Health Center Tip: 5 strategies to stay physically healthy while social distancing

(fizkes | Shutterstock)
(fizkes | Shutterstock)

As you continue to adjust to your “new normal” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to continue prioritizing your physical well-being.

Your body’s ability to prevent and fight off illnesses depends on a healthy immune system. Although washing your hands is a great start, it’s only one of many strategies you can take to keep yourself healthy now and all year long. Try incorporating these five tips into your daily behaviors:

  1. Maintain your personal hygiene routine – Although you aren’t leaving your home as often as you once did, continue to shower, brush and floss your teeth, and practice other personal hygiene habits as usual. This routine not only protects your physical health but can also be a practical form of self care.
  2. Enjoy the sunshine – Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t get some fresh air outside. Take a stroll around your home, ride a bike or walk your dog. Just be sure to wear a cloth mask and maintain a 6-foot distance from others (and don’t forget the sunscreen). Bonus: Exercise, whether it’s done indoors or outdoors, reduces depression and anxiety.
  3. Get those Zzzzs – Now more than ever, it’s important to have a sleep routine. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Go to bed and wake up at a reasonable hour. Staying well rested helps you concentrate during your studies, supports your immune system, and also helps you manage stress and regulate your emotions.
  4. Eat healthy – Your nutrition has a direct impact on your mood and energy. For optimal results, don’t skip meals and fill your diet with fruits, veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats. Boost your immune system by indulging in foods rich in vitamin C, like broccoli, kale, oranges and strawberries.
  5. Drink water – Drinking water does not prevent COVID-19 infections, but it does keep you hydrated, which helps your body fight viruses if you become ill. Drink two-thirds of your body weight in ounces daily. If you forget to drink, set an alarm on your phone, use a hydration tracker app, or work it into your routine, like drinking a glass of water in between streaming episodes of your favorite TV show.

If you need health care, contact the University Health Center at 402.472.5000. Telehealth services are available.

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