5 Tips to Stay Active and Inspired During Quarantine
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are recommended to stay at home, practice good personal hygiene, follow social distancing, and other safety measures. While social isolation and home quarantine can prevent you from contracting the virus, they may impact your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Quarantine life makes people feel that they are separated from the rest of the world, have no control over the situation, and unable to do their routine activities. Gyms are closed, employees are being asked to work from home, and social events are postponed or canceled all together. Being confined to your home can be difficult and make you feel lonely, sad, anxious, and stressed.
To offset these feelings, keep yourself engaged in physical activities and make time for other things that you enjoy. This approach will help you protect your physical and mental health during a quarantine situation. The Department of Health and Human Services issued the Federal Government's physical activity guidelines for Americans, which you can follow to stay active while coping with the current environment.
The Psychological Burdens of Social Isolation
Being in quarantine and feeling socially isolated can lead to many psychological health consequences, including:
- Impaired executive function
- Accelerated cognitive decline
- Poor sleep quality
- Impaired immunity
- Poor cardiovascular function
- Stress and anxiety
A study conducted in 2019 by Kassandra Alcaraz, Ph.D., MPH, a public health researcher with the American Cancer Society, reveals that social isolation can increase the risk of premature death.
A study conducted in 2016 by Newcastle University epidemiologist Nicole Valtorta, reveals that loneliness can increase the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke by 30%.
In 2018, the researchers at the Florida State University College of Medicine found that loneliness can increase the risk of dementia by 40%.
A study conducted in 2015 by Steven Cole, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, reveals that loneliness can impact the immune system. The study also reveals that people who feel lonely are likely to have less immunity and more inflammation.
Tips to Stay Inspired and Active While Socially Distancing Yourself
Staying at home and in quarantine can impact your physical and mental health, causing mood swings, stress, fatigue, unhealthy habits, and restlessness. The providers at Family Care Centers Medical Group offer tips to stay active, engaged, and inspired during this situation.
1. Work Out in Your Backyard
“Physical activity is important for your mind and body, which helps to lower blood pressure, manage weight, recover faster from illness, and strengthen muscles and bones. If gyms are closed, you can do workouts in your backyard,” says Dr. Katayun Saadai, Internist at Family Care Centers Medical Group, Fountain Valley, CA.
Exercising in your backyard will help you get the fresh air, sun, and outdoor exposure necessary for your immune system to function properly. You can do simple workouts, including strength training, running, jogging, cardiovascular exercise, and other less intense exercises that do not require any equipment.
You can also follow online websites and use mobile apps that offer free quarantine workout ideas. “Exercises can relax your mind, refresh your mood, and help you stay active and inspired during a quarantine,” she adds.
2. Take Short Breaks and Move Around
Taking short breaks within your work schedule is important for your emotional and physical health. “Sitting for a long period or working continuously can lead to heart disease, depression, stress, diabetes, obesity, and fatigue,” says Dr. Kathryn Allen, a board-certified family and sports physician at Family Care Centers Medical Group, Fountain Valley, CA.
Even a 10-minute break can refresh your mind, increase your productivity, restore energy, improve mental health, and help you become active. During the break, you can do simple stretches, meditate, prepare lunch, or play with your kids.
“If possible, go for a short walk outside and get some fresh air and sunlight to lower your stress and refresh your mind,” she further adds.
3. Keep Your Mind and Body Fit with Yoga
Yoga is an excellent way to stay active and improve your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.
Yoga can help strengthen and stretch your muscles, create a balance between your mind and body, and boost weight loss. Especially during these trying times, activities like yoga can help you calm your mind and release any emotional or mental stress.
Practicing yoga 15 to 20 minutes a day can help you stay active and inspired during a quarantine.
4. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Sleep Routine
“You need to maintain a routine that includes healthy and timely eating and consistent sleeping habits. An unhealthy diet and inconsistent sleep can lead to health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, lack of concentration, and impairment in immunity”, says Dr. Katayun Saadai.
Include healthy foods in your diet, which can strengthen your immune system and help you stay well. Sleeping for at least 8 hours will keep your brain and body functioning well.
Do not work or watch movies too close to bedtime, this may lead to a lack of sleep.
5. Stay Connected with Family and Friends
Staying indoors and in quarantine does not mean that you are separated from the rest of the world. You can stay connected with your friends and family on video or audio calls.
You can play with your kids, watch movies, do puzzles, or engage in a hobby like painting or reading. These activities will help ease your pressure while helping you stay active and motivated.
If you want to get more tips on how to stay active during a quarantine or schedule an appointment for any of your urgent and primary health conditions, contact us at one of our clinic near you. You can also receive medical assistance from the safety of your home by connecting with our providers via telehealth video visits.
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