Coronavirus diagnoses and deaths are still on the rise in parts of the U.S. The statistics are changing every day, but one thing remains certain: It’s more important now than ever before to take care of our holistic health to protect ourselves and our loved ones from contracting the virus or to en-sure a quick recovery if we do. Below are ways to do just that.
• Eat foods high in vitamin C, B-6, zinc and antioxidants for a stronger immune sys-tem. Keeping our immune systems strong is really critical at this time. While most people know vitamin C can help with that, many don’t know exactly which foods are highest in vitamin C aside from oranges and which foods contain the highest amounts of B-6, zinc and antioxidants. In addi-tion to oranges, I recommend eating grapefruit, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, yo-gurt, almonds, chicken, shellfish, blueberries, dark chocolate and spices including garlic, ginger and turmeric. Check with your doctor or modify the list if you have dietary restrictions.
• Stay active and exercise from home most days. Working from home and home-schooling kids while being quarantined can result in being more sedentary than normal for many of us during the day, which could put our health at risk during an already vulnerable time. Fitbit re-cently reported a 12% decline in steps in the U.S. since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. It’s important to track activity – or lack thereof – via wearable devices. Take livestream classes, watch YouTube channels, download apps, invest in home equipment and do outdoor workouts to stay active from home. Connect with online communities as well as your family and friends via video conference to keep each other moving and motivated during this challenging time.
• Set up a work and school schedule for your family to maximize productivity from home. We’re used to having structure in our lives, and just because we need to fully operate from home doesn’t mean we still can’t put that structure in place. It’s especially important for kids who are used to a structured school, sports and after-school activity schedule. Create a family calendar, white board or other system for maintaining a work and school routine. Build in breaks, meals and an incentive and reward system to keep everyone on track and feeling optimistic about still being able to learn, grow and produce high-quality work during the quarantine.
• Practice mindfulness to reduce stress and promote positive thinking. Mindfulness is especially important right now to reduce stress and promote positive thinking to ward off fear and anxiety. Try to practice mindfulness in some way either individually or with your family for at least five minutes daily through meditation apps, deep breathing, sitting in silence, going out for a short walk or hike, listening to calming music, journaling, doing yoga or stretching after a workout. While we’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and economic crisis, protecting our mental health is extremely important.
• Prioritize sleep to stay healthy. Sleep can be impacted due to fears, worries and anxiety around the unknown. While understandable, the stress must be managed and kept under control to preserve our health and reduce the risk of getting the coronavirus. Try your best to set up con-sistent bedtimes and wake-up times for the entire family and stick to the schedule. Put away screens 30-60 minutes before bedtime and try to read to fall asleep. Take a warm bath or shower or listen to calming music to create a peaceful environment and mental state before drifting off to sleep.
Reena Vokoun is founder and CEO of the Los Altos-based Passion Fit, a health, well-ness and fitness lifestyle company. She is currently livestreaming fitness and dance classes on Google Hangouts Meet 9-10 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. For a class schedule and more information, visit passionfit.com.