We’re all spending a lot more time at home these days. While some of us are relishing the time with our families, others are aimlessly going about their day feeling lost and unproductive. Unfortunately, a lack of schedule and routine can lead to unhealthy habits such as skipping meals (or snacking all day), forgetting to take medications or supplements, not exercising, too much screen time, and disrupted sleep, which can make us more susceptible to getting sick. If this is you, please read on for some simple ways to stay healthy while at home.
- Stay Hydrated: Ensuring you’re getting enough water is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to stay healthy. Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate toxins and other bacteria that may cause illness.
- Stick to a routine: With so much out of our control these days, sticking to a daily routine can help us to feel more in control, make time for things that are important to us, and reduce our stress levels. Scheduling a set time to wake up, work, exercise, spend time with family, relax, sleep, schedule regular meals and snacks, and set times to take your medications and/or supplements will help you keep both your mental and physical health on track.
- Diet: Being home, bored and stressed can lead us to make poor dietary choices and reach for “comfort” foods. But a diet including too many processed, packaged, junk and fast foods can not only sap our energy, but also negatively affect our immunity. More and more studies have linked this type of diet with poor health, including compromised immunity. Stick with minimally processed whole foods rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and omega-3’s, and supplement where needed to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need for optimal health.
- Screen time: With more time spent at home, many of us are immersed in our devices. But too much blue light exposure can drastically interfere with sleep patterns, which as discussed below, can have a negative effect on our immune system. Give yourself at least 30 minutes of screen-free transition time before hitting the sack. Even better – make your bedroom a technology-free zone.
- Sleep: Sleep plays an important role in immunity. While you sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which are needed to fight infection. According to research, sleep is associated with a reduced infection risk, and can improve infection outcome and vaccination responses. Stick to a regular schedule for waking up and going to bed and try to avoid screen-time before bed as mentioned above.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercising regularly boosts blood flow, and circulates white blood cells through the body which can help protect the body against disease. Physical activity may also help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways which may reduce your chances of getting a cold, flu, or other illnesses. Your gym may be closed, but there are still plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your day. A simple walk, jog, bike ride or virtual workout are all great ways to stay active. If you work from home, get up from your desk each hour to either stretch or take a walk. Short bouts of exercise throughout the day can help to improve your overall physical activity level.
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(4) How Technology Impacts Sleep Quality. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sleep.org/articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/
(5) Team, B. (2018, November 8). The Mental Health Benefits Of Having A Daily Routine. Retrieved from https://www.blurtitout.org/2018/11/08/mental-health-benefits-routine/
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