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How to Stay Healthy in Lockdown: A GP's Top 10 Tips
Jun 26, 2020
Now we're no medical expert, so we'll let Dr Paula Falconer (Lead Physician at Bupa) advise 10 ways on how you can stay fit and healthy during lockdown.
Here's what you need to do:
1. Follow a routine
It's important to create a routine and stick to it.
Try to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, aiming for 7–9 hours of sleep per night.
Schedule in lunch breaks, movement breaks, and time for relaxation.
2. Build exercise into every day
Make the most of being at home! Get your fitness back up to optimum level by taking on some home workout sessions.
Exercise can help manage anxiety and stress levels so try and be as active as you can.
Try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Yoga, Pilates or Barre.
Add in some squats, lunges or planks... and you've got yourself a good routine.
Get up at least once an hour or more if you can.
3. Eat for your immune system and mood
Try not to turn to or rely on comfort and convenience foods – there are likely to be lots of ingredients in your cupboards to help create nutritious meals.
Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to make sure you’re getting a range of vitamins and minerals. Fresh, frozen, dried and tinned options all count.
Have regular meals and stick to healthy options such as fruit, a small handful of unsalted nuts and seeds for snacking.
Take a daily supplement of Vitamin D (10 micrograms). This is usually recommended in the winter months but as we are all indoors more, consider taking this for the next few months too.
4. Keep hydrated
Getting enough fluids helps your body function properly. The Eatwell Guide recommends you have 6–8 glasses of fluid a day. But drink a bit more if you’re exercising.
5. Avoid excess
Too much caffeine or having it later in the day can affect how well you sleep. It may also cause you to feel irritable and add to feelings of anxiety.
You may want to try cutting down on how much caffeine you drink, perhaps going caffeine free after lunch time.
While it might be tempting, don’t turn to alcohol, smoking or other recreational drugs as coping strategies for stress. They will only make things worse.
6. Slow down
Taking some slow deep breaths can help reduce anxiety levels and help you reset. Try breathing in for four counts, then hold your breath for four counts and breathe out for five counts.
Focus on the present moment and think about what you’re grateful for.
7. Spend time in nature
If you can go outside, do it! Get some fresh air, do some gardening, or just enjoy the sunshine. It will have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing.
8. Stay connected
Try and keep in touch with loved ones, as much as you can.
Video call friends and family, speak to neighbours over the fence, or just pick up the good old telephone.
9. Protect our children
If you have children, play with them, get them exercising, draw and paint, play instruments and sing, or whatever else you fancy.
Take some time to ask your children how they are feeling.
10. Be kind to yourself
Some days will be better than others. This is a time to be kind to yourself and to others.
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