"I am heartened when I see so many people taking their daily one hour exercise outside. Observing social distancing and making the most of this dedicated hour is so important. Whether it’s a walk, a run, or a workout in the park, getting outside for that hour a day is a great way to boost your mind, your body, your immune system and top up your Vitamin D too. If you can add onto the hour outside a home workout, like the Jane Plan yoga or cardio classes, even better.
Eating a balanced diet is crucial to your good health. Try and plan ahead for meals, and make sure you are eating at least your five-a-day – preferably more. Try and avoid refined carbohydrates and focus instead on lean proteins such as chicken and fish, with lots of vegetables and salads. Starting your day with berries and yoghurt, or a boiled egg with wholegrain toast is a great way to get going. Try and avoid any snacking – I know it’s tempting when we’re home all day, but the best way to avoid snacking is to not have any in the house. A light lunch like soup or a salad with hummus, tuna or smoked salmon is ideal. Try and make dinner into an occasion, sit down and savour the flavours, as opposed to a TV dinner. Fill up on beans and pulses (great lockdown foods as they come in a tin!) These tips will help you eat more mindfully and should ensure you don’t overeat and gain excess pounds – a very easy thing to do in lockdown. Of course, if you’re following Jane Plan, you don’t need to worry about what you’re eating or how much you’re eating as it’s all done for you.
Avoid alcohol if you possibly can – not only is it high in calories, it’s also very easy to have one too many right now. Excessive drinking of alcohol is never a good idea, and right now, when your physical and mental health is so important, try to cut it out completely. Find a substitute, like a glass of fizzy mineral water with ice and a slice - a lovely way to start your evening - add a sprig of mint or a squeeze of lime for a real treat. If you are having a glass of wine or beer, delay it until at least 8 pm. The later you start, the less you’ll drink and if you are drinking alcohol – stick to two nights a week – Friday and Saturday work well as it will help you distinguish between a weekday and a weekend.
Sticking to a routine is a good way to keep your mental well-being in check. Get up at your usual time, even if you don’t have work to do, and get dressed! Hanging around in your PJ’s all day, won’t help you feel motivated to ‘get on’. If you’re not working, have a 'things-to-do' list every day and set yourself small goals to reach at intervals in the day, then tick off your 'things-to-do' list as you reach each goal. Most of us are very busy right now, juggling working from home, childcare and household tasks, but if you do have time to spare, don’t spend hours watching TV or on social media, join one of the many volunteer groups that are seeking recruits.
And finally, two important points: if you have a health condition that needs medical attention, please contact your GP. There’s a growing concern that people with non – COVID-19 health-related issues are not seeking help – and as a GP, I want to assure you, we do want to help you! And last but not least, please don’t believe everything you read in the press or social media about COVID-19 – much of what is written isn’t factually correct and can be misleading, and possibly even dangerous. I’m regularly on The Jeremy Vine Show answering questions, or you can follow me on Twitter @DrSarahJarvis I only give sensible, factually correct information about COVID-19 – and I’d be happy to answer your questions."
Stay safe, stay sane, and stay home - let us do all the hard work for you.
Jane and the team