The new year has yet to justify its name as nothing has changed: we are still asked to live locked inside our houses. With no real indication of when this is going to end, it would be wise to start thinking about what we can do to be as healthy and as strong as we can when the time comes.
Our bodies and minds have been under immense pressure for almost a year now. Never have we ever been deprived of such basic freedoms. We were not bred to be caged inside a house and this has undoubtedly had an impact on both our physical and mental health.
To do our bit, we had Luis Ribeiro, the Club Health Founder & Director, shed some light on the problems caused by the lockdown and ideas on how we can tackle them. Let’s stop waiting for the lockdown to end and let’s start unlocking our body and mind.
The Physical Aspect
The lack of movement that came with all the restrictions has caused weight loss for some, weight gain for others, decreased bone density for the more vulnerable amongst us, and muscle atrophy for almost all of us.
The Mental Part
Most of us have gone through a long period of isolation and uncertainty. The impact may not be as visible as with physical changes, but it’s definitely as significant. Negative thoughts, lack of motivation and focus, and of course stress and anxiety.
What We Can Do To Improve Health During Lockdowns
- Start small. Find what works for you and do a bit more of it every day. Start with a brisk walk in the park, and you’ll be able to start running in no time. Take steps and challenge yourself to take one more next step each day.
- Establish a routine. To find yourself again, you must find a routine that can get you there. No matter what challenges you are facing right now, a routine can help you get control over your daily life, and as a result of your mind and body. Whether it’s waking up at a fixed time, having a nutritious diet, or stretching 3 times a day, a routine can have a huge impact on your day-to-day life.
- Get back in shape with bodyweight exercises. Strength training is key to building muscle and increasing bone density. If you don’t feel like lifting or don’t have the equipment for it, bodyweight exercises like burpees, squats and pushups can get you started and be as effective. All you need for this type of exercise is…your body!
- Take breaks from anything that keeps you still. Movement is key, both for your body and mind. Pause whatever it is you’re doing and move. It can be 5 minutes of stretching, walking your dog or just doing the dishes. Plan those movement breaks as part of your routine.
- On that note, whatever you do, just keep moving. It might be yoga, running, walking, swimming, cycling, pilates, you name it. Movement is key for blood circulation, breathing and good posture.
- Sleep. This one should go without saying. Try to get good quality sleep every night. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, a lavender tea or reading a book before bed could do the trick. Establish sensible sleeping hours and don’t let the lockdown chaos to affect the time you go to sleep and wake up.
- Hydrate. Another no-brainer. Your body needs fuel to recover and water is definitely vital! Given that we are going through the winter months, tea, soup and veggies can also help keep you hydrated.
- Fuel also means nutrition. Eat well, nourish your body and it will return the favour. Having said that, we are going through a lot, and it’s ok to treat yourself to some comfort food every now and then.
- Give your brain some food for thought. The reduced human interaction we are having can decrease our mental capacity and clarity. Make sure you are feeding your brain. It can come in the form of podcasts, books, documentaries, Ted Talks or a discussion with people in the house. Try to get your mind back into full swing. Maybe it’s time for a new skill or hobby!
- Socialise. Stay close to your loved ones, even if that’s only through video calls or even messages. Check in with them, make sure they are well. Humankind is made for interaction!
- Last but not least, relax. Self-care and relaxation are essential. Watch a movie, have a long bath, enjoy a nap, pamper yourself.
In a nutshell, take care of yourself. Check in daily, do things you love, with people you love and give yourself some credit, we’ve been through a lot!
Club Health’s scope of clinical services is designated as essential according to the current measures against the spread of Covid19. The Club remains open for Medical Treatments, by appointment only. Our practitioners are following all the necessary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.
If you need to discuss any pain or discomfort you are feeling, please don’t hesitate to reach out, we’re here to help.
Stay strong, maintain and improve your health during lockdown and we’ll get through this together.