Top Tips For Staying Healthy In Isolation
1. Eat Well
With many restaurants turning into delivery services and stores stocking up with treats, it seems easier than ever to eat calorific and processed foods. Not only this, but it is natural to get that feeling of wanting to treat yourself during a lockdown, when you’re not able to do the things you normally would to reward yourself – such as seeing friends or family.
The problem with doing this too often is that it can have a hugely negative impact on your health.
On the other hand, a healthy, balanced diet can keep your immune system working well. If you don’t have great cooking skills, now is the perfect opportunity to learn with the extra time you may have on your hands. Use YouTube or recipe websites and cook up a storm.
In particular, try to get these immune-boosting foods into your diet:
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. These contain vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant.
- Red bell peppers. These are packed full of beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A.
- Broccoli. One of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, it’s supercharged with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
- Garlic. Adding a little to your meal gives you the immune-boosting power of the sulfur-containing compound allicin.
- Ginger. This helps sore throats and coughs, and can be made into a drink with warm water and lemon.
- Spinach. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, this increases the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
- Yoghurt. Plain, live yoghurt (not flavoured or sweetened) contains active cultures that help our immune system fight diseases.
A diet rich in a variety of fruit and vegetables will help your body fight off any nasty infections.
Use Your Food Cupboard
If you are self-isolating following symptoms or a diagnosis, visiting a food shop for fresh food may not be an option. Taking advantage of delivery services is great here, but try not to be tempted to go for ready-made food. You can still make nourishing, tasty meals from store cupboard essentials and long-life options. Look out for:
- Pulses, such as lentils
- Frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables
- Tinned fish
These will all last for a long time and keep you fit and healthy.
2. Stay Active
Gym is cancelled, exercise classes are cancelled, running clubs are cancelled.
It can be easy to just give up and spend the time resting.
In fact, it can be easy to convince yourself that it’s the right thing to do in the name of ‘self-care’.
This is a trap to avoid. Staying active is absolutely vital for your physical and mental health, and the best way to go about it is to make it a part of your daily routine. There are many options available to exercise at home.
Remember – exercising to stay fit and healthy is good for you, but setting yourself a goal about a look or weight that you want to achieve by the time isolation is over may not help, and may in fact increase the pressure on yourself and make you less likely to exercise.
Daily Exercise Time
If you are in an area where you can leave the house for a time to exercise, utilize it. Try to change your mindset to see this as a treat. There are plenty of things you could do – walking, running (there are lots of apps available to help you if you are just starting out) and cycling, if you have a bike. As well as giving you the general health benefits (such as increasing your strength and fitness), you’ll get a vitamin D boost from the sun. Vitamin D has many amazing properties – including preventing viruses from binding.
There have always been lots of workouts available to do at home – from Les Mills to Fitness Blender. As gyms and personal trainers have adapted to the changing times, there are now more than ever out there and many of them are free.
They can give you clever tips about using household items and your own body weight to build strength and fitness. Dance classes are a great way of burning up excess energy and calories without having to go outside.
Yoga has a huge number of benefits, including:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Improved respiration
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism
- Weight reduction
- Protection from injury
You don’t need any specialist equipment, apart from a yoga mat (which you could order online, or replace with a towel) and there are many free apps such as Asana Rebel which can help you get started. As ever, be realistic about your goals. Rather than downloading the app and saying to yourself that you want to be able to do a headstand by the time isolation is over, try to change your mindset to see your yoga practice as a treat. This is something you are doing just for you, and the process itself is what is healthy, rather than the end outcome.