SALT LAKE CITY, UT (ABC4 News) – With gyms closing around Utah and people working from home in efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, thousands of people are trying to navigate through what their “new normal” is becoming.
For many people, this means their hobbies that maintain their physical and mental health are no longer options such as going to the gym or going out with friends. So in order to keep yourself, and those around you, happy and healthy, what are some ways to stay active and sane during the coronavirus outbreak?
Work up a sweat
While some are lamenting the loss of their gym time and are worried about what might happen to their fit physiques…
… try getting your workout in at home and keep eating healthy! There are plenty of online workouts to follow along with on YouTube or Instagram. Some local personal trainers have even taken it upon themselves to provide workouts via social media that require no equipment or only minimal equipment.
While social distancing does mean a large amount of your time will be spent inside your home … that doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate going outside!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes social distancing as staying away from mass gatherings and keeping a distance of 6 feet or 2 meters – about one body length – away from other people. So, go outside, take a walk, take a mountain drive, go play in the yard with your kids … just don’t get within 6 feet of neighbors or others you may see while doing these activities!
Carolyn Cannuscio, director of research at the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania says,
“For now, walking, running (and) biking outside, in uncrowded locations, seems like a healthy thing to do…walking outside with a friend, while keeping distance, is likely to be a relatively low-risk activity. With every additional social contact, the risk of encountering an infected person goes up, so strictly minimize the number of people you interact with. I wouldn’t pick a new friend every day! Stick with one friend, and preferably one who limits their other social contacts, too.”
Stay connected with family and friends; beware of social media
While we may not be able to physically go and visit our loved ones, experts say to still take time to work on our social relationships via technology.
Plan weekly or daily group Skype or Facetime calls with family, friends or neighbors that you can’t see as often as you usually would. According to the Cleveland Clinic, social interaction is one of the six pillars of brain health and provides support, reduces stress, combats depression and enhances intellectual stimulation. Of course, social media during times of isolation can also be a helpful tool to stay connected with others. However, clinical psychologist Claudia Allen says to resist scrolling on social media endlessly. She says that that usage of social media doesn’t feed your need for connection but will actually make you feel left out or ‘less than’.
While this is an unprecedented time for all of us, there are ways to make your new circumstances happy and healthy. Most importantly, sticking to your new activities within the social distancing guidelines will help slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives.