Taking care of ourselves requires a multi-pronged approach. Experts agree that true wellness encompasses several dimensions that each contribute to our overall health. As the world panics over the coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s important that we attend to each dimension to keep ourselves both healthy and sane — and our physical wellness is a great place to start.
According to UC Davis, physical wellness “encourages the balance of physical activity, nutrition, and mental well-being to keep your body in top condition.” Adopting practices to take care of your physical wellness isn’t just about the body, it helps take care of the state of your mind, too — something we need more than ever amid all the COVID-19 anxiety.
During the COVID-19 crisis, many of us are out of our normal routines, and much of our time is being spent indoors. If you’re like me, this has left you feeling physically yucky and mentally overwhelmed. But on the other hand, we have more time than ever to put forth small efforts and establish new routines that nourish our physical wellness.
Check out a few simple tips below.
Your body is made of 60 percent water, and ensuring that you’re staying hydrated is crucial to your physical wellness. Drinking enough water can boost your energy levels, fight chronic health conditions, and more!
While we’re spending more time at home, remember to have at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day (For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day.)
While you may not be able to get to the gym, establish a routine at home by setting aside at least 30 minutes a day to get moving. Go for a brisk walk to get some fresh air, try beginners yoga on YouTube for free, or give this at home functional fitness routine a try to get stronger in just 15 minutes a day.
Eat fruits and vegetables.
Take advantage of the quarantine by consuming more fruits and vegetables at home and staying away from fast food! Fruits and vegetables are naturally high in the nutrients your body needs for all of its functions. It’s currently recommended that we get six to nine servings of fruit and vegetable per day, so try your best to up your intake by adding a serving or two to every meal — and have them as snacks, too!
Another oft-neglected aspect of our physical wellness is rest. In our hustle and bustle culture, many of us are not getting enough sleep or are struggling with problems like insomnia. However, proper rest is essential for our overall health. Sleep affects your brain and therefore, a whole host of other interactions in your body. In fact, poor sleep has been linked to health problems like heart disease, obesity, and even depression.
Make sure you’re getting between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. If you’re not, try some simple sleep practices like taking a nightly bath, doing breath work, or gentle yoga before bed.
Most of the time, our breath is on autopilot and we don’t even notice we’re doing it. However, recent research has shown that breath work practices not only calm the mind down, but have physiological effects on the body that boost our health in so many ways.
A breathing practice can be as simple as setting aside one minute every hour to close your eyes and focus on taking deep, slow breaths into the belly. Other practices like alternate nostril breathing are said to facilitate better communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.