As the pandemic progresses, people around the world are being asked to spend longer and longer periods indoors. The public discussion tends to focus on the virus, its symptoms, and how it is overloading the healthcare system. Due to that focus, it’s easy to forget that the health of the people staying indoors is also crucial during this period.
If your city is in the middle of a pandemic, then the last thing you want is to be forced to visit the hospital for an unrelated health condition. That will not only put more stress on the system, but you also run the risk of getting contaminated yourself. Masks and other forms of PPE never offer 100% protection, after all. With that in mind, here are a few things you should keep in mind to help keep your body healthy for the foreseeable future.
1 – Stay on top of your nutrition
It is easy to let your diet slip as quarantine boredom leads you to snack more often and care less about each meal. That’s more or less harmless — it might increase your weight, but as long as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels stay under control, your health shouldn’t deteriorate.
The real danger comes from vitamin deficiencies. Especially vitamin C and D. Vitamin C is found in fresh fruits, which can be hard to keep in your diet if you are avoiding going to the grocery store as much as possible. Vitamin D, on the other hand, is metabolized by the body as it comes in contact with sunlight. Being locked inside means you’ll be getting much less of that too.
To top it all off, the best way to spot vitamin deficiencies is with a regular blood-test. How likely is it that you’ll get one of those before the pandemic is over?
Stay on top of your diet and your nutrition. If you can’t get enough vitamin C, use supplements. As for vitamin D, it can also be found in supplements, or you can find it in fishes where you eat the bones along with the meat. Sardines are a great source of vitamin D, as well as several other beneficial nutrients.
2 – Exercise, even if you didn’t before
The importance of exercising cannot be overstated. It helps regulate everything from your blood pressure to your mood and even your immune system. Now that you are spending most of your day going between your bed and your couch, your regular day has become a lot less active. Exercising can help compensate for your new state of enforced sedentarism.
If you live in a region where exercising outside is still allowed under certain conditions, try to make use of that opportunity. Exercise alone, wearing a mask, and follow the recommendation of your local health officials. Being outside, getting fresh air and sunlight will be great for both your physical and mental health.
For those forced to exercise inside, look into simple bodyweight exercises. You don’t need to do anything too fancy, whatever gets you sweating and raises your heart rate will already give you plenty of health benefits. You can even content yourself with just stretching and doing as many jumping jacks as you can every day. Just be careful not to push yourself too far, as a severe sprain or injury could make your quarantine much more miserable.
3 – Don’t ignore your mental health
Depression, stress, and anxiety can all weaken your immune system. There’s no clear line separating mental health from physical health — they both affect and complement each other. You need motivation to exercise regularly, and the aforementioned mental conditions can all obliterate your will to do anything.
Exercising can help regulate your mental health. You should also seek to stay in touch with other people, especially if you are quarantined alone. Complete isolation is very damaging to your mental health. There’s a reason why solitary confinement is used as a punishment in prison, after all.
Finally, remember that there is still help available, even if you can’t go to a therapist’s office. Plenty of therapists around the world are now offering consultations and support online through the use of video conferences and even text messages. If you’re strapped for cash, online communities like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter can help you find supportive people with whom you can establish a friendship, free of charge. You can also gain a sense of community by playing with friends online, be it on an MMO, or by betting together using a casino online.