There is no getting around it. Coronavirus is a serious thing. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has declared it a pandemic; the USA has closed its borders to Europe; Australia is asking people coming into the country to self-isolate; many events around the world (including Coachella) have been cancelled; the French Prime Minister is in isolation; and Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wife were diagnosed with Covid-19 in our very own Gold Coast hospital.
In my Barre Body studios, we’ve done the obvious in terms of taking extra cleaning measures and issuing hygiene guidelines, including a ‘How to wash your hands’ guide set to the tune of Stop Right Now by the Spice Girls. But, we’re not panicking or recommending people stay away [yet] as exercise is one of the most important things you can do to stay well.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to give yourself the best chance of staying fit and well.
Obviously I would say this, but in all seriousness, it’s really, really important to keep moving your body as moderate exercise [may] help to flush out bacteria from the lungs and airways and [may aid in] boost[ing] your white blood cells [which may] help to reduce your chance of catching a cold or flu.
Exercise is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself, regardless of what is going on around you so go for walks, get moving, and stay well.
Another obvious one. Try to get good sleep. Like eight hours, every night. It’s very important as just a few nights of poor sleep can compromise your immune system.
Sleep is also a pretty magical antidote to stress too and many of us are feeling increased stress at the moment. If you find that you don’t sleep as well in times of stress (hello 3am wake ups), then listen to a meditation or audiobook to help you drift back off to sleep. Or do what I do, get up and get on with your day and have a nap later.
Keep calm and carry on
Do what you can (within reason) to reduce the amount of stressful situations you find yourself in. It’s easier said than done when for most of us, stress is a natural part of life, but do what you can. Take walks. Breath. Meditate. Have a cup of tea. Take a bath. Have some quiet time each day.
As best you can, try not to ‘over-worry’. It’s not easy to do in times of high stress, but as best you can try to be present and if you catch yourself thinking worrying or stressful thoughts, focus on your breath and repeat this mantra: (inhale) “all is well”, (exhale) “in this moment”.
Focus on gut health
Up to 70 per cent of your immune system lives in your gut. Yes—for real. So it’s very important to cultivate good bacteria by eating fermented foods (like yoghurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir) and taking a high-quality probiotic. These good bacteria help to strengthen the integrity of your gut system and boost your immunity.
And of course, because everyone who’s anyone is talking about it, wash your hands and wash them well. The most missed areas when it comes to washing hands are between the fingers, the nails and the backs of the hands. Get down and dirty (pun intended) and really wash well.