The cases of COVID-19 spiking globally has changed many of our day-to-day routine. Social distancing policies has been put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus – this means most people will have to spend most of their time at home. Self-quarantine limits our exposure from getting physically exposed to crowded areas like restaurants, malls, schools, parks and even the gym.
But equally worryingly, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with a self-quarantine as it involves low level of physical movement due to more time being spent indoors. Keeping our body to stay physically fit and mentally healthy can be valuable tips to help us keep the spirits up and strengthen our immune system amid the COVID-19 crisis. The key question is how can we make this possible?
Exercise can help to contract diseases and help building the immune system stronger. By finding new ways to get physically active can improve our mental health and lift our mood even better- which may be common issue with the current pandemic.
Physical activities do not necessarily have to be sports. Activities such as gardening, sweeping and scrubbing the toilet can be taken into account as well. Physical activities are beneficial for our body and brain as it helps the release of chemicals in our brain, such as endorphins and serotonin. These chemicals are vital to boost our mood, reduces the risk of depression and risk of hypertension. In addition to alleviate our mood, physical activities also help to improve our immune system.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), adults over 18 years are suggested to perform 150-minute of average intensity physical activity and 75-minute of high intensity physical activity per week. These recommendations can still be achieved even at home, through muscle-strengthening activities, walking in small places and yoga.
2. Consume nutritious and unprocessed food
Practicing a healthy diet is very crucial during this critical time. The food and drinks we take in influences our body health as in to avoid, combat and heal from viral infections. Although we want to prevent ourselves from COVID-19, no miracle foods or dietary supplements can inhibit or treat the infectious disease instead of one consuming a healthy diet. Good nutrition can help reducing the risk of chronic diseases be it diabetes, obesity and heart ailment.
Eating fresh and unprocessed food is essential to meet the body requirements, emphasizing foods that are rich in fibre, protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. With that in mind, consuming vitamins and minerals enriched with iron, zinc and chromium help to increase the chemical’s level in our brain such as serotonin, melatonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. The hormones released by the brain function to stabilize our mood and helps in relieving stress.
3. Proper and adequate sleep
Good sleeping is a critical guideline for the effectiveness in our immune system. How does this work to our body? A person who is sick requires a longer sleeping hours than a healthy person. The reason for this is because sleeping influences our immune system by making the whole body healthier again. During our sleeping hour, the immune system secretes cytokines hormones, which helps to promote quality sleep. However, certain cytokines are responsible to fight off against cancer progression and development.
It is advisable for everyone to maintain proper sleeping pattern and obtain adequate amount of sleep especially during this stressful time. The optimal amount of sleeping for adults is 7 to 8 hours per night, whereas for children is 10 hours or may need more than that.
Before going to sleep we can also do some meditation as it helps us to remain calm and enhance the inner peace. There are myriads of apps available on the Android Play store and iOS App Store that provide free meditation tips and tricks.
All in all, it is crucial for us to take care of our body by staying physically fit and mentally healthy because we only have one body and we won’t get another chance for replacement.