How to stay healthy at home during a lockdown

As I write this we are in our third week of lockdown.

One of the common questions I am thinking is, how do I stay healthy at home during a lockdown?

One of the things many of us are struggling with is our health. Both mental and physical. In this blog I offer my advice on how to stay healthy at home during our time in lockdown.

Here are my top tips on how to stay healthy at home during our lockdown.

Stay mobile and active

We may not be able to get out as much as we would like but we do need to stay mobile and active as much as possible. This stops our muscles and joints from tightening up and is particularly important if you are working from home. This is especially important if you are working on a laptop from a non permanent work space like a sofa or bed. Aim to get up and move around every 20 minutes or so.

Do not over do the DIY or gardening

If you are using this time to get your garden under control or do that DIY job you have been meaning to do for ages then do it in stages. At the moment we have time on our hands so don’t rush to get the job done. Often with tasks like DIY and gardening we do not realise we have overdone it until the next day. So take regular breaks, alternate light and heavy tasks and if that little voice in your head says I don’t think we should be doing this. Listen to it.

You can hear more advice on DIY in this video below or read more about avoiding gardening injuries in this blog.

Keep up an exercise routine

Keep up an exercise routine – or start one if you don’t normally do one.

This does not have to be running or walking. As part of our daily exercise allowance there are lots of apps and YouTube videos you can do. Below I will share the videos I generally recommend to my patients, however first a little caveat:

Remember my advice for starting a new exercise routine is to build up slowly and do not do too much at once. If you are starting a new exercise routine you may want to read my advice on how not to injury yourself. In addition please note these exercises are recommended if you are generally healthy and not in any serious pain or injury.

Yoga with Adriene – This is one of my favorites and something that I do most days. There are videos aimed at people of different experience levels. If you are not used to yoga then pick an easy, short one and slowly work your way up.

7 Min Chi – You can watch this on YouTube or download it on the google play store or apple app store. I recommend this to my patients as it can help strengthen the upper back. I also find it quite relaxing.

Beginners core workout – If you are suffering from an achy low back then you could think about strengthening your core. This quick core workout is a great place to start. Yes, it is aimed at post natal women but I give it to all my patients who have low back pain. Why not give it a try?

Try a live online class! Living Saucha is a yoga studio in Newbury, local to me, with a range of online classes. Why not try one?

Do some stretches

Perhaps you do not feel up to exercise. That’s ok. Here are some gentle stretches you can do to help ease your achy body.

Upper back and neck stretches

Low back stretches

Working from home

If you are working from home and used to it then this may not be too much of a change for you.

However, if you have never worked from home and are now trying to whilst surrounded by children, your partner or housemates. With all of you trying to share the same space and work, live and home school, it can all be a little stressful.

To help I have created a free online guide to reducing aches and pains whilst working at home.

You can sign up for the guide for free here.

Mental Health

As a chiropractor mental health is not my area of expertise. But I could not write a blog about how to stay healthy at home during a lockdown without mentioning mental health. As stress and mental health does have an affect on physical health it is important to share some advice on mental health. So I will turn to a colleague of mine Rosie Waters of Rosie Waters Counselling in this video she talks about managing your emotions in lockdown .

There is also some brilliant advice on living in lockdown from my cousin Rackley Nolan. He has been living in lockdown in Singapore for the past 12 weeks. He has some interesting advice which you can read here.

Here are a few thoughts on what has helped me.

  • Having some form of routine. It does not have to be up and dressed by 8.30am but have some regular flow to your day
  • Gratitude. Practising gratitude has been shown to help improve mental health. I use the 5 minute journal app put you can just write down or say out loud 5 things you are grateful for that day. It’s not always easy to think of things at them moment, but it can be as simple as hot water for a shower.
  • Sanity moments. These a short, precious moments where the world seems sane. Often for me simple actions such as drinking a cup of tea or talking to a friend on the phone.
  • Staying in touch with people. Using zoom for video calls with friends, talking to my colleagues at Total Health West Berkshire or to meet with my sewing group virtually all helps lift my spirits and feel in touch with the outside world.
  • Exercise. Usually Yoga with Adriene or a walk with my kids on our daily exercise outside the house.
  • Not being too hard on myself. We will all have good days and bad days during this unusual time, we will have days where we eat or drink the wrong things. I try not to be too hard on myself on the days that I feel have not been so good.

I hope these tips have helped you.

Hopefully it will no be too long until this ends and it will end. And we will be able to start to go out in the world again. If you have any tips you have found have helped you cope during the lockdown either physically or mentally then do put them below in the comments. I’d love to hear them.

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