The pandemic sure has changed our daily routines in ways we never anticipated. Many of us are spending more time at home to minimize our risks of exposure. But, staying at home more can trigger temptations for unhealthy habits. For example, the temptation to junk food and order in meals is adding to our waistlines. Minimizing exposure to the virus by not going to the gym is making us lazy. And, isolation is affecting our mental health, too.
A day that may have previously included more physical activities like working out at the gym or simply taking more steps by going on errands and shopping for healthier groceries are now something that has risk and we are not doing as frequently…if at all.
With this lifestyle shift, many of us are living a more sedentary lifestyle. Hours of bingewatching television, sitting while reading a book for longer periods of time, or sitting in front of the computer all day is a new norm for some.
There is no doubt that COVID has had a drastic impact on our day-to-day routine, which is negatively affecting our overall health. We must stay proactive, and in some cases creative, to maintain an active lifestyle and remain positive in the era of social-distancing. So, here are some things we can do to stay active, while limiting our exposure:
- Maintain Aerobic Activity: Aerobics can be done anywhere and most successfully at home. How? Go for a brisk walk or jog outside in uncrowded area. This is still considered relatively safe. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping-jacks are exercises that can be easily done outside of the gym.
- Get Your Sleep: Good sleep is essential to our overall health! According to The National Institutes of Health (NIH), sleep is needed for your best health, immunity system and performance at work or play. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is at least 7 hours.
- Nutrition: Avoid “emotional eating” due to stress that may be related to the drastic changes brought on by the pandemic. Don’t change the good habits you had before it. Try to eat more whole nutritious foods instead of processed snacks or fast food. Read our blog here for more info on the best foods for good bone and joint health: https://www.orthoep.com/blog/eating-right-can-help-ease-pain-from-arthritis
- Don't Forget Self Care: Meditation, relaxation, quiet and quality time with family, personal care of yourself promotes overall wellness. Make time for self-care.
- Focus on Your Happy Home: This is a time to really enjoy the family unit! Play board games. Solve puzzles. Take a hike...many hiking spots are opened up again. Just remember when spending time outdoors only go to safe places where you can practice social distancing. Even clean the garage or basement and enjoy memories of trinkets found. Use this time of isolation to really enjoy being together.
- Maintain Healthcare: It is time for your flu shot. Don’t let the pandemic keep you from getting it again this year. Also, pay attention to your body. If you have pain or symptoms of illness, don’t skip the doctor. Take care of your medical needs as you did before COVID.
- Pay Attention to Your Mental Health: Remain positive. “This too shall pass.” Cope with stress and anxiety induced by this new normal with exercise, meditation, reading, further developing certain skills or hobbies etc. Use this time to increase your daily repetition in positive ways and you’ll be able to get through anything in the future!
- Check on Friends and Family: Talking with loved ones while in isolation can help reduce the anxiety and instances of feeling down for you and them! You may want to call even more frequently than before, especially with grandparents or elderly folks in your life who may feel even more isolated than you do.
In addition to these suggestions, first and foremost be sure to practice CDC guidelines on social distancing, quarantining, and the wearing of masks. Right now, this is your best way to remain healthy in these unprecedented times.