One of the most effective actions to take care of health and avoid COVID-19 infections is to stay at home. That is where we reduce interactions and neglect the importance of maintaining healthy habits that reinforce our immune, physical systems, emotional and mental.
Therefore, we recommended the habits to stay active and healthy at home. With the arrival of the pandemic, our habits drastically changed and with this, two quite different social positions have been evidenced: the first of disbelief and neglect of self-care measures, and the second of a tendency to extreme isolation.
To reduce risks, follow these main recommendations that will help you stay healthy and active during periods of quarantine or isolation at home.
Five tips to follow
1. Reduce or eliminate cigarette consumption
Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals that cause the deterioration of the respiratory system, of which around 70 are considered carcinogenic. Arsenic, benzene, lead, nicotine or formic aldehyde are ingredients that, added to a possible contagion of COVID-19, can generate devastating health effects.
Practice breathing control exercises, drink plenty of water and carry out your favorite activities to distract your mind when you have the urge to smoke. You can read, listen to music, make a video call to help you reduce smoking and live healthier.
2. Eat a healthy diet
We know that it is essential to maintain a complete diet rich in fruits, vegetables and proteins because they strengthen the immune system and its ability to fight the development of diseases. It is important to reduce carbohydrates a little, which, although they provide energy, are not beneficial for the organism.
The experts assure that the diet does not cure the infection by coronavirus or any other virus. However, some nutrients contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system. They are copper, folates, iron, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. This translates into a complete and varied diet that includes at least three servings of fruit a day and two vegetables.
In that order of ideas, adopting a healthy diet during the pandemic is key since what you eat determines your body’s ability to prevent, defend itself or recover from diseases, including that generated by COVID-19.
Limiting excessive salt, sugar or alcohol consumption, consuming moderate amounts of fats or oils, and staying well hydrated, especially drinking water, are part of the healthy habits that translate into general well-being.
As for foods of animal origin, they encourage maintaining a moderate consumption, limiting red meat once a week and avoiding the consumption of sausages, cold cuts and fatty meats of any animal. There are methods such as batch cooking in order not to go crazy in the kitchen with planning healthy menus.
3. Get exercise or mild physical activity at home
It is likely that during COVID-19 quarantines, activities such as telecommuting have promoted sitting for much longer than usual. This habit is added to those who do not have the habit of exercising, which is not highly recommended for health.
It is important to keep the body active during the day, taking active breaks. Some simple stretching in just 5 minutes contributes considerably to physical well-being, stimulates circulation, relaxes muscles, allows the eyes to rest from the wear and tear that it generates the light from the screens and keeps you alert and in good spirits.
Now, proposing to do regular exercise with some basic elements brings innumerable benefits for physical and mental health such as: reducing the risk of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular accidents and diseases of the heart, among others, that increase the possibility of getting worse in case of contracting COVID-19. On the web, you will find thousands of free tutorials videos to exercise at home.
Exercise also strengthens muscles, bones, provides balance, physical fitness and reduces the risk of depression that confinement can generate and, on the contrary, helps to improve general mood.
Taking a break from today and the outlook for the near future is healthy and necessary to maintain balance. And the most effective tool for reconnecting is meditation. It can help reduce anxiety, stress and physiological over-activation resulting from being confined at home. Small and closed spaces generate more stress than wide and open spaces. However, it proposes very short guided meditations (5 minutes) or with an app of proven quality for those who want to enter it.
4. Take care of your mental health and ask for help
The Ministry of Health has the strategy ‘Speak it, do it for your mental health’, which seeks to sensitize citizens about the importance of talking about their emotions, feelings, problems and conflicts, even more so in times of a COVID-19 pandemic, that has brought feelings of fear and uncertainty and decreased physical contact with family, friends or colleagues.
As for help if you need any help. You will be able to receive orientation and mental health care services. Prepared and willing professionals will be ready to listen and guide those experiencing adverse situations, anxiety, depression, domestic violence, repetitive negative thoughts, and others.
5. Set some leisure time
Home leisure plans also have their appeal. Take hold of your memory and remember all that you do as a family to have fun when the weather is not good. It is time to rescue board games, catch up on good movies, read books, paint, color, do hobbies, play dress-up, movies, and all that for which we usually do not have so much time.
An idea for home theater? Have the kids draw, color and cut out the entries. Prepare a healthy snack with fruit skewers, that cake you have cooked before, homemade popcorn, water, yogurt and fruit smoothies. Dress up as if you were going to the movies and stay in the living room at the agreed time. Silence your mobiles and get set.
Take advantage of new technologies not only to telecommute. Organize a virtual meeting with family and friends to see each other’s faces. Virtual libraries, online books, guided visits to museums around the world, concerts and streaming music, cultural entertainment also offers you many possibilities without having to set foot on the street; take advantage of them.
Now it is time to adopt habits such as getting up or going to bed at the same time every day, exercising, eating healthy. Also, do not neglect personal hygiene, establish work and rest hours, set aside time to do the things you like and establish contact with your loved ones.