Though vaccines are now being mass-produced and administered, some start to slack when it comes to focusing on their health. Vaccines can help protect us, but they do not guarantee 100% immunity. That is why we should put extreme importance on maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle. Now that you are spending more time at home, you can use this opportunity to start devising a plan on how you can further improve your overall health and well-being. Try starting with the following:
Our regular visit to the fitness center and outdoor walk in the morning are some routines that were disrupted by the ongoing lockdown. Many find it hard to continue their usual exercise because they do not have the same equipment that they use in the gym. However, the lack of daily exercise has many negative side effects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lack of adequate physical activity can lead to illnesses, such as obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, as well as type 2 diabetes. Not exercising also causes bone and muscle weakness, which can lead to serious illness as you age.
To help your physical body, experts say that you need to engage in some form of physical activity once or twice a day for approximately 30 to 90 minutes. You do not need to have special equipment to exercise at home. If you still cannot jog or walk outside, you can start by going up and down your stairs or walking briskly around your garden or backyard. You can also do jumping jacks, sit-ups, planking, and side bends.
Eat Nutritious Foods:
The pandemic caused fear worldwide, and the idea of running out of supplies caused many to hoard non-perishable foods that can be stored for a long time. Canned goods have been the go-to items of many. But in reality, these types of food are often unhealthy. Studies show that bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in canned packaging, can migrate from the can to the food itself. Ingesting high amounts of BPA can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Many find it hard to buy fresh produce because most markets are still closed because of the lockdown. However, the fruits, vegetables, and meat you see in the supermarket are as good as what you can get from local butchers and farmers’ markets. Though they are perishable, there are still ways for you to extend their shelf life. Make a conscious choice to cook fresh and nutritious foods instead of turning to canned goods or instant-cook items.
Pay Attention to Your Body:
Excessive weight gain has become common since the lockdown began. Aside from eating unhealthy foods, many are at risk of obesity because they turn to eat as a way to cope with the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. As mentioned above, the two main things that you can do to prevent this from happening are to exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet. You can also stock up on fresh foods like leafy greens and fruits that can boost your immune system.
If you are older or near your senior years, you will also notice body changes, such as weakness of bones and muscles. Though these are normal changes, you can still help your body by taking in calcium-rich foods like milk and dairy. Hair loss is also common for older people and younger adults that are experiencing high levels of stress. Since salons are not yet open in many places, you can give yourself DIY or chemical-free hair treatment solutions right in your home.
Get Enough Sleep at Night:
Some adults find it hard to sleep at night because of the anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic. But time and time again, our doctors advise us to get adequate sleep at night because it is the time when our bodies repair and recharge. You are also giving your brain the chance to rest and function correctly the next day. Generally speaking, humans need to have at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night, but this still changes depending on one’s age:
- Newborn 0-3 months: 14 to 17 hours
- Infant 4-11 months: 12 to 15 hours
- Toddler 1-2 years: 11 to 14 hours
- Preschool 3-5 years: 10 to 13 hours
- School-age 6-13 years: 9 to 11 hours
- Teen 14-17 years: 8 to 10 hours
- Young adult 18-25 years: 7 to 9 hours
- Adult 26-64 years: 7 to 9 hours
- Older adult 65 years and older: 7 to 8 hours
Living in a world threatened by a deadly virus is not an easy thing to do. Many are trying their best to adapt to the new normal, especially when it comes to their way of life. If you are struggling to find your footing, know that it is a process and you are not alone. Soon enough, you’ll be able to find effective ways to stay fit and healthy while living amidst a pandemic.