How to Stay Healthy During a Pandemic
COVID-19 Pandemic: The Current Situation
As the coronavirus pandemic has taken hold of the world, Americans across the country have been told to self-isolate and practice social distancing. Millions of people are now restricted to their homes and only allowed out for essential services. These restrictions have come as a bit of a shock and all of us have had to adjust to a new way of life with uncertainty and misgivings.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest causes of anxiety is how to stay as healthy as possible in order to prevent COVID-19 infection. Especially since access to amenities, such as the local gym and swimming pool, has temporarily been prohibited. What’s more, panic has swept through the country, resulting in empty grocery store shelves and our usual choices of food are often sold out.
Nevertheless, just because the gyms have shut down and grocery shopping has been disrupted doesn’t mean that you can’t stay healthy! This is why we have created this article to provide a comprehensive guide on how to stay healthy during a pandemic.
What Does it Mean to be Healthy?
Good health means the holistic well-being of a person, which includes physical, social and mental well-being. Being healthy is more than just the prevention of illness, it’s also the ability to recover if you do get sick. Maintaining good health should be sustainable and a way of life, rather than just a temporary phase, such as a fad diet or a month-long gym membership.
Which Exercise is Best for Health?
Any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster, and feel warmer is a good exercise, but it needs to be sustainable! We know that everyone has more time on their hands now and that many of you will be challenging yourselves to become the next big thing in bodybuilding or the fastest cyclist in your hometown, but Herculean efforts such as these are not easy to maintain long-term and can leave you feeling exhausted and vulnerable.
That’s why incorporating frequent low- to moderate-intensity activity into your daily routine is often a more effective way to stay healthy. This can include activities like a 10-minute mobility routine in the morning, a bike ride to get your groceries, a 30-minute bodyweight workout before lunch, dancing around your kitchen while you cook dinner and a 12-minute yoga session before bed.
Of course, we’re not saying that vigorous exercise is a bad thing. In fact, pushing your activity intensity up a notch can have huge benefits, including improving your brain health and mental well-being. However, the best way to maintain good health is to be sustainable, so if you already struggle to motivate yourself to exercise, then perhaps vigorous exercise is too much too soon.
For more information on how much physical activity you should be getting to stay healthy, please read the World Health Organization’s exercise guidelines.
How Much Sleep is Healthy?
Sleep is where it all happens. During sleep, our brains store information and consolidate memories. During sleep, our bodies repair any damage that has been done throughout the day. During sleep, our blood pressure regulates and lowers our risk of heart disease. During sleep, our immune system is strengthened and can help our bodies to fight off infection. There’s lots more, but we’ll stop there because we think you get the point: sleep is pretty important!
But how much sleep do we really need? Well, this all depends on your age. Check out these healthy sleep recommendations from the CDC.
How Do I Reduce Stress and Anxiety?
Pandemics, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, can be scary and lead to anxiety and stress. What’s more, some of us are isolating alone, which can be a lonely affair. That’s why it’s so important to look after our mental health.
Healthy eating and getting adequate sleep are both effective ways to reduce anxiety and depression. Stress-relieving activities, such as yoga and meditation, are also a great way to clear your mind. Most importantly, try to keep in contact with your friends and family as much as you can, building a network of support around you - Zoom is a fantastic way to have a group video chat with your loved ones.
What Should I Eat to Stay Healthy?
The requirement to stay at home will significantly affect our physical activity levels, as well as our mental health, which is why eating a balanced and healthy diet should be a top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy eating plays a huge role in physical and emotional well-being, plus it helps to bolster our immune systems.
Many people are being told to stay at home, so maybe now isn't the time to start running or trying out a new sport.
Make sure to avoid fad diets like the Keto Diet, as it could do more harm than good.
A healthy diet includes more than just the intake of vitamins, it also includes nutrients such as healthy fats and fiber. For example, it’s important to maintain a good balance of carbohydrate, healthy fat, and protein to stay healthy, which is why following a macro diet can help you to keep track of your nutrition.
Another great healthy eating tip is to fill your plate with a variety of colors, including different fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This way you are ensuring that your body gets a good range of nutrients, from vitamins to fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.
There’s No Food Left in the Grocery Store - How Do I Maintain a Balanced Diet?
Due to social distancing recommendations, it’s probably not a good idea to go to a crowded supermarket anyway, especially if you’re high risk. Experts agree that getting your food delivered is the safest option at the moment. Therefore, consider ordering your groceries online.
Contrary to popular belief, the supply chains for groceries have not been disrupted so there is still plenty of food to go round. The majority of online grocery stores have introduced rationing to prevent stockpiling, which means you should be able to get a good variety of healthy foods delivered to your door. However, just in case you can’t order online, tinned, dried, and frozen legumes (beans, lentils, and pulses), fruit, and vegetables can be used as alternatives to fresh produce.
Furthermore, there are plenty of independent health food stores (both online and brick and mortar) that sell nutritious snacks, many of which provide contactless home deliveries. Therefore, instead of buying and “stress eating” whatever we can find at the grocery store, it’s possible to order a plethora of nutritious snacks delivered straight to our doorsteps - maintaining social distancing and reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection in the process. A win-win in our opinion!
What is Macro Snacks Doing to Maintain Health and Safety During the Pandemic?
Here at Macro Snacks, we’re working hard to ensure the health and safety of our customers. Our gluten-free and non-GMO snacks are made here in the US, which we know is important for many of you, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic started. We take hygiene very seriously, so you can rest assured that we are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Additionally, we provide a home delivery service that you can choose to make contactless, maintaining social distancing recommendations.