The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives. Currently, many countries are encouraging their citizens to limit their movements to curb the spread of the virus.
While we are practising social distancing, it is very vital to think and care for our health. To stay healthy in this critical period, here are five things we must do:
#1: Eat Healthy Foods
One of the ways to stay healthy this period is to consume nutritious foods.
To ensure that you and your family eat healthy foods, you have to plan your meals. You can do this by visualising what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner or you can create a food timetable (packed with healthy food options). This way, you have control over what you eat and you can ensure that healthy meal options are featured on your plate.
Healthy food options such as vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans, eggs, meat and fruits should be considered when planning or preparing meals. Remember to wash your hands before preparing foods or before eating.
#2: Boost Your Immune System
You are what you eat and the food you eat has an impact on your immune system.
As much as you protect yourself from the virus on the outside, you should also consider foods that strengthen your immune system on the inside. Aim for fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, lean meat and foods rich in vitamin C that will support your immune system.
In addition to this, it is important to take care of your gut microbiota (the microorganisms living in our intestines). This is because a healthy gut helps build a defense against infectious pathogens (bacteria, virus and other microorganisms that cause disease) like the Coronavirus and other dangerous infections. Foods that improve gut health include yoghurt and cheese. Stay away from alcohol, sweets and sugary drinks.
#3: Prevent Weight Gain
The temptation to reach out for that sugary snack or fizzy drink is high during this quarantine period. This is because many people are bored, stressed and anxious. This precipitates a desire to reach out for ‘comfort’ foods.
But rather than give in to sweets, cookies, and snacks, choose healthier options like nuts, dried fruits, unsweetened yoghurt and boiled eggs. These options are filling and more nutritious.
You can also help yourself by limiting snacking in between meals and sticking to time for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Remember, the goal is to remain healthy at all times.
#4: Stay Fit
Staying at home this season translates to less physical activity.
Since many of us are working from home, it is imperative to carry out some form of physical activity to ensure we remain fit. Take breaks in between tasks to stretch and exercise your muscles. You can be creative with the furniture in your home to carry out certain exercise routines. Also, endeavour to take walks within your house, do sit-ups, squats and planks to improve muscle health.
#5: Think Positive
Mental health is as important as physical health. This period, it is easy to panic and become anxious as more cases are being reported in the news.
To keep your mental health, you should learn to stay calm, maintain a positive mindset, engage in fun activities to manage boredom, do yoga or any other meditative activity and stay in touch with family and friends (virtually, of course).
In this season, action definitely speaks louder than words. So, knowing that you have to be healthy is not enough. You must practice proper nutrition, drink lots of water, avoid sugary drinks, endeavour to keep fit and think positive thoughts.
These activities are useful for staying healthy in the season of COVID -19 and indeed, beyond.
Eneh Veronica Ejembi is a digital content professional and public relations executive.