Stay Healthy at Home With These 16 Tips

This spring, life, as we all know it, has changed for most of us. Most of the United States is living under orders to quarantine or “shelter in place.” For people who are not working in essential jobs, such as health care or food production, it can be difficult to think about how to stay healthy at home. The good news is that there are ways to get or stay fit and healthy while stuck at home. Here are a few things you can do to stay healthy at home.

Keep a real routine. This may not be the first thing that leaps to mind when you want to stay healthy at home but it can help a lot. Get up and go to sleep at the same time. Get dressed every day. When a number of us think about working from home, staying in our pajamas all-day may seem like a major perk. If you are used to going to a job outside of the home every day, the simple acts of making your bed every day and getting dressed will help keep your morale up. People are often surprised at how much a regular routine can help them feel better.

Get decent sleep. Again, practicing good sleep hygiene can do wonders for your state of mind and physical health. Whether you are working from home or not, getting decent sleep is always a good way to keep your health up. Insomnia causes a lot of health problems from heart disease and diabetes to depression and anxiety. In stressful times like what we are experiencing now, getting a good night’s sleep will set the stage for better health at home. It can also help you cope with the stress associated with the current crisis.

Watch your diet. For many people around the world, stress can lead to eating more or less than normal and to eating foods that may not be the healthiest option. As always, eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains will help keep you healthy and happy. If you are not in a place where fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available, frozen work well, too. You will do yourself and your family a lot of good by reducing the amounts of red meat, processed foods, sugar, and alcohol you consume. If you are not inclined to cook much yourself, this may be a good time to learn how. This can also be a fun thing for your family to do together. The internet is chock full of videos and tutorials for making healthy dishes at home.

Drink enough water. Experts have often called dehydration a “hidden epidemic.” Many people are so used to being thirsty that they feel hungry when their body really wants water. Clean water is one of the healthiest things you can consume. Getting enough water keeps everything running better.

Take advantage of telemedicine. During this time of the global pandemic, people are still finding they have other medical problems that they need help with. Women are still having babies and people are still suffering from health issues. Before you go to the emergency room or stop in at your doctor’s office, call. A number of physicians and nurse practitioners are conducting office visits via phone or the internet. This is a much safer way for them to supply wellness care.

Go to the ER if you need it. Do not push off going to the emergency room if you are having a real emergency. Around the country, many people are still having medical emergencies that require treatment in a hospital setting. Emergency room doctors stress that if you think you are having a stroke or heart attack, you still need to make your way to your local emergency room. They say they are seeing people who have delayed going in and it makes the task of treating them all the more challenging. Talk to your doctor and go in if you need to. If you injure yourself, see if you can snap a photo or have someone else take one, of the injured area. That can help your physician or medical practitioner give you a more accurate diagnosis of your problem.

Pay attention to your mental and emotional health. This is a stressful and uncertain time for all of us. Whether you have a job that you know you will keep or you are not sure what is happening with your employment, uncertainty is stressful. Too many of us do not take the time to evaluate how we are feeling and what emotions come up when we are confined to our homes. Luckily, there are a lot of resources open and available to people who need help coping with the stress of a pandemic. If you want to really stay healthy at home, taking the time to check in with yourself a few times a day and be honest with how you are feeling can make a big difference. There is a lot of mental health help you can get online, take advantage of that. Ignoring stress and feelings of isolation can have an impact on your physical health so do yourself a favor and pay attention to your emotional and mental well being. Many life coaches recommend being a little more gentle with yourself during times like this.

Stay connected with friends and family. You may not be able to spend time in the same room with your friends and family but that does not mean you have to be totally isolated from the people in your life that you love. We live in a great time for staying in contact while social distancing. You can FaceTime, use Zoom, video chat or use other services to connect with friends and family. Many families are sharing holiday meals with family members who are located far away via Zoom or Facebook Messenger. Connect to your network with social media platforms. If ever there was a time when being separated did not mean having to be alone it is now.

Do not neglect your teeth. Oral hygiene and physical health are totally connected. Did you know there are bacteria that live in your mouth that can infect your heart? Well, there is. Whether you are dealing with kids dental care or your own, gingivitis is not something you want to deal with during the best of times. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and follow that up with a good floss job. Also having a routine can make a difference in your mood and state of mind.

Find exercises you can do inside and at home. Ok, you may not be able to take out the fishing boat, put up your pickleball equipment, or go dirt biking but there are things you can do inside to get or stay fit. There are a lot of online videos for yoga, pilates, and other classes that are great for staying in shape. This may be a great time to try new kinds of workouts now that the gym is closed. If you like to lift and do not have weights at home, common household items can be substituted. For example, take an empty gallon container and fill it with water. Voila! You do not have to fill it all of the way, just make it as heavy as you wish. Take this time to work on your stretching. And workouts like yoga can be as intense or mellow as you like. Your bodybuilding efforts do not have to go to waste while you are stuck at home. If you can get outside, go for a walk or run to get some cardio in. If you cannot get outside, walk around your house or apartment. Just moving or stretching a few minutes a day can help you stay healthy at home. Every hour, take a break and stand up or walk around for a few minutes, you will feel much better.

Tend to your garden. Do you have a yard outside your home? As we enter spring/summer, one way to keep your mind and body active is to work on your garden. Raking the leaves can be a great workout. Digging around the garden and planting seeds, bushes, or flowers can be a fun way to get moving and do something creative. If you are home with your family, planning and executing a nice garden plan can be a great way to spend time together. When this hard time has passed, you will have something to show for your time at home. Watering your garden can also be a way to get moving.

Clean your home. Bacteria, viruses, and other germs have different lengths of time that they can live on surfaces in your home. One way to stay healthy at home is to make sure your home environment is as healthy as possible. Sweep, mop, and vacuum all floors. Take bleach wipes or disinfectant cleaners to wipe down all counters, sinks, and showers/baths in your home. Having a clean space to live is key to your efforts to stay healthy at home but it also gets you and your family moving. If you spend an hour vacuuming your home, you will burn around 175 calories. If you mop your floors for the same amount of time, you will burn about 200 calories. Talk about a twofer! You get a clean house and a workout.

Consider dropping bad habits. We all have bad habits and this may be a good time to change some of our less healthy behaviors. For example, if you smoke, this is a great time to quit. Smoking cessation is a great way to stay healthy at home. If you are trying to start a new diet or workout routine, the time you have at home may be the best time. There are a lot of resources online to help you quit smoking (or vaping), get back into shape, and develop healthy eating habits.

Go out only when you have to. When you want to stay healthy at home, you may still need to get things from the outside world. If you take prescription medications, you should make sure you have those on hand. All around the nation, grocery delivery services have been overwhelmed with orders so you may need to venture out to get supplies. Wearing a protective mask is a good way to prevent you from spreading anything to other people who may be shopping at the same time as you.

Listen to health experts. Different parts of the United States are being impacted differently than in other areas. Your local government officials and medical experts have most likely come out with recommendations for ways you can stay healthy at home. It is critically important that you listen to these experts. People who have no symptoms of coronavirus can still spread it. The good news about its spread in the country is that efforts in social distancing are working. If you can go outside and social distance at the same time, getting natural light every day can help your mood and state of mind.

Ask for help if you need it. If you need help getting groceries, medications, or getting to a medical or dental appointment, ask for it. In the midst of this crisis, people all over the nation are reaching out to help people in their community who need assistance. Local sites such as NextDoor are full of posts by people who are available and willing to help others who need it. In times like this one, many people want to reach out and help others so if you need it, you should ask.

Remember, this will not last forever. Some mental health experts have recommended people cut themselves some slack during this crisis. These tips can help you stay healthy at home now so you can get out on the water with your friends in your fishing boat later. They can also help you develop healthy habits for when the crisis has passed.

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