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5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Health During the Pandemic
August 09, 2021
What are the steps to improve your health during the pandemic?
- Stay physically active
- Get enough restorative sleep
- Eat a healthy and nutrient-dense diet
- Commit to healthcare maintenance
- Cope with stress and anxiety
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has changed people’s daily routines in a way no one anticipated. Many have chosen to stay indoors most of the time to minimize the chances of exposure. However, being at home is also known to elicit an unhealthy lifestyle. It has led to an increase in eating low-nutrient meals and junk food high in sodium and normalization of a more sedentary lifestyle with activities like laying down or sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time due to work from home settings. There is a challenge to improve your health during the pandemic.
Even if you do not test positive for COVID-19, the lifestyle shift no doubt has had an impact on your daily routine, which could negatively affect your immune system and overall health. Local governments are working on rolling out vaccines for every citizen. In the meantime, following simple steps to improve your health during the pandemic should be your priority. Continue reading to learn more about these.
Stay Physically Active
It would be best to stay physically active during this time when people’s health is being compromised. Exercise improves your blood circulation and strengthens your heart. The enhanced blood flow raises oxygen levels and affects how nutrients are delivered across your body’s tissues and organs. Exercise improves your energy and endurance while boosting your immune systems to combat diseases.
As quarantine restrictions continue to be eased, gyms and other fitness facilities have started to reopen. But if you want to opt for safer alternatives while social distancing, there are plenty of home exercises you can do. You can try aerobics, yoga, or pilates at home while watching online tutorials. Push-ups, jumping jacks sit-ups, and more home exercises are great ways to stay physically active. Another point to consider is that social distancing does not mean avoiding nature exposure. You can still go for a walk or a jog outside in uncrowded areas.
It is recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g. brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (e.g. jogging or running) with muscle-strengthening activities per week.
Get Enough Restorative Sleep
Getting enough restorative sleep is essential for overall health. Alternatively, poor sleep quality compromises one’s immune system, making one more likely to develop serious health conditions (e.g., obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, depression, cognitive decline) and increased recovery times.
Restorative sleep consists of the completion of deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage. The chemical changes that occur within 24 hours allow the body to be repaired, heal, and grow. Usually, deep sleep and REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. This is why it is recommended to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Unfortunately, the pandemic affected people’s ability to get enough restorative sleep. Due to increased screen time and increased anxiety levels, people are experiencing fragmented sleep and insomnia. If you want to improve your sleep health, commit to a consistent sleep schedule, disconnect from devices before bed, and avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol in the evening.
Eat A Healthy and Nutrient-Dense Diet
During the pandemic, people are most likely to incline to “emotional eating” due to stress and other social influences. However, this is also the reason for the increase in consumption of processed food filled with junk food filled with sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat. All these can cause unhealthy weight gain and increase your risk for chronic diseases.
To stay healthy, practice self-disciple and opt to eat a nutrient-dense diet. Nutrient-dense diets are packed with foods low in sodium, sugar, starches, and bad fats. Instead, they contain plenty of vitamins and minerals with only a few calories. This includes dark leafy vegetables, low-fat dairy, fruits, whole grain, and lean cuts of meat.
Commit to Healthcare Maintenance
Now is not the time to overlook your present conditions. If you have medications prescribed by your doctor, be sure to take them regularly. Keep in mind that individuals with serious medical conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart conditions, obesity, pregnancy, HIV, neurological conditions, and an immunocompromised state are at higher risk for more severe symptoms or complications upon contracting COVID-19. Have an ongoing heart health problem? Seek the best cardiologist in the Philippines. To avoid further issues, take the time to commit to your healthcare.
Cope with Stress and Anxiety
Experiencing stress and anxiety is inevitable during these unprecedented times. However, chronic stress can also cause or exacerbate many serious health issues if left unchecked including cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and many more.
Take time to take care of yourself and try positive coping mechanisms such as meditation, exercise, and doing hobbies. Develop better routines than the ones you have adhered to due to the pandemic.
In this guide are just some of the simple steps to improve your health during the pandemic. We live in unprecedented times, which is why it’s crucial to pay close attention to your overall health and wellness. Please be aware that although eating nutritious foods, adequate rest, physical activity, and taking care of your mental health make you healthier, they are not a cure to other medical conditions.
If you have concerns about your health, consider visiting Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC). CSMC has earned its place as one of the Philippines’ leading hospitals specializing in the fields of Cardiology, Neurosurgery, Oncology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pulmonary Medicine, Nephrology, Urology, and Minimally Invasive Surgery. We are ready to provide patients with healthcare services of the highest quality!
If you want to inquire about CSMC’s services, click here or visit our branch at 10 Wilson St. Greenhills West, San Juan City, Metro Manila 1502 Philippines.