By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
In recent months, every day has seemed to bring some new kind of worry. The pandemic brought on quarantines, where people were not able to participate in normal activities like socializing and exercising. Staying physically healthy during quarantine is a challenge, but there are many steps you can take to prevent an unhealthy lifestyle.
It’s important to realize that any kind of activity is better than none at all. You may think that 4–5 minutes of light exercise will do nothing, but in reality it will help activate your body, improve circulation, and enhance muscle activity. Movement such as walking or light stretching can reduce high blood pressure and help you stay fit. Physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke and lower your anxiety levels, which may have peaked during the quarantine. You might think that physical fitness is only connected to physique, but on the contrary, any kind of physical activity releases endorphins that can fuel your mood and reduce stress.
One cause of depression is a lack of serotonin. This hormone, as well as few others, is responsible for producing a good mood and a general feeling of being in control. Being quarantined might make you think that, since you can’t go to the gym, you can’t work out. While exercising at home has its own challenges and requires you to learn new skills and routines, you can make it happen. Put that mask on and go catch some fresh air.
Staying physically active and healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. take your family with you for some fun family bonding. Kids love competitions, so try to excite them by organizing a marathon competition or by introducing a game of “The Floor is Lava.” You can always go out and walk around your neighborhood or do some simple yoga exercises. Basically, any kind of workout outside is a great choice.
Feeling down is a part of the human lifecycle. It’s not strange to feel stress or sadness, especially in turbulent times. Fear and uncertainty have taken their toll, and if you’re an emotional eater, then the pandemic may not be your friend. But even in stressful situations there are ways you can reduce the intake of unhealthy foods and maintain your healthy lifestyle. For example, you can try to snack wisely and choose lots of fruits and veggies. When you feel the urge to snack, think of low-fat yogurt, high fiber cereals, and other high-protein foods that will help you stay full longer. You should also avoid shopping when you’re hungry so as to avoid impulse buying things you may crave.
Washing hands has never been more important to staying physically healthy. Frequent handwashing with soap prevents the spread of germs to others as well as protects you from getting sick. Antibacterial gels are not a bad idea to have around when you’re traveling or don’t have access to clean running water and soap.
You may have read claims that you’re boosting your immune system by keeping your hands dirty; these claims have been refuted. By not washing your hands, you’re only becoming immune to specific types of germs, and there are a million types out there. Exposing yourself to some germs with bad hygiene will boost your immune system for one specific germ, but it won’t boost your immune system in general. That’s why this approach is not good for your health.
Instead, wash your hands regularly; sanitize them; and try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean. That is the best way to stay physically healthy.
Sleeping is pivotal for almost every aspect of our lives. You could say that staying healthy, both physically and mentally, starts with sleep. If you don’t sleep well, your stress levels will rise.
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, the benefits are too many to count. Here are a few:
Because of this, it is important to focus on things that help you sleep and avoid things that can disrupt your rest. You can lose sleep over so many things in life. Even overexposure to the news can lead to anxiety and overall stress, which can cause insomnia or other sleeping issues. Some experts say that writing a journal can help alleviate your stress because it allows you to reflect on your daily activities or life in general. It is also highly recommended to find different places for exercising, working, socializing, and sleeping so you can separate these parts of your day.
Human bodies are made of flesh, blood, and water (up to 60%, to be exact). In order to function properly, every organ in your body needs water. That’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated. Your body uses water to maintain temperature, lubricate joints, and remove waste.
If you’re wondering how much water is enough during the day, it is important to remember that, because every person is different, and everyone’s hydration needs will be different. It’s often said that, when you feel thirsty, you’re already in the dehydration state. But that doesn’t have to be true, because some people function properly by drinking only when they are thirsty. On the other hand, some people need eight or more glasses of water per day.
You might be tempted to take that cold red can out of the fridge and drink that fizzy dark drink, but think twice. One can of soda usually contains over 35 grams of sugar. Instead, try keeping a bottle of water nearby, and don’t wait to feel thirsty to drink it. Take a few sips every 15 minutes. Remember, there is water in fruits and veggies, as well. Make sure to up your fruit and veggie intake during the day to help you stay hydrated.