What are the four pillars of health, and how we should adhere to them during a pandemic? This article is all about how to live a healthy lifestyle while observing lockdown. Get in!
Also Read: End Of Coronavirus
With most of our usual routines going out the window this year, it has become more important than ever to stay healthy during the lockdown. Times like these require you to think a little outside the box.
What are the four pillars of health, and how do we stay healthy by observing them?
Nutrition | Live A Healthy Lifestyle | Observing The Lockdown
Grocery store delivery slots have become as precious as gold dust in many places. Every journey to the market feels like a walk inside a petri dish. Since the virus outbreak, it has become somewhat difficult to access fresh fruit and vegetables – the ingredients that make up most of our healthy-eating diet plans.
The good news is that we can still achieve our five-a-day routine by eating frozen, dried or tinned fruit and vegetables.
According to various nutritionists, 80 grams (2.8 ounces) of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables count as one portion of your five-a-day, as do 30g (1.06oz) of dried fruit. If you like your fruit and vegetables in liquid form, 150ml (5.07 fluid ounces) of fruit juice or fruit smoothie or 80g of beans and pulses are also one of your one a day.
However, juice and smoothies can only count towards just the one, irrespective of how many glasses of juice or cans of beans you have. For example, if you drink two glasses of fruit juice and a smoothie a day, it only counts for one portion, not three. This is because when fruit is blended or juiced, it releases its sugars and therefore it is not considered healthy to have more than one small glass a day.
Research suggests that eating mindfully may improve digestion, appetite regulation, and most importantly: enjoyment. It isn’t wrong to snack if you’re hungry, but trying to prepare healthier snacks is strongly encouraged.
Healthy snacks should include high-proteins, healthy fats and fibre snacks like nuts, guacamole, edamame and crudités. They help maintain a stable blood-sugar level and tranquilize the mice running around in your stomach.
Sleep | Live A Healthy Lifestyle | Observing The Lockdown
It is tempting to stay up late if you do not have to be up early for work, but maintaining a routine is imperative for stabilising your inbuilt body clock (the circadian rhythm ) and providing a good quality of sleep.
You should become a creature of habit, repeating the same bedtime routine every night to help regulate your circadian rhythm and give your brain the cue it needs to know when it is time to unwind and go to sleep.
If you struggle to maintain a proper sleep-clock, there are ways to improve it through some supervised ‘sleep hygiene’ methods. Evidence supports the need for adults to sleep for at most 8 hours each night, and we know people who casually miss out.
Avoiding the natural order of things puts people at higher risks of serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Nifty | Tricks Of The Smartphone!
If you have the option of “night mode” on your phone or tablet, this may help, but ensure that you do not watch anything too stimulating, and avoid watching anything while in bed. Allow your bed to simply be used as a haven for sleep.
Other sleep hygiene methods can include relaxation techniques. This may take the form of a warm bath, for example. It is not just an old wives’ tale that a bath before bed will send you to sleep. Honestly, self-care in this form can play wonders in your life.
Pampering yourself in the evening with soothing oils or body lotion can make bedtime routines an enjoyable activity! We recommend:
- lavender-scented candles while enjoying your warm bath
- a diffuser in your bedroom to de-stress, creating the perfect ambience to drift off into a peaceful slumber
As well as the relaxation factor this provides, research has shown that if you take a warm bath one to two hours before bed, the rise in temperature, followed by the drop in temperature when you then enter a colder room after taking a bath induces sleep.
Other relaxation techniques include:
- Mindfulness (not overthinking)
- Counting stars. Use your imagination!
Stress Control | Live A Healthy Lifestyle | Observing The Lockdown | How To
Stress is a common cause of poor sleep and, during this uncertain time, even the most positive of us can suffer from anxiety, while those already suffering from mental health conditions could tip over even further.
Break the barrier that divides tranquillity from positivity. This barrier is a needless abnormality that exudes negativity.
It is important to alleviate some of this stress by talking. It is hard when you cannot meet up with your usual support network, but hey! Technology is on our side. So dedicate some time to video conferencing. Speak to those you are comfortable opening up to, be that friends, family, your GP or a therapist.
The feeling of being cooped up is also stressful, so if you have a garden or balcony, use it to soak up some vitamin D (Winters only).
Benefits | What’s Your Proof?
There are numerous studies that show the benefits of nature for good mental health. Lab studies have been conducted, that assessed the effect of nature images and sounds on psychology and stress.
There have also been fieldwork studies comparing the psychological benefits when comparing participants who walked in nature versus urban environments. We are also aware of the psychological wellbeing of those that live in proximity to green spaces.
Calming breathing techniques only take a few minutes and have been found to have profound effects on psycho-physiological interactions, leading to improved anxiety levels.
If you feel lost when it comes to meditation and breathing, there are many apps and online resources that can guide you through these techniques. Check the link!
Physical Activities | Live A Healthy Lifestyle | Observing The Lockdown | How To
Many of us use exercise to manage stress, but it is also important to exercise for physical health. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it?
Allow us to explain a bit.
Just because the gym is closed, it does not mean you cannot exercise.
There is an overwhelming body of evidence linking exercise to improved mortality and morbidity. Physical activity can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, Type-2 diabetes and cancer by as much as 50 percent.
It can also reduce your risk of early death by up to 30 percent.
If you cannot go outside, most of your favourite fitness gurus will be doing online exercise programmes that you can follow from the comfort of your own living room. Just try!
Note: In addition to cardiovascular activities, it is important to also work on strengthening exercises at least twice a week.
Well, there you have it guys! This was all about how to live a healthy lifestyle while observing the lockdown. If you have any questions, just drop a comment in the comment section given below.
Cheers, and good luck!