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Putting wellness into your day during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 2, 2020

Hello to each of you, we hope that this finds you well during this time of pandemic. We recognize that this is difficult time and that each of you are impacted. You are caring for loved ones who may be affected, you are reaching out in different ways and staying in to avoid transmitting the virus. We recognize that you are surrounded by news and information. We wanted to offer a few helpful tips to add wellness into your day. We have put links to evidence-based resources throughout this email.

Nutrition

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In terms of meals, snacks and fluids, research suggests that keeping a routine that works for you is important for meeting your needs, including those of your immune system, which needs fuel coming from carbohydrate in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and building blocks coming from our protein foods. However, our immune system is impacted by a variety of lifestyle habits, including sleep, exercise, among others.

To date, there has not been enough evidence to back claims that specific foods or supplements "boost" the immune system's activity. For most of us, a healthy eating pattern, that emphasizes balance, as seen in the picture above, is the recommended strategy for meeting your bodies' needs during this time. A balanced meal can have proportions of 1/2 vegetables/fruits, a 1/4 whole grains/starchy vegetable (like potatoes), and 1/4 protein (fish, nuts, legumes, dairy, poultry and red meat).

These are challenging times for so many working in essential services. A debt of gratitude goes to those who are working to care for people during this pandemic. For those working with our food system: in grocery stores, in delivery, migrant workers traveling to plant and grow our food on farms, the system is facing challenges and rising to meet these in new ways. I am certain you are each adapting with compassion, patience and creativity. As you make or get your meals, here are a few tips. Cookspiration offers quick, simple meal and snack ideas. To use up food that you have on hand in the pantry and freezer, check out "Making a casserole from what's on hand" and the Guelph Family Health Study "Rock what you've got: preventing food waste" cookbook and videos

Physical activity

16_video Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux, the Concordia Stingers' strength and conditioning coach, has put together some simple exercises to do at home. Click image to start with her warm-up routine, and follow Lisa's channel for all her workout videos.

We know that it's hard to stay active right now. Your regular pattern of being active is most likely interrupted during this time of pandemic. So how can we meet Canada's 24-hr. movement guidelines of a minimum of 150 min./2.5 hrs. of moderate-vigorous physical activity per week? Kids in our lives need a minimum of 180 min./3 hrs per week or 25-26 min./day. Moreover it is important to break apart periods of sedentary behavior (see Ready or not), so we can reap the health benefits from both being physically active and reducing excessive times spent at the sitting, reclined or lying down positions. Here are different tricks to breaking the sedentary behaviour.

Recent research about exercise snacks has demonstrated that the equivalent of vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening can provide an effective workout. Here are 10 other exercise snack ideas, as well as some short videos on Essentrics that can be done from home.

Other fun and refreshing ideas

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"Chanter sur les balcons" - For details see the POP Montreal facebook page

Show solidarity with rainbows as part of  #cavabienaller

Virtual party games to play from several homes: Psych like Balderdash, Monopoly on Pogo, Card games on Playing cards.io)

Guided meditations on mindful.org

Some Good News - hosted by John Krasinski

 

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Thank you for your time reading this, stay safe and take care,
Your Healthy executive team @ the PERFORM Centre,
Théa and Henry





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