Whether you are in quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19, you will be spending more time in your home. Following some primary healthy lifestyles such as eating a balanced diet, remaining hydrated, being physically active, getting enough sleep and rest, and taking care of your stress level are the most effective recommendation for staying healthy during quarantine or self-isolation.
Eat a Balanced and Varied Diet
Unfortunately, there are no foods or supplements that can 'boost' our immune system and protect from or treat COVID-19. Nevertheless, eating a healthy diet, with lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, plant and animal proteins, and healthy fats is the very best way to get all the essential nutrients we require for good health and immune function.
As self-isolation may lead us to be less active, it is also crucial to pay close attention to food portions and to keep our energy balance adapted to satisfy our requirements.
Develop a Routine and Practice Mindful Eating
Preserving a typical day-to-day routine can help take manage some of the stress that comes from quarantine anxiety. This can help us far better control hunger, meet our nutrient requirements, and also permit us to get the most out of the food we have, minimizing food waste.
Throughout long-periods of anxiety, we may find ourselves eating more than we need. And also, staying at home for long may likewise lead us to snack out of boredom. Practicing mindful eating can be a helpful approach to maintain a healthy relationship with food and to help us balance our energy intake.
Here are some tips to help you practice mindful eating:
- Do not eat on the go - it's challenging to be aware of how much you are eating. Have a seat;
- Resist eating directly from the bag/box. Serve your food - you'll have the ability to see and also appreciate what and also how much you're eating;
- Eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV and also everything else with a screen, like computers, phones while eating;
- Take small bites and chew well while focusing on the scent, taste, and texture of the food. Try to obtain 30 chews out of each bite;
- Try putting your utensils down after each bite. Do not pick them back up until you've swallowed what you already have in your mouth;
- Do not try to finish the entire plate. If you feel full, save the leftovers for later.
Don't forget about drinking water
Being hydrated is essential for your health. How much water we require depends on our age, sex, weight, height, level of physical activity, and environment (hot weather will likely make you drink even more water). Considering that around 20-30% of the water we require originates from our food, the European Food Safety Authority has set standard recommendations for how much water we ought to consume daily, depending on our age.
If you have access to clean tap water, this is the healthiest and cheapest drink. For a refreshing boost, you can add slices of lemon, cucumber, mint, or berries. Other drinks such as unsweetened coffee and tea or iced tea, or bitter, infused, or flavored (sparkling) water, are also excellent choices for hydration.
Practice Safe Food Hygiene
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is transferred with food. Nonetheless, proper food safety practices are necessary to reduce the danger of foodborne illnesses.
When handing or preparing food, ensure to:
- Wash your hands for 20 secs with soap before and after preparing or consuming food.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze, and always clean your hands after.
- Wash vegetables and fruits before consuming them.
- Disinfect surfaces and also objects before and after using them.
- Maintain raw and also prepared foods separate to avoid germs from raw foods infecting ready-to-eat foods.
- Use different utensils/chopping boards for raw and prepared foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Cook as well as reheat foods to adequate temperatures (≥ 72 ° C for 2 mins).
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Stay active inside Your Home
Physical activity benefits both the mind and body. Healthy people ought to go for at least thirty minutes of daily exercise and at least 1 hr for healthy kids (5-17 years).
Tips for staying energetic throughout self-isolation or quarantine:
- Plan time for physical activity for each day;
- Take regular breaks from sitting by standing up and stretching or going for a quick walk if permitted. But don't forget about social distancing while you're outside;
- Try an online workout class;
- Think outside the bow: try dancing, playing energetic videogames, cleaning your home, or playing with your kids - just be active!
Get Enough Good Sleep
A lack of top quality sleep can negatively influence both our physical and psychological health and wellness, also, to minimize our body immune system's capacity to fight infections. The quantity of rest we need depends on our age. Grownups must intend to get at least 7 hrs of quality rest per night.
Anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic might have a negative influence on our sleep. As a result, we need to try to make healthy sleeping routines a habit and ensure we are getting enough of it.
Tips on how to improve your sleep:
- Develop a regular sleep routine (going to sleep and standing up at established times), and also maintain it on weekends as well as when working from the house;
- Decrease alcohol consumption and give up smoking;
- Avoid caffeine intake before bedtime;
- Workout regularly;
- Use comfortable bedding;
- Maintain your room peaceful, dark, and also at a comfy temperature level;
- Give up electronic devices before going to bed;
- Attempt relaxation techniques such as meditation.
Get Information from Trustworthy Resources
There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 on the net and social media. We must get information from trustworthy sources, such as government websites or websites of trusted nationwide or global organizations (e.g. WHO, EFSA, ECDC).
It is important to stay informed on the most effective methods to stay safe throughout these times. Nevertheless, we should try to minimize watching news that causes our anxiety as well as is impacting our psychological health.
Best Foods to Eat during the Quarantine
The following is an overview of foods with a high nutritional value which are generally cheap, available as well as have a longer shelf life. You may use this listing as ideas for what to keep at home throughout self-quarantine or longer homestays.
- Long-lasting fresh vegetables and fruits
WHO recommends eating a minimum of 400 g (i.e. 5 portions) of fruits and vegetables daily. Citrus fruits like oranges, clementines, and also grapefruit are great options, along with bananas as well as apples, which can be cut into smaller pieces as well as frozen for later consumption or to add to shakes. Root veggies such as carrots, turnips, and also beets, in addition to vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, are reasonably nonperishable. Garlic, ginger, and onions are also great choices to keep at the house.
- Frozen vegetables and fruits
All frozen fruits such as berries, pineapple, and mango are great options, as they still contain a lot of fiber as well as vitamins and also are commonly less costly than the fresh ones. These frozen fruits can be made into juices, smoothies or porridge or eaten with low-fat yogurt after defrosting.
Frozen veggies are nutritious, quick to prepare, as well as eating them can help reach the recommendations, even when fresh foods are scarce.
- Dried and canned pulses
Beans, chickpeas, lentils as well as other pulses are excellent sources of vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. These are likewise rather versatile and can be used for stews, soups, salads, and spreads.
- Whole grains and starchy roots
Wholegrain rice and pasta, oats, buckwheat, quinoa as well as other unrefined whole grains are exceptional foods as their shelf life is long, they are easy to cook, and they contribute to fiber consumption. Unsalted crackers and wholegrain bread are also excellent choices. Bread can easily be frozen for later use, preferably in slices for easer defrosting, to extend its freshness.
Starchy roots such as potatoes, sweet potatoes as well as cassava are also long-lasting and excellent sources of carbohydrates. These must ideally be baked, steamed, or boiled. Leave the skins on for extra fiber and flavor.
- Dried fruits, nuts and seeds
Specifically unsalted and without sugar, these might serve as healthy snacks or can be added to porridge, salads, or other meals. Nut butter or spreads are also excellent options, as long as you choose 100% nut butter, which does not have added sugar, salt, or partially hydrogenated or palm oils.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and nutrients and are incredibly versatile. Choose steaming or poaching rather than frying.
- Canned vegetables
Although fresh or icy vegetables are typically the preferred choice, canned vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach, peas, tomatoes, and green beans are good alternatives with a much longer shelf life, to ensure sufficient consumption of vegetables. Remember to pick, when possible, alternatives with low or no salt.
- Canned fish
Canned tuna, sardines, and other fish are excellent resources of protein as well as healthy fats. These can make a healthy addition to salads, pasta, or wholegrain bread. If possible, pick fish canned in water rather than oil or saltwater.
- Reduced-fat, shelf-stable milk
Milk products provide an inexpensive resource of protein and also other nutrients. Picking reduced-fat milk product is one way to decrease saturated fat usage, while additionally getting all the advantages of milk products. UHT milk in a can or container will be relatively shelf secure. Powdered milk is another shelf-stable choice.