27 Mar Staying healthy while practicing social distancing pt. 2
Digital solutions to keep you connected with your health goals
In the era of COVID-19, preventative health starts with social distancing. Social distancing is an effective measure of preventing the spread of infectious disease and starts with minimizing contact with other people. When a carrier of the virus coughs or sneezes, they disperse respiratory droplets that contain the virus. By following social distancing guidelines, you can help minimize the likelihood of transferring viral particles.
But how do you practice social distancing? And how can you continue meeting your health goals while doing it? If finding motivation is hard, just remember - the extra time spent not commuting to work is perfect time to work on improving yourself.
No matter what: You <-- 2 meters --> Me
Besides the people in your household, you shouldn't be within 2 meters of anyone else. This includes while you're out-and-about shopping for essentials, exercising, or just getting some air.
Many businesses have taken to placing strips of tape to dictate how far apart shoppers should be from one another. If you don't have social-distancing tape to rely on, here are some (kind of) everyday items to picture between you and someone else:
- A queen-size bed from headboard to base: 2.06m.
- Two average German shepherd dogs placed nose-to-tail: ~2m.
- A small dairy cow: 2.3m
- The width of a regulations-size hockey net: 1.8m
- The width of an average sedan: ~1.87m
- Michael Jordan: 1.98m.
It's never been easier to stay connected. While stuck at home, it's critical to stay digitally social and maintain your physical and mental health. Luckily, social distancing doesn't have to mean social isolation or complete departure from your normal group activities. Here are some ways people and businesses are bringing people together on the web to keep them healthy:
Sweat it out:
Exercise is important for boosting your immune system and mood - two very important things to maintain. If you're used to exercising in a shared space and miss the feeling part of being part of a group, many gyms and fitness classes have moved to a virtual space. Look up your favorite aerobic activity, make space in the living room, and have a good sweat session with fellow fitness fans.
Improve your kitchen skills:
Staying at home means less restaurant visits and more home-cooked meals. You'll know exactly what you're putting in your body, so there's no easier way to fuel it with the vitamins and minerals it needs. That means you shouldn't use this as an excuse to eat large amounts of frozen meals, instant noodles or canned soups. Use fresh or frozen produce wherever possible to maximize the amount of healthy nutrients you're getting.
If you aren't used to having to cook for yourself, many chefs and culinary schools are hosting demonstrations on social media and offering free classes online. Sit down, watch a couple of lessons, and learn how to differentiate your juliennes from your jardinières while also learning to create delicious, nutritious dishes to fuel your body.
Pick up a new (or old) hobby:
Learning something new is a great way to keep your brain sharp. If you have a musical instrument that's been gathering dust, a stash of arts and crafts supplies, or a backlog of books to read, this is a great time to pick them up. Interested in learning something completely new? Explore the course catalogues of websites offering online classes.
Maintain a social network:
Keeping up with fun, stress-reducing activities is important for your overall well-being. Research shows that having a strong social network is key for both physical and mental health. Even though you might not physically be with your friends and family, there are many video calling services you can use to keep in touch with distant loved ones wherever they are in the world. As one Harvard study put it: "Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too".
Bottom line: it may be more challenging, but you can keep up with your health goals during self-isolation. Explore the digital space, learn a thing or two, and come out of this more knowledgeable than before!
Over the coming weeks, we'll continue sharing health and wellness tips for surviving the time spent in your home.
Stay healthy & remember to wash your hands!