We’re living in interesting times. All over the world, the coronavirus has us all on lockdown. Some of us are in quarantine, having been in contact with the coronavirus somewhere along the way. There’s nowhere immune from this menace. From London to Lahore, from Dublin to Durban, from Swindon to San Francisco, it’s like the whole world has gone into quarantine. We can only go out for essentials and can’t congregate in large numbers. We’re practising social distancing and self-isolation. As the lockdown extends, we’re noticing another problem. How can we stay fit and healthy while this emergency persists? While we wonder what to do, we should understand that everything is possible if we apply our minds to it. What we need is a definite plan for diet and exercise and the determination to stick to it. With a plan in place and the will to carry it out, we can succeed, even if we live alone. But how can we make such a plan? There are seven tips to keep in mind. Keep these points in view when planning your time home alone and you’ll find that staying fit and healthy isn’t as difficult as you might think.
Maintain a Daily Routine
Any discussion about health and fitness is meaningless unless mental health is also considered. Where mental health is concerned, being at home without a structured routine is a recipe for disaster. Will you end up sitting on the couch watching movies and devouring potato chips? Not if you set up a daily routine and stick to it. Set a time for going to bed. Set a time for getting up in the morning too. When you get up, have a shower and dress for the day. It doesn’t matter if you wear pyjamas, but they should be fresh and clean so that if you need to answer the door, you’ll look presentable. Comb your hair and if you normally wear lipstick when you go out, apply it as usual. Act as if you’re going out to work. Decide on a proper time for your meals and give yourself time to prepare them.
You should aim to have a glass of water every hour or at the most, every two hours. As we get older, we don’t tend to feel thirst as much as we did when we were younger. Ensuring that your water intake is adequate will keep you alert and fresh. Otherwise, you may find yourself tired and listless and you may not even understand why that is.
Try to Eat a Balanced Diet
While you stick to particular mealtimes and allow yourself time for food preparation, you should be thinking about eating a balanced diet. Ensure that you get the right amount of carbohydrates and protein, along with vitamins and minerals. While the ‘five-a-day’ rule still applies, you may be wondering if fruits and vegetables will remain readily available. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to keep a good multivitamin tablet available, just in case. Try to eat fresh salad and a piece or two of fresh fruit every day. Try to grill and boil your food rather than frying it. Maybe allow yourself two days a week to fry food, for a change. Make sure you eat enough protein and don’t overdo the carbs. Being alone for long periods in self-isolation could be a recipe for comfort eating or even binge eating, so make sure you keep yourself busy enough so that doesn’t happen. It’s a good idea to keep some nuts and pulses in storage. They last for a while and are a great source of protein, in case meat or eggs become scarce.
Stick to Working Hours
If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home, you’ll need to keep office hours. If you’re a freelancer working from home, it’s the same. If you’re out of work or if you’ve been temporarily laid off, use those working hours as a time to catch up on your housecleaning and take inventory of your possessions. Everyone needs to clean out now and again and this time is ideal for it. Get rid of old possessions you no longer use. It’s called decluttering and it’s great for your mental health. Leave leisure activities like watching movies for the evening hours, when you’ll have the satisfaction of having completed your day’s work.
Keep Your Head Healthy
Meditation has been popular in the West ever since the Beatles visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India in the 1960s. The Transcendental Meditation teacher was a popular international figure. In recent years, books like ‘The Secret‘ which teach the law of attraction and the importance of positivity and gratitude have been runaway bestsellers. Nowadays, the concept of Mindfulness has grown in popularity. People are attracted to exploring the inner space and going within to discover peace. There are plenty of meditation and mindfulness resources in Youtube. This time of enforced confinement and isolation is the perfect time to explore them. If you do find yourself with a lot more time on your hands than you are used to, then try and use this time to grow. A great way to use this time effectively is to listen to Audiobooks. We’ve already put a guide together for the best audiobooks that can give you a great starting point.
Plan a Home Workout
The sedentary life is bad for your health. A static body can become unfit and overweight. So a workout is necessary. But what’s the best home workout? If you’re self-isolating at home, it would be really great if you have a treadmill or an exercise bike. Your workout problem is solved. But if you haven’t got either of those, it’s still possible to have a home workout. If you’ve been practising yoga, get out your yoga mat and carry on. You can make a routine of walking briskly around your house several times a day. If you have a staircase, you can walk up and down the stairs several times a day. You could also use a skipping rope for some exercise. If you have nothing else, your best home workout can be to put on some music and dance for a few minutes every day. If you’ve been practising a bodyweight workout to build muscle, you can find resources online to guide you towards a bodyweight workout that can be done at home.
Here’s an example of a home workout you can do from the comfort of your own home. There are a lot of options on youtube. Have a search and find the one that works for you!
Keep in Touch with Friends and Family
We may not be able to go and meet them, but contact with friends and family is essential for our health as well as our happiness. Thankfully, keeping in touch has never been easier. We can text our loved ones and make video calls. We can also use this time to call up and chat with old friends we haven’t seen in years. People with whom we have worked or to whom we’ve been close in the past and from whom we have moved on. Yet we may still share fond memories. It’s good to get in touch and retain those friendships. Hopefully, we’ll emerge from this period with our relationships intact.
This Too Shall Pass
It may seem like this lockdown period is going on forever, but scientists are searching for a vaccine and efforts to contain the coronavirus spread are in full swing. One day in the not-too-distant future, we can hopefully step out of our homes again without fear. But as you go through these dark days, work on keeping yourself fit and healthy so you can resume your normal life when this period of fear has ended.