The COVID-19 Pandemic has prompted us to adopt newer ways of living by making changes in our sedentary lifestyle; thereby shifting towards healthier alternatives.
|| Rhythima Agrawal
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lifestyle practices in a way, no one anticipated. Yes, it is true that a healthy lifestyle will be a new way of life because the pandemic has made people more conscious of their food habits. People have become mindful of what they are consuming, how they are consuming and if it is healthy or not. The ongoing pandemic has confined us to our comfort zones; affecting our mental and physical health. There exists a direct relationship between diet, physical activity, and health. Nutrition becomes a key element when it comes to physical, mental, and social well-being.
A sedentary lifestyle is usually associated with an increased risk for chronic disease, loss of movement, and decreased immune health. For those reasons, physical activity is essential during the coronavirus pandemic. Gyms and various places of fitness have been closed. So, how to stay fit and healthy, amidst following the necessary protocols of COVID-19?
Here are some tips which you can follow to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
- Physical activity: The gyms may not be open. However, there are other safe alternatives available for physical activity which can be adopted while practicing social distancing. Aerobics can be done successfully at home. Going for a brisk walk or a jog within the four corners of your house is safe. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, burpees are some exercises which can be performed easily at home.
- Adequate sleep: Good sleep is essential for our overall health. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that inadequate sleep anxiety, depression, mood swings and increases the risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases. The Centre for Diseases Prevention, a branch of the U.S. Public Health Service, recommends that adults aged between 18-60 years should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night.
- Diet and nutrition: It is said that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. So, diet and nutrition also play an important role in ensuring a healthy body. Practicing self-discipline by refraining from emotional eating due to stress is one of the ways of having a healthy and happy body. The Centre for Disease Prevention recommends whole foods like dark, leafy greens, oranges and tomatoes and fresh herbs because they contain essential nutrients like vitamins, fibre and minerals. Instead of processed snacks or fast food, try including whole grains and green vegetables in your diet.
- Stay connected: The pandemic has taught us the true meaning of a family. Talking with loved ones while in isolation can help reduce the anxiety and loneliness. There are multiple video calling apps available in the market to help you stay in touch with your loved ones. So, utilize your time to build new relationships and also connect with those friends or family members, which you could not talk to because of your hectic work schedule.
- Cope with stress and anxiety: Virtual offices have become an in-thing in the pandemic, which has lead to high levels of stress and sleep disorders. The best way to deal with stress and anxiety issues is through a hobby. Take out time for your favourite hobby, like reading books, cooking your favourite food or listening to music. Research has shown that devoting time to extra-curricular activities can reduce the stress levels and related mental health issues.
- Self-care: If you have medications prescribed for any condition, be sure to take them as directed by your doctor. Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma and many others can be kept in check with the help of prescribed medicines. If required, do reach out to your doctor. In the age of COVID-19, teleconsulting apps like Practo, DocsApp, MFine and Aayu are available through which you can consult a doctor at odd hours as well.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has confined us to our homes. Still, it has given a chance to stay fit and healthy while following the necessary guidelines like maintaining social distance and using a mask and sanitizer when entering crowded places. Indeed, the grass is always greener on the other side, i.e. the pandemic has become an escape mechanism for many of us to shun our healthy lifestyle. Instead, the pandemic should be seen as an opportunity to search for better ways of improving our lifestyle.