Let’s be realists, the last couple of weeks have been…….? (insert adjective of choice here….). I’m sure we all concur that the invasion of our country by COVID-19 has well and truly permeated our lives and its incessant need to propagate has really caused some issues! Let's be honest, if the stock market followed exponential growth like COVID-19 does we would all be pretty happy!
Alas, we want to mitigate this growth and so have inevitably been forced to socially isolate. Now as human beings, we rely on interaction with others as a primal need so how the heck are we going to deal with self-isolation???? Well luckily for you the brains trust of Innate Financial Services Group have decided to collaborate with me to give you some advice on health and fitness related topics through this time. Who’s me? Great question! I’m Kelly Nicholas, wife and better half to Shane. I currently work as a paramedic with Ambulance Victoria however also run my own fitness business. I have an Exercise Science degree in Human Movement and a Health Science degree in Paramedicine as well as recently completing a ‘Nutrition for exercise professionals' course. So with these qualifications, I would love to work with you all by providing weekly blogs on topical issues relating to your health and fitness, along with some guided exercise programs.
We have recognised that in this time, your financial, physical and mental health may all be compromised. I’ll leave it up to Innate to navigate your financial affairs however we would love to collaborate so that we can help cater for your physical and mental health too. So without further ado, I present our first blog which has some advice on how to traverse self-isolation.
There are many aspects of our life affected by being ‘stuck at home’ so here are a few ways to help alleviate some tensions that may arise:
Boost your immune system: during self-isolation it may be a good idea to try to improve your immune response. Exercise and getting enough vitamins can help (although contrary to some internet sources, they're not a cure). There is increasing evidence to show high doses of vitamin C may help fight off coronavirus. In fact, there is currently a study underway in China that is giving 120 patients with COVID-19 daily infusions of vitamin C, to see its effects. Results are yet to be published but anecdotally, it may be worth increasing your vitamin C prophylactically - I am! I think now more than ever, is a great time to focus on having a nutrient dense diet that is full of fresh fruit and vegies. Attempt to have your full quota of vegetables (5 servings per day) and fruit (3 servings per day) in order to naturally source vitamins and minerals..
Secondly, moderate exercise has been shown to have immune boosting benefits. Research continues to support a link between moderate, regular exercise and a healthy immune system. During moderate exercise, immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and so are more efficient in killing bacteria and viruses. After exercise ends, the immune system generally returns to normal within a few hours, but consistent, regular exercise seems to make these changes a bit more long-lasting. Conversely, too much exercise can be a stressor on the body as the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol (released during exercise) can lower immune function.
In conclusion, exercising regularly and eating a balanced and healthy diet can help boost your immunity, giving you every opportunity to fight infection.
Structure your day: For some people, self-isolation might lead to some mild mental health issues. Some people may have difficulties with sleep (insomnia), feelings of restlessness or sadness, or start to feel demotivated when self-isolating. To combat these issues, maintaining a structure or routine around meals, bedtime and even planning activities such as exercising regularly can help keep you motivated and stop feeling down.
Maintain social contact: Studies have shown that when isolated, people can't draw on support of friends and family. They may then turn to less positive coping strategies such as drinking alcohol. During this time, keep connected by phoning, emailing or zoom with friends and family. Reaching out to a friend has been shown to be more beneficial than having a glass of wine!
Avoid conflict: When having to be in close proximity to loved ones for some time, they may get on our nerves - (I wont say anything further here….!). To help alleviate tension, exercise has been shown to counteract the negative impact of confinement. More generally, 20 minutes of exercise a day can help lift your mood via the release of endorphins, as well as reducing feelings of tension. Be cognisant of brewing tension and if you feel conflict is imminent, take a 'time out.' It is thought going in to another room for at least 15 minutes can help you forget the source of tension.
Social isolation is difficult for all of us and we know that some people may cope better than others during this time. I’m a huge believer in being proactive and applying any possible measures you can in order to stay fit and healthy. Try to be optimistic and end your day with gratitude. A positive mindset goes a long way to promote good mental health.
If any of you would like to contact me personally for information or advice, please feel free to do so by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe and I look forward to checking in with you all again soon,
More about Kelly Nicholas
Kelly Nicholas holds a Health Science Degree in Paramedicine and currently works as a Paramedic for Ambulance Victoria. Kelly is also a qualified personal trainer with a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science and has completed a specialisation in nutrition for exercise professionals. Kelly and her business partner Louise Moss, run Change it up Training - a small business specialising in training and motivating others to be the best/healthiest version of themselves.