Looking After Your Physical Health During Isolation
It’s important to stay in good health and look after your immune system so that if you do get sick, you’re giving your body the best chance to fight off any infection. Keeping in good physical health is also important to your mental health as they can closely affect each other. Look after these five areas of your physical health and you’ll be off to a good start.
Maintaining a healthy water intake is essential for our bodies to function properly. Aim for round 8 glasses a day as a guideline, however as you get older your body may store less water, so adjust this to your own body’s needs. You don’t have to just stick to water, you can substitute fruit juice, tea, milk and even eating more fruits and vegetables that are high in water content, such as cucumber and tomato.
Regardless of age, most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, as we get older our sleeping patterns can change and increased health issues can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night, why not try a podcast or app to help you drift off? Popular apps like Calm and Headspace offer guided meditations and stories, and there are plenty of apps that offer white noise, rain sounds and other relaxing soundtracks to help you drift off. Just search ‘rain sounds’ or ‘white noise’ on your app store. You can also search on Amazon for CD versions if you prefer. If your health concerns are seriously impacting your sleep, you should always seek medical advice.
Self-isolation can make it hard to eat the way you normally would. If you can, ask a family member, carer or friend to buy your groceries for you or use a home delivery service from the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Asda. Many local shops are offering home delivery during this time as well, it could be worth ringing up to ask. If you can, try and eat plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables, and lots of leafy greens. Consider taking vitamin supplements if you don’t already. Vitamins C and D help to support a healthy immune system and are available in easy to use oral sprays. However, vitamins should only be a supplement to a good diet and not a replacement. It is always best to get the nutrients you need from fresh food.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean running 5k every morning or lifting weights. Gentle exercise is just as beneficial in many ways. Daily stretching, walking and even housework can all get your blood pumping and help you to stay healthy. There are endless videos on YouTube that you can follow along from the comfort of your living room, try searching for ‘chair exercises’ or ‘gentle yoga’ for a start. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself beyond what you’re comfortable with, the goal is to stay healthy and not to create new injuries. If you’re capable, try and get out for a small walk each day, even if it’s just round the garden, as it will also do wonders for your mental health.
It’s crucially important during this time to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Make sure to do so after you’ve handled any letters or parcels that come through the post and after putting away groceries that have been delivered to you. If you order any takeaway food, try to transfer it to a clean plate immediately, dispose of the packaging and wash your hands before eating. Increased cleanliness should also extend to your home, including regularly disinfecting door handles, light switches and sink taps, and washing your hands after touching your wheelie bins and recycling boxes or anything else that people outside your household have been in contact with.