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6 Ways to Look After Your Health During Lockdown


children at window during lockdown

Whilst staying at home is one of the greatest ways you can protect your health and the lives of others during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a few more ways to keep you and your family feeling well during lockdown:

  1. Eat healthily

    It may not be as convenient as normal to buy the food you would typically buy but that doesn’t mean you have to eat unhealthily. It might seem obvious, but fresh fruit and vegetables are still readily available and will help to strengthen your immune system. Yes, it can be tempting to snack on biscuits and crisps when bored and stuck at home but try to keep it to a minimum.
    Evidence shows nutrient deficiencies affect the immune system so give your body the best chance of fighting off germs by eating nutritiously with a variety of fresh foods if you can. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help in food delivery if you need it.

  2. Watch your mental health

    Stress can play havoc with your health and immune system. Right now, during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be struggling with the worries associated with work, finance, social distancing and health of family. This can, understandably, affect your stress levels and mental health.
    It’s important to remember that you are not alone. Stop, breathe and meditate if you can. Listen to music, play games, spend time with your pets, watch uplifting films and distract yourself with reading, learning or exercising. Maintain social contact with friends, family and community through phone calls, video chats and social media. Move when you can and aim for eight hours sleep per night. If you’re concerned about your mental health, please take a look at the advice offered by the wonderful charity, Mind.

  3. Keep moving

    Whilst there may be restrictions in place on exercising outside, it’s important not to become sedentary at home.  You need to keep moving throughout the day. There is a choice of at-home exercise videos available online, as well as fitness DVDs that include everything from yoga and gentle exercises for the elderly to more vigorous HIIT and cardio workouts. Even household chores, walking up and down stairs and standing up every hour can make all the difference to your health.
    Movement will help with your general mood and sense of wellbeing too, and can help in reducing feelings of anxiety, stress or depression. If you can get outside in the garden, do take advantage of the fresh air and sunlight when you can.

  4. Stay hydrated

    It’s important to stay hydrated during the day by drinking water regularly. Water helps to transport oxygen to the cells in your body and works to remove toxins, which in turn helps your immune system. The Association of UK Dieticians has a useful factsheet on how much you should drink (and eat) to remain hydrated: Fluids Fact Sheet. They also offer great advice on what foods to eat during this pandemic.
    If you do drink alcohol, try to keep this to a minimum to avoid becoming dehydrated, as this can affect both your physical and mental health. If you find you’re drinking more alcohol or you’re struggling to reduce your intake, read this article from Dry January, which gives tips on cutting down or giving up.

  5. Get enough sleep

    A study reviewed by the NHS found that those who slept for less than five hours at night were 4.5 times more likely to catch a cold. Those who sleep between six and seven hours a night are at no higher risk of catching a cold.
    Sleep has long been shown to affect our health and immune system, and sleep specialists are recommending that people aim to sleep between seven to nine hours a night to help battle the coronavirus. Try to limit caffeine, alcohol and screen use before bed for better quality sleep.

  6. Monitor and check your health at home

    Right now, the health service is under immense pressure and any unnecessary trip to the doctors or hospital will add to that. Avoid risks and call NHS 111 in the first instance. In 2019, 111 prevented 12 million A&E visits so if you are concerned, they will be able to give you the best advice if you do have an accident or become ill at home.
    If you want to monitor your own health, there are many health tests you can take at home during lockdown. From cholesterol and glucose tests for diabetes to pregnancy tests and STI tests, you can safely check your health levels in the comfort of your home. You can even buy approved pet tests for non-emergency health checks of your cat or dog. Make sure you only order these health tests from an approved and trusted supplier like the award-winning Home Health.

All of these recommendations must be applied to your own personal situation. These tips do not replace the advice of a health professional. Please consult your GP if you are unsure of diet and the level of exercise you should be undertaking.