How to Ensure Physical & Mental Health amidst the COVID-19 Lockdown?
- The entire world is struggling to deal with coronavirus and facing multiple economical and health challenges.
- The latter holds immense importance since it is our health only that gets affected by the coronavirus directly. To protect us against this pandemic, the government has asked us to stay at home!
- This will surely save us from coronavirus, but we may fall prey to other health issues while staying indoors for long.
- So, let us discuss in detail as to what exactly they are and how we need to take care of the same.
Top 3 Health Issues at Home
1. Physical Health
- Due to the lockdown, most of us are at home, with no physical movements. This makes physical exercise a must for every individual since no physical movement paves the way for many diseases, along with increased susceptibility to COVID-19.
- We might not be able to exercise the way we used to at gyms or public parks, but we can definitely make use of the best home workout techniques, explains WHO’s Be Active campaign.
- Even the minutest of physical movements like stretching or walking for 3-4 minutes can help improve muscle activity and blood circulation. When you do it regularly; it will benefit both your mind as well as the body, help manage your weight, reduce risk of a stroke, cancers, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
- In the elderly, it not only strengthens muscles and bone but makes them more flexible and balanced, reducing their risk of injuries and falls.
Recommended Physical Activity as per the Age Group
Parents need to take extra care of their children during the corona lockdown through communication and playing with them to keep their corona fear at bay. As per WHO, the following are the physical activity recommendations for different age groups:
Infants below the age of 1 year
- Every infant needs to be physically active for multiple times in a day.
- For infants not yet mobile, include floor-based play and a minimum of half-hour in the prone position (feed time).
Children below the age of 5 years
- A minimum of 3 hours of physical activity.
- A minimum of 1 hour of physical activity for 3-4-year-old children.
Adolescents/Children between the ages of 5-17 years
- A minimum of 1 hour of physical activity (moderate to vigorous-intensity).
- This must include activities that strengthen bone and muscle (at least 3 days/week).
Adults above the age of 18 years
- At least 75 minutes of physical activity (vigorous level) or 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity/week (moderate level)
- Adults should increase their physical activity (moderate level) to 5 hours/week for additional health benefits.
- Adults should do muscle-strengthening activities to develop and maintain musculoskeletal health and major muscle groups for 2 or more days/week.
- Older adults with poor mobility must perform physical activities to improve balance and prevent falls for 3 or more days/week.
2. Eating Well
- None of us can be completely safe against coronavirus until a vaccine is found. However, we can eat right and strengthen the immune system that can help us fight the virus efficiently.
- A healthy diet is not just necessary for coronavirus but to aid our physical and mental health, along with reducing our chronic illness risks such as anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more.
- One need not follow a specific diet but consume a balanced diet that comprises essential protein, healthy fats, minerals (selenium, zinc, and iron), vitamins (A, B, C, D, and E), complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains, vegetables, and Fiber in fruit.
3. Mental Health
COVID-19 has changed everything for us; from the way we work to the way we live. Adapting to new lifestyle changes like working from home, staying indoors, a lack of physical contact with friends and other family members, etc., along with the fear of contracting the virus, has elevated our stress levels like never before. This makes taking care of our mental health extremely important.
Top 10 Tips for Mental and Overall Well-Being
1. Stay informed: Listen to health recommendations and advice from local, national, and international authorities like WHO and follow only trusted news channels.
2. Maintain a routine: Maintain daily routines as much as you can or adopt new ones that focus on the following:
- Following the same time to sleep and get up
- Taking care of your personal hygiene
- Allocating time for rest and work
- Eating healthy meals regularly
- Exercising regularly
- Making time for things you like doing
3. Minimize news feeds: Limit your exposure to news feeds as the more you listen or read, the more you are likely to feel distressed or anxious.
4. Maintain social contact through phones and the internet to stay connected to your loved ones.
5. Limit or avoid alcohol and drug use to stay healthy against coronavirus and in senses to follow hand hygiene practices.
6. Limit screen time/playing video games as it affects eyesight and leads to headaches and other problems.
7. Use social media wisely by promoting hopeful and positive stories, along with correcting any misinformation.
8. Help people in the form of food, shopping, and other support you can offer to people.
9. Support health workers by thanking them online or through your community.
10. If you are elderly, make sure you take medicines regularly, and place an order for the same in advance.
- Staying home in the lockdown for a long duration is surely challenging, but this is the only way to protect ourselves from coronavirus.
- We might stay safe against COVID-19 staying indoors, but we need to take care of our physical as well as mental health by eating right, exercising regularly, and indulging in activities that take our mental stress away and set aside those that increase our stress levels.
- So, let’s get strong to fight and win the coronavirus battle!
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