You know to wash your hands often, avoid touching your face and practice social distancing (hello #elbowbump), but what practical tips can you take to stay healthy and boost your own wellness during this COVID19 outbreak - and the flu season to come?
Advice from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) suggests amping up your regular healthy habits, especially for those who are not sick (but might be making themselves sick with anxiety, worrying about catching coronavirus - or caring for sick kids or husbands!).
FIVE PRACTICAL TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY DURING COVID-19
1. TAKE A MEDIA BREAK
If you’re approaching COVID-19 Overload, the first practical tip is to take a break from social media or watching news stories about the outbreak. More of a mental health than physical health tip, taking a break can be the best thing you can do to calm yourself and get some perspective. The constant news updates and social posts can amplify anxiety, so switch off.
Turn the TV off, put the phone down, and try these Five Home Exercises You Should Absolutely Be Doing.
2. EAT NUTRITIOUS, WELL BALANCED MEALS
Queensland Health recommends maintaining your healthy habits for every day, not just in this manic phase when we’re stockpiling toilet paper and glaring suspiciously at anyone who coughs in the gym.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet gives your body the nutrients it needs to functional optimally, whether you’re sick or not. You’ll be reading all about ‘immune boosting superfoods that fight COVID-19’ in the weeks ahead, but all you really need to know is this: a well balanced diet that prioritises vegetables and fruit, minimises sugar and trans fats and ensures adequate intake of protein and health fats is your best bet - throughout life, not just right now.
Give your gut plenty of nutritional diversity and fibre to keep it happy and healthy - your gut is a powerhouse of immune protection. Eat a broad diet rich in micronutrients and don’t let the thought of cancelled travel plans or not being able to go to your regular gym sesh let you slide back into “so what, may as well eat that tub of ice-cream” thinking.
Need some healthy eating inspo? Check out our anti-inflammatory Golden Latte recipe with turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.
3. SLEEP MORE
Listen, we love sleep as much as the next girl. But did you know sleep can contribute to your immune status? Even more reason to ditch the Netflix and get your ass to bed early, sister.
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that people who who sleep six hours a night or less are FOUR TIMES more likely to catch a cold when exposed to the virus, compared to those who clocked up more than seven hours’ sleep.
Can’t sleep? Tossing and turning all night? Check out our practical tips for nailing naptime so you’ll jump outta bed in the morning.
4. MOVE YOUR BODY
Exercise regularly, take deep breaths, stretch and meditate - the CDC recommends practicing self-care, which will boost your overall wellness, and help to manage those stress levels. Dr Randall Stafford, Professor of Medicine from Stanford University says maintaining or improving your fitness level can ‘reduce the risk of viral infection and even the chances of severe COVID-19 complications’ and recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
How can exercise help boost immunity? Moderate exercise stimulates circulation, bringing oxygen and nutrients to your skin and clearing your pores (#glowgirl). Meanwhile, it helps remove toxins and wastes from your bod. You’ll also release serotonin and endorphins, helping to manage those stress levels and ease anxiety. Just be sure to rehydrate, wipe down all equipment before and after use, and avoid touching your face.
5. DON'T GO TOO HARD
Psst . . . if a little exercise is good, more is not necessarily better. Don’t be tempted to smash yourself to a sweaty mess in a bid to ward off COVID19 - or any other illness for that matter. Research shows that exercise temporarily suppresses immune response immediately afterwards - and the longer or more intense the exercise, the longer the period of temporary immunosuppression. Moderate exercise is the go - just like the workouts in THE BOD app.
A media break coupled with a workout from THE BOD to get your sweat on and amp up your body confidence? That’s something anyone can do, right now, from anywhere.
So keep calm and carry on . . . doing your workouts, eating your greens and getting those zzzs.