Healthy Indoor Living: Avoid the Negative Effects of Being Homebound
Humans are creatures of fresh air and sunlight. As such, staying indoors all day can affect our health. It depletes our supply of essential vitamins that we get from the outdoors. Hence, outdoor activities are highly encouraged, especially for children.
But all of that changed when the pandemic hit. Suddenly, the outdoors have become a threat, too. Though Australia managed to avoid a steep rise in COVID-19 cases, the country wasn’t fully safe. The delta variant breached Sydney’s defenses, creating 100 new cases. It forced the capital cities — Sydney, Darwin, Perth, and Brisbane — to go on lockdown.
To avoid the negative effects of staying indoors for long periods, here are some health hacks:
1. Let Fresh Air into Your Space
Indoor air isn’t as clean as it feels like. In fact, it can even be more polluted than outdoor air. Certain pollutants, such as mold, pollen, household products, pesticides, carbon monoxide, and radon, are all found indoors. When inhaled daily, you and your family can develop symptoms. If the specific cause can’t be found, you’re suffering what’s known as “sick building syndrome.”
Fortunately, indoor air quality problems often cause nothing beyond discomfort. You’ll get better once you remove the pollutants. But if you don’t identify the pollutants in the first place, your discomfort may last until it becomes an illness.
To purify your indoor air, you can buy an air purifier with HEPA filters or open some of your windows. You can also open some doors. Install a high-quality residential security screen door to ward off insects and dirt. It’ll also keep your pets and/or kids from going out.
Aside from removing indoor air pollutants, fresh outdoor air can also boost your immune system. The oxygen you’ll breathe in can decimate the microbes, infections, and germs in your body. So even if you bought an air purifier, still invite fresh air into your space.
2. Take Vitamin D Supplements
When your skin gets exposed to UVB rays, it produces vitamin D as a response. Vitamin D helps strengthen your bones and teeth and boosts your immune cells.
If you’re not getting exposed enough to UVB rays, your skin may not produce as much vitamin D. So make up for the deficiency by taking vitamin D supplements. Draw your curtains open too, and let daylight bathe your space. With plenty of vitamin D in your system, you’d also build more immunity against COVID-19.
3. Walk Around Your Yard or Neighborhood
If your neighborhood isn’t on a hard lockdown, you can take daily walks around the area. Wear your mask and stay at least six feet apart from other people. Even if you already got vaccinated, you can still catch mild COVID-19. But if you get the benefits of walking outdoors, your vitality will boost and further reduce your risks of getting sick.
Walking outdoors also keeps depression at bay. Like meditation and other mindfulness practices, spending time with nature increases your focus whilst clearing your mind. If there are forests nearby, that’s even better. The woods and the foliage will give your mind greater clarity.
You don’t have to walk outdoors all day to get these health benefits. Doing it for just 20 minutes a day is enough. But leave your smartphone behind to avoid distractions and get mindful.
Physical activity is one of your strongest defenses against illnesses. Aim to exercise 20 to 30 minutes every day. Find a routine that you’ll enjoy so that you can stay committed. Even children should be exercising. Don’t let them play on their phones all day. They should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. You can buy them gaming consoles that promote movement to fulfill this requirement. It will also make staying at home more fun.
5. Eat Healthily
Staying at home should increase your chances of cooking your own meals. But you’re probably getting fast food delivered to you instead. Try to cut out that habit; seize the opportunity to eat healthier. Reduce sugar, salt, unhealthy fat, and alcohol from your diet. You can search for healthy recipes online if you can’t think of a healthy meal to make. The number of choices you’ll see will make you realize that healthy food isn’t boring and definitely not bland.
Even if Australia’s measures against COVID-19 are 99% effective, don’t take your safety for granted. One hundred cases are not something to take lightly. The virus often mutates, and it’s now targeting children who can’t be vaccinated. So follow health protocols, and make indoor living as healthy as you can. It might be a while before we beat this pandemic and return to life as it used to.