Our health is one of the most important things in our lives, especially now that we are living in the middle of a global pandemic. Material things stopped mattering as humanity realized how vulnerable our lives could be in the face of COVID-19. It was a hard and painful lesson, but we eventually learned. Taking care of our health has become a top priority because it’s the only thing that stands between us and the deadly virus.
Avoid Stress Eating
Some say that you are what you eat, and it is true because what we put inside our bodies defines the state of our health. Sadly, many people have significantly gained weight during the lockdown period.
According to a poll by the health website WebMD, around 50% of its 1,000 readers consider themselves overweight. Another separate study focused on international readers show that half of 900 respondents reported weight gain. Though there are many reasons why people are on the verge of obesity, one main cause is that people tend to overeat to relieve boredom, stress, and anxiety.
Since we spend a majority of our time at home mostly working or taking care of our kids, we find it hard to have time to relax. Social routines were also disrupted, and now that we are cut off from the rest of the world, we turn to eat to help elevate our emotions.
Eat Healthy Foods
When the pandemic began, people went on a shopping spree of non-perishable and mostly unhealthy foods in the fear of losing supplies. High-carbs like noodles are one of the staple foods in most pantries nowadays because they can be stocked for long periods compared with fresh produce.
Eating healthy foods is the first step toward an overall healthy lifestyle. Replace canned and prepacked foods with fresh items, such as lean meat, greens, and fruits. If you want to absorb as many nutrients as possible, you can consider freshly squeezed fruit juice. You can also do a detox to flush out all the toxins away from your body. Some of the best items for detoxing are celery, ginger, lemon, apple, carrots, tomato, and cucumber.
Because of the ongoing quarantine, many people can no longer go to fitness centers or gyms. Our usual routine, such as going for a walk or jogging outside has been disrupted. If we don’t engage in any form of physical activity for a long time, our physical health will suffer.
Aside from helping us control our weight, exercising daily also helps prevent illnesses such as heart conditions, high blood pressure, and some types of cancers like breast, colon, and uterine cancer. Another benefit of being physically active is that it lowers the body’s blood sugar, which is important for people with type 2 diabetes.
Our body is not the only thing that benefits from physical activities. Studies show that exercising greatly helps our mental health because it helps produce chemicals and hormones that help our body to relax. It also stimulates the body to release chemicals and proteins that can help improve the overall function and structure of the brain.
Get Enough Sleep
Whether you are experiencing anxiety or just simply binge-watching your favorite show, the truth is, our bodies don’t function well if you are just operating on two or three hours of sleep. Getting enough rest at night is one thing that medical professionals repeatedly reiterate when we talk about health. Regardless if you are a child or an adult, sleep is an important thing. The ideal sleep hours are at least eight, but this can still vary depending on your age.
- Adults 65 years and above – 7-8 hours
- Adults 26 to 64 years old – 7-9 hours
- Young adults 18 to 25 years old – 7-9 hours
- Teenagers 14 to 17 years old – 8-10 hours
- School-age children 6 to 13 years old – 9-11 hours
- Children 3 to 5 years old – 10-13 hours
- Toddlers 1 to 2 years old – 11-14 hours
- Infants 4 to 11 months – 12-15 hours
- Newborn 0 to 3 months – 14-17 hours
Sleep deprivation often leads to short-term problems such as lack of alertness, excessive daytime tiredness, impaired memory, stress, and depression. Not being able to sleep well also makes you aggravated and extremely irritable. This behavior affects not just you but also your relationship with your family.
Surround Yourself with Greens
Having plants inside and outside your house is not just beautiful to look at. They also contribute to your overall well-being. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Aside from purifying the air, they also eliminate harmful toxins that are stuck inside our homes. According to a study by NASA, houseplants can remove up to 87% of harmful air toxins within 24 hours.
Plants are known to improve your productivity and concentration by 15%. They can also boost your mood and reduce stress levels. There are many indoor plants that are easy to maintain, like succulents, cactus, and snake plants. If you have a garden or a backyard, you can fill it with plants or, if possible, hire landscape designers who can help you turn your outdoor space into the perfect green oasis.
Now that you are mostly at home, you can spend this time giving more attention to your health. Use this opportunity to take the first step toward healthy living because a healthy body is our greatest wealth and weapon.