with a routine," Ryskamp said. "If you have kids, get them engaged in planning meals together each day. Have them create a plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the goal of introducing healthy choices." She added that kids are more likely to gobble up the meals that they have a hand in creating. 

Ryskamp also advised keeping a running grocery list to "get the things you need with one trip or one delivery," along with designating one night a week to order out food. "Many restaurants offer delivery services or curbside pickup as a safety precaution," she said. "And remember, your local restaurant owners need you now more than ever." 

Reaching out to others daily, either via phone or computer, is a good routine to follow, especially if you are living alone. "A lack of socialization can be harmful to your mental and physical health and can have an impact on your immune system," Ryskamp said. "Stay connected with family and friends on a regular basis by scheduling online chats, happy hour (preferably with non-alcoholic drinks such as mocktails) or birthday celebrations." 

Ryskamp stressed the importance of keeping your sleeping routine relatively consistent. "Now that we’re homebound, it’s ok to be a bit more flexible by sleeping an extra hour or so in the morning, but aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night," she said.

Increase Fluid Intake 

Ryskamp advised drinking plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated and flush out toxins in your body. "Some of the best choices," she said, "are water, green tea with ginger or turmeric, clear soups and broths."

Immune support drinks can be beneficial to boost your immune system, Ryskamp said, adding that many of these provide vitamins A, C, D and Zinc, all of which are important to a healthy immune system.

Water packed with electrolytes, such as low-sugar sports drinks, are recommended if you are experiencing a fever.

Move Your Body

Regardless of your age, exercises are vital even in times where you have to stay at home. "Exercise can help boost physical, mental and emotional health and can help reduce stress, which can take a toll on our immune systems," as per Ryskamp. She recommended checking out online exercise and yoga classes geared toward kids and adults. "Shoot for 30 to 40 minutes a day or longer, if possible."

Ryskamp also recommended taking stock in your yard and getting it prepared for the upcoming spring and summer planting season. "It’s something positive to look forward to and you can even begin inside by ordering online garden kits and various seeds to get a jump start on the season." 

You may also have to go outside to get some fresh air especially with the weather warming up. "Take a hike with the kids or a friend -- keeping in mind that social distancing needs to be practiced outside, too," Ryskamp suggested. 

Ryskamp said that body movement applies even to those with health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. "It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. Take a walk to the mailbox or walk the dog," she said. "Just remember, it’s important to stay active to enhance your wellbeing and your immune system. By staying active, you’ll be able to do many of the things that bring enjoyment to your life."

COVID-19 Pandemic Health authorities encourage people with symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate for seven days, keep a 2-meter distance from other people at home and to sleep alone. Pixabay

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