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Tips to stay well and physically active while you’re at home and socially distancing

Sabrina Pletz, Assistant Professor of Athletic Training and Spalding Athletics Assistant Trainer

During this unprecedented time of social distancing and self-quarantining due to the coronavirus, staying healthy and physically active remain extremely important.

Here are five ways to stay physically active and maintain a healthy immune system during this time.

1. Keep eating right.

Make sure you are eating an adequate amount of fruits, vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates to keep your body properly fueled. Adding a daily multi-vitamin is also a good idea for most of us because it can be difficult to get the exact amount of the daily vitamin and mineral requirements we need solely from food. While it might be tempting to munch on that bag of potato chips all day, use this time of being at home more to explore recipes and trying a new variety of healthy foods.

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2. Sleep more.

That’s right, I give you permission to take a nap. Adequate sleep is imperative to help our bodies operate at their optimal level and decrease our risk for getting sick. When we sleep, our bodies go into regeneration mode and repair blood vessels, reduce inflammation, balance hormone levels, increase white blood cell production and do many other fascinating things. This is a healing process for our body that is a necessity each night, or day depending on what schedule you work.

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3. Stay active at home.

Daily exercise of at least 30 minutes a day is recommended. I know gyms and fitness centers have been temporary closed, but try to stay active at home while still practicing social distancing. Get outside, take a walk around your neighborhood or ride a bike. If you do not have access to a safe walking path or area for outdoor activities, use your living room as an area to do a little exercise. The Internet has countless exercise routines or plans that can be streamed to your computer screen or TV, and some routines are as short as 10 minutes. Simple weight-lifting exercises – using your body weight or even a couple soup cans from your pantry – can help maintain your muscle tone and keep your blood pumping.

4. Stay active by visiting local parks or trails.

Take a day trip to places like Bernheim Forrest, Broad Run Park, Jefferson Memorial Forrest, Iroquois Park, Seneca Park or anywhere else that has walking, hiking or biking trails. Soak up some Vitamin D while enjoying the beautiful scenery that nature provides us.

5. Stay active by tackling a household task or project.

Think of something you have been putting off such as cleaning out the closet or painting the spare bedroom. This is the opportune time to do the things around the house that you have not had the time to do before. If spring cleaning or home projects aren’t your jam, then pick back up those hobbies that you have put off. Maybe you have 200 pictures that still need to be placed in the photo album, or maybe take this time learn something new such as knitting or how to play a keyboard. Spring is also the perfect time to prepare to plant a garden. You can start seedlings indoors and then transplant them to the ground at a later time.

Remember, your Spalding community is always here to assist you in any way we can. Reach out with any questions, and we will be happy to talk with you.

Sabrina Pletz is an assistant professor in Spalding’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program, as well as an assistant athletic trainer for the Spalding Golden Eagles’ NCAA Division III athletic department. She can be be contacted at spletz@spalding.edu