Elior have a team of qualified dietitians and they have provided us with several blog posts on health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here we share tips for keeping vitamin D levels up and exercising at home.
Vitamin D and Isolation
Vitamin D is needed in our bodies to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Not enough can cause bone problems in both children and adults. It has also had links to helping improve mood and heart health.
If you are staying at home, it is important to keep your vitamin D levels topped up. Try to get into the garden or another isolated space outside as sunlight helps improve vitamin D levels. Good food sources include egg yolks, salmon, mackerel, sardines, red meat or fortified plant milks, spreads, yogurts or cereals. Supplements are recommended for children under 5 and if you aren’t managing to get enough from your diet or the sun.
Exercising at Home
If we are isolating, we won’t be going to the gym, playing sport or even walking as much. If you are at home it is important not to spend too much time curled up on the sofa as exercise prevents us gaining too much weight, keeps our muscles and heart strong, and helps improve sleep and mood.
- Get a routine: Long periods at home can mean certain disciplines stop. Set aside 30-60 minutes a day to do some sort of physical activity.
- Cleaning, hovering and gardening all can count
- Dance – Put on your favourite songs or copy the moves off music videos whilst you burn up to 350kcals per hour.
- Jump – Try star jumps or rocket jumps on the spot
- Internet – There are lots of free videos and exercise guides available online including Pilates, yoga, dance and cardio workouts.
- Step – Use the bottom stair as part of a step routine as it will strengthen your legs. Or try and climb your stairs more often in the day.
- Mini sports day– If you can get in the garden with the family set up egg and spoon, three legged and backwards races. Alternatively, if you cannot go out organise a competition for who can jump the highest, stand on one leg the longest or the greatest number of press ups inside.
- Strengthen muscles – Press ups, planks, sit ups can all improve muscle tone. Or lift water bottles or tin cans as homemade dumbbells.
- Always start slowly and protect your back and knees if you are unused to certain exercises.
- If you feel unwell it is important to let your body rest and avoid anything that makes you breathless if you feel poorly. Additionally, if you are struggling to eat or have low appetite limit activity until you are eating better.