The good old days… , strolling down your driveway to wave at a neighbor and perhaps share in some gossip, meeting your friends at the local sushi restaurant for a bite to eat… we miss that, don’t we? Self-isolation and quarantine can be really tough on our minds, hearts, and bodies. We tend to see things differently and we may even start to become down-hearted, feel less energetic, and, in general, we may start forgetting what it means to stay healthy in mind, body, and soul. In fact, some of you reading this might be avoiding the scales like a plague because tucking into a bag of chips has now replaced your regular walk! Don’t worry – this is much more common than you think. So, we’re writing to share some thoughts on how to stay healthy and active during these unprecedented times, not only for your mental wellbeing, but for your muscles, heart, immune system, and general physical health, too.
The key is to stay positive and to follow through on the decisions you make for your health. Remember, this too shall pass, and if we can get through this having seen to the health of ourselves and those around us, then we’ll have come out much stronger than before we started. In lieu of this, we’d like to offer you some tips to make this undertaking a smooth one and, where possible, to offer you support in those areas of your life you may feel that you’re losing your grip on slightly.
Sleep, Wonderful Sleep!
Have you found yourself tossing and turning, waking up at strange times, or struggling to fall asleep altogether? This isn’t that unusual. Because many of us now find ourselves surrounded by the same people, the same environments, and immersed in the same routines, our bodies are struggling to find outlets for the energy we’re accumulating (yes, because of the chips). It’s essential that sleep patterns are structured so as to be regular and at the same time each night. This way, then, we’re able to instill a strict routine, thus allowing our bodies to find a healthy rhythm once more. Sleeping soundly is invaluable when it comes to maintaining your physical and mental health; without it, we’d be practically incapacitated and every aspect of our wellbeing would take a sharp downturn.
It’s easy to consume a lot more sugar in self isolation, right? Why? Well, the simple answer is that sugar both tastes good and makes us feel happy, albeit for a short amount of time. In fact, we love sugar so much that we sometimes just can’t get enough – from sugary soda, to cakes, to cereals, and even to pasta sauces. This stuff is actually extremely addictive! The endorphins produced by sugar allow us to escape from the dreary reality of a COVID-19 outbreak for a few precious seconds, only to be followed by a sugar crash and a craving for more. And aside from the crashing, sugar is actually very, very bad for our health. It can cause anything from diabetes, to obesity, and even cancer, not to mention that it can fling you into a roller-coaster of mood changes and mental acrobatics. The outcome really doesn’t outweigh the risks. It’s time to cut it out of your diet, especially now that your activity levels have decreased significantly. Try incorporating more fruit and vegetables into your diet, so as to maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. Drink enough water and make sure that you’re aware of what your body is telling you.
Chances are the TV has overtaken your time in the sun. Hey… just because you can’t saunter around the park doesn’t mean you can’t do a lap or two around the block, right? Making sure you get some sunshine is pivotal in turning the tide against mood swings. Vitamin D, gained from spending some time in the sun, is a key ingredient in a healthy lifestyle. So, it’s time to grab your shades and hat and head on out to the open air – remember, though, stay 6 feet away from those you pass and always be mindful of what you touch and whom you encounter. Have fun!
Keep Active at Home
Do not let self-isolation fling you into a sedentary lifestyle. Doing little to no physical activity will result in problems down the line: from stiff muscles, injuries, and pain, through to weight gain and consequent depression. Being at home does not mean your physical health needs to suffer. Why not do home workouts – the amount of these now out on YouTube is more than ever, and there is a whole community trying to get fit just as you are. Why not join them? If that doesn’t quite strike your fancy, why not go for a walk or set up a regular time for yoga or Pilates? If you’re working from home – at a desk or sofa – make sure you get up regularly. Walk and stretch as much as possible. And keep hydrated. When this is over, you’ll be thankful you took care of your body in a way that will prepare you for jumping straight back into the saddle of a life working from an office or on the road.
During this time, it’s absolutely vital that you keep active, keep moving, and ingest the nutrients needed to sustain mental and physical health. All of the above steps aim to help you avoid pain and heartache down the road. Looking at your computer, the TV, or your mobile phone for hours on end will do you no favors: get out, keep active, and ensure that you’re strong and healthy at all times. You need this, not only for you, but for those you love. We owe it to ourselves to ensure that we provide ourselves – and loved ones – with the care we need, especially now
If you’re having problems sticking to a productive, healthful routine, are feeling any sort of pain, or just need advice on where to start, why not give one of our professional, hands-on physical therapists a call, today? Or better yet, why not schedule your very own online consultation? We’re here to help and to provide you with the answers you need. Thanks to technology, we can help you from the comfort of your home, whilst still providing quality care. Don’t let pain or doubts hold you back from making the most of self-isolation; call us today for a helping hand.
Until then, we hope you enjoyed these tips. Stay safe, stay active, and keep on making healthy choices!
Dr. Jack Wong
Leading Physical Therapist In The Kingwood Area