Covid 19: Staying Healthy During The Lockdown

We’ve now been confined to our homes for over eight weeks, and for many, spending so much time within four walls is taking a mental and physical toll.

Whilst there is light on the horizon, most of us are likely to continue to remain at home for the foreseeable future.

Below, we provide four simple tips that can help pass the time more pleasurably, keeping you fitter and healthier at the same time.

Establish Structure

The once militaristic structure of our daily routine has dissolved. We no longer need to manage the morning commute, be in the office by 9am, or fit in a gym session at lunch. There are no work socials, or friend socials, or socials of any other kind.

As we’re not subject to the same time pressures, we tend to spend more time doing the things we used to do. The lack of a daily routine can lead to procrastination and lethargy, which can result in us adopting bad habits, make us less motivated and lower mood.

We should strive to establish a daily routine to keep the discipline in our lives. This should help with what were previously sub-conscious decisions, when to wake-up, when to eat, when to go to bed. Allocating the daily tasks around these pillars should make us more efficient, give us a greater sense of personal fulfilment, and improve our mood.

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The first thing to remember is that almost all exercise is good for us. There is overwhelming evidence that exercise has significant health benefits, which include lowering the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, depression and dementia. Exercise is effective at weight loss and has been shown to reduce aging and improve sleep quality.

We should aim to do a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise daily. The Government’s revised guidelines (“Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives”) allow for unlimited exercise outdoors, so a burst of exercise can be preceded or proceeded by an outdoor warm-up or warm-down walk. Alternatively, you can exercise indoors, and work out to popular instructors such as Joe Wicks.

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Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. A good diet can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and promote overall health.

However, with more time at home, and less to entertain us, many of us are relapsing and neglecting our healthy eating with fatty and sugary foods and an overconsumption of alcohol.

Indeed, it has been widely reported that supermarkets are reporting much higher sales of alcohol. So as not to be tempted, try buying less alcohol as having less in the house will reduce the amount you consume. Other tips include drinking with meals, using smaller glasses and designating alcohol-free days during the week.

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Mental Health 

Being at home for long periods, potentially alone, can take a definite toll on mental health. It’s not natural being isolated for extended periods, sometimes with little to divert attention away from the negative news stories of Covid-19.

It’s important to try to remain upbeat during this time. Building structure into the day, a healthy diet, and exercise can all have a positive contribution. It’s also important to maintain social contact and keep in regular dialogue with friends and family.

The Government’s relaxed lockdown measures mean we can now do an infinite amount of exercise outdoors, and can meet single friends and members of extended family, provided we maintain social distancing. We should make the most of this new freedom. Also, don’t forget, there are plenty of social apps such as HouseParty which can link you up to others digitally when in the home.

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