The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has infected 1,862,244 and killed 114,980 people worldwide. Naturally, this a time of collective anxiety and stress for the entire world, and there is still no certainty about the future. While some countries are beginning to flatten the curve after months of lockdown, reports of recovered patients testing positive again is a worrying sign.
In times like these, it is natural to turn to things that provide us comfort. This could mean sleeping in longer, binge-watching episode after episode, eating ice cream straight out of the tub and skipping working out altogether. And while it is completely okay to self-soothe from time to time, there has also never been a more important time for us to be in the pink of our health.
Since we're dealing with a highly infectious virus that severely affects people with compromised immune systems, eating junk and skipping exercise isn't the best thing for you right now. So how do you stay healthy when you're confined to the four walls of your house? We're here to help you with that.
Sure, scarfing down an entire bag of chips might seem tempting when you're constantly stressed about the future, but maintaining a wholesome, healthy diet is the best option for you right now. Don't focus too much on calories or starving yourself--you don't need to lose weight, you just need to keep your body healthy. This includes feeding yourself a balanced diet that includes protein, complex carbs, minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats. Pro tip: if you get bored of your food, find ways to make it interesting by trying a new recipe at every meal! It'll keep your mind engaged and your body healthy.
Exercise is extremely important for you during this time because it keeps you fit and boosts your immunity. However, with gyms and yoga studios temporarily shut, it can be hard to find the motivation to work out without an instructor guiding you and your peers cheering you on. Our advice? Start small. Try to move yourself for at least 30 minutes thrice a week--this could include yoga, aerobics or on-the-spot jogging. When you're back in the game, feel free to increase the intensity and time.
This one is probably a no-brainer and applied to pre-corona times when our lives functioned normally, but remember to consume at least two litres of water every day. Drinking water not only keeps your full for long (we've all mistaken thirst for hunger at some point), but drinking water also aids digestion, boosts metabolism and helps flush toxins from your body. If you're bored of drinking plain water, try squeezing in a lemon or infusing some fruit in it. Natural, unsweetened fruit juices also count towards your water intake. And remember, dehydration can have a severe effect on your health, and can even be fatal in some cases. So keep sipping!
While people continue to post pictures of their banana bread on Instagram, it is important to remind yourself that this is a pandemic, not a holiday. So don't pressurise yourself to do more 'productive things' with your time while juggling a full-time job. Just like you dedicate specific hours for working, we'd suggest you put aside some time every day for yourself to enjoy doing things that you love. This could include meditation, journaling, painting, knitting, dancing or cooking. It is very important to make time for ourselves!
While you'd think working from home would mean catching up on lost sleep, it's also very easy to slide down the slippery slope of 'next episode' all night. However, getting an adequate amount of quality sleep is very important during these trying times. This is because sleep enables the body to repair and get ready for another day. Getting adequate rest may also help prevent excess weight gain, heart disease, and increased illness duration. To make sure you get a good night's rest, maintain a regular sleep schedule, limit caffeine and alcohol intake, exercise regularly and keep electronics at bay at least half an hour before you fall asleep.
Now that you know how to keep yourself healthy and fit during the lockdown, it is also important to remember to be kind to yourself and others. Having a bad day? Don't feel guilty about helping yourself to a cookie or two. Instead of depriving yourself of things that comfort you, eat in moderation. And if you find yourself feeling too overwhelmed, don't hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional online or over the phone. You'll get through this!
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