Health 30th Apr 2020

Staying Healthy At Home!

Staying Healthy At Home!

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us in ways that we have never experienced before. It has changed the way we work, live and interact with others. With so many of us staying home, it is important to point out some of the things we can do to maintain our physical and mental health during this time.

These are five of the keys to wellness that we are sharing with our Noble Naturopathic patients during this difficult time.

1. Take care of your diet

Taking the time to prepare healthy meals can be challenging during times of stress. Many of us may find that we are reaching for junk food to help us cope. The effort to make healthy meals is worth it though; good food boosts immunity and makes us feel well. Here are some tips to help us maintain a healthy relationship with food while we are at home.

  • Aim to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. This will help reduce cravings for junk food. Eat berries, for example, as they are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Choose veggies such as kale, Swiss chards, broccoli and peppers for their high nutritional content. Include whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, steel cut oats, and products made from whole grains. If you are a meat eater select lean proteins like grass-fed beef, fish, chicken, turkey and game. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians can enjoy a wide variety of lentils and beans or products made from these. Add healthy fats in the way of olive oil, avocados, coconut oil and various nuts and seeds or butters made from these.
  • Make sure to have regular meal times. Maintaining a normal schedule helps our bodies manage some of our stress.
  • Serve your food on a plate. Don’t eat straight out of boxes/bags as it is difficult to gauge how much you are having.
  • Chew your food well and take small bites. This will allow you to appreciate the food taste, texture and smell and will make you feel fuller.
  • Don’t eat in front of the TV or with other screen devices in front of you. It is easy to overeat when distracted.
  • Limit the amount of junk food and “hard to resist” foods that you bring into the house. 

2. Daily Exercise

Exercise helps our bodies in so many ways.

  • It helps us oxygenate our cells and improve cardiovascular health.
  • It helps us decrease anxiety and stress (especially important during COVID).
  • It helps our muscles and bones stay strong.
  • It benefits our immune system.
  • It helps our energy and sleep quality

During COVID, with so many of us staying at home, getting enough exercise can be challenging. Schedule time for it and aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

3. Quality Sleep

During COVID, with so many of us staying at home, getting enough exercise can be challenging. Schedule time for it and aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

Some examples for how to add exercise to your routine during COVID include:

  • Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time each day. Our bodies do better with regular rhythms
  • Turn off computers, tablets, phones and TV’s at least 90 min before going to bed. Read a book instead; practice meditation
  • Don’t drink caffeinated beverages past 3pm
  • Make sure to get your 30 minutes of exercise daily
  • Sleep in a dark room – this helps your melatonin production
  • Drink an infusion of relaxing herbs an hour before bed, ie, chamomile, skullcap
  • If falling asleep is a problem, a melatonin supplement can be helpful
  • Consider adrenal support supplements

4. Stress reduction

Stress can have a negative impact on our immune systems. While at home during the pandemic it is important to find ways to deal with the stress from the uncertainty that this situation has brought about. To help you deal with stress practice the following:

  • Eat well, exercise and get a good night’s rest (see above recommendations)
  • Practice belly breathing and meditation
  • Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to the news, as this can create more worry and emotional upset
  • Call your friends and family to discuss your concerns and your emotional state
  • Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed
  • Once daily do something you really enjoy that you can do from home (ie, crossword puzzles, knitting, watch a favourite show, etc.)
  • Consider adrenal support supplements

5. Prevent infection & spread of COVID when you are out in the world

Having to dart out for groceries and supplies is a risk to becoming infected with COVID. It is really important for the safety of yourself and your family to follow the recommendations outlined by the BCCDC: link

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds – soap destroys the fat envelope that encases the virus
  • Maintain social distancing of 2m while in line ups and on the street
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Don’t share utensils or cups with family members
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissues if you have one
  • Disinfect counters, door handles, smart phones, keyboards
  • Go to the grocery store only once a week
  • Send one household member on errands to reduce the number of potential exposures

Stay safe, stay healthy!

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Dr. Ana Lopez ND

Partner

Noble Naturopathic

Book Appointment with Dr. Ana Lop ND

Disclaimer: If you are pregnant or suffer from any illness, please seek advice from your healthcare provider regarding safe exercise practices. This article is for information purposes only. Please seek medical advice and treatment in case of illness.