As the staff of the Imserso Alzheimer’s CRE I have considered providing some general basic notes on healthy habits and tips to try to better manage this home confinement to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in various areas (food, hydration, night rest and physical activity):
1. Food :
- Planning: Here planning is essential because we will have more free time and it is possible that we eat badly and in excess.
- Healthy food: In this basic planning of the week we should take into account healthy foods such as vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts, eggs, dairy, fish, and white/lean meats. Vegans or vegetarians will benefit from adding tofu or pasteurized soy to their shopping list.
- Weekly purchase (or if possible fortnightly or monthly): With the weekly menu we should make the shopping list, checking what we have or not in the pantry. We must avoid and more in this quarantine situation the ultra-processed: soft drinks, alcohol, pastries, precooked (pizzas, lasagna …).
- Maintain meal schedules and avoid snacking: Your habits influence what you eat, so try to do activities that are entertaining to you, thus avoiding boredom or anxiety that can lead to unnecessary food consumption.
According to the World Health Organization, water is essential for the human body at any stage of life and it is recommended to consume 2 to 3 liters of water daily although the needs may vary according to age, sex, diet, and level of physical therapy activity. Without a doubt, we must consume water (infusions, homemade broths are also allowed) and we must avoid the consumption of other types of drinks or do so very occasionally (sugary drinks, processed juices, alcohol). Food contributes between 20-30% of total water intake, while drinks account for the remaining 70-80%.
Dehydration can negatively influence kidney function, cognitive functions, and motor control of individuals.
3. Night rest:
Some aspects of isolation such as less exposure to natural light, reduced physical activity, and loss of daily routines affect the quantity and quality of sleep. In addition, the anxiety that confinement can generate and the feeling of lack of control of the situation can affect sleep (See advice from our psychologist).
Therefore, experts recommend in these moments of confinement:
- Daily routines: getting up and going to bed at the same time, setting regular times for breakfast, lunch and dinner, eating properly, not staying in pajamas…
- If it is possible to be exposed to natural light for at least two hours in the morning (depending on each house, you can go out to the balcony, have breakfast by the window, be in rooms where natural light enters…).
- On the other hand, at night it is convenient to avoid, as far as possible, mobile phones and tablets because the light they emit confuses the internal clock.
- A relaxation routine is recommended at the end of the day that allows you to disconnect (it can be watching a humorous movie, reading a novel of our interest
4. Physical activity:
Exercise at home improves the immune system (especially moderate aerobic exercise) and combats the stress of confinement.
It is necessary to remain active at home, not only for the immune function, but to avoid as far as possible the problems caused by sedentary lifestyle; During periods of physical inactivity, muscle atrophy occurs that leads to a decrease in functional capacity; This consequence is even more aggravated in older adults, who already lose more strength and muscle mass than other population groups due to the same aging in periods of inactivity.
To develop an adequate exercise routine it would be necessary to individualize it; That is why I recommend a remote consultation with your physiotherapist who will be the one who else can recommend the exercise routine according to your physical condition, your usual medical or musculoskeletal ailments, and pathologies.
10 PHYSICAL THERAPY TIPS FOR SUMMER
We bring you 10 physiotherapy tips for the summer, in this way you will have a healthier summer since at this time of year we usually do more physical exercise. We have more free time, the days are longer, and the weather invites us to be outdoors.
Taking advantage of this summertime to improve our physical condition is a great choice. But be careful because a bad practice can spoil our vacations. If you do not exercise regularly, do not forget to start gradually, and try to avoid sports that involve a risk of falls or blows.
We offer you 10 physiotherapy tips that can help you make your summer a healthier and injury-free summer:
- If we are going to go hiking, we will have to warm up the muscles before the walks. In the end, we will do the stretching of the muscles most involved. We can take advantage, if there is a river or a stream, to put our bare feet looking for the activating and anti-inflammatory effect of cold water.
- Use the appropriate footwear for the activity that we are going to carry out. Taking care of our feet is essential. Running on the beach is not the same as hiking in the mountains.
- Avoid unnecessary loads on the backpack. Our back will thank us.
- Before we start swimming, we will warm-up and stretch once we have finished. We can do it in the water.
- If we practice racket sports on the beach, try to be on wet sand, since the terrain is more stable. If we do it in dry sand, put on shoes, to protect our knees, ankles, and feet. And remember to warm up before and stretch after.
- When we change beds and pillows, our necks can complain. Remember that a pillow has to have the height to fit our neck. If the pillow is very high or very low, it is preferable that you replace it by rolling up some towels at the height you need and putting them inside the cover.
- Likewise, in the morning, if you notice your lower back feeling resentful when you wake up, do some stretches before getting up: bring both legs bent to your chest and hug them, making small circles in both directions. Then, folded and together, let them fall to one side and hold, counting to 20. Slowly, take them to the other side and repeat. Hug them again … and you’re ready to get up.
- If you are going to do aerobic activities, such as running, volleyball, etc., choose the first and last hours of the day to do it. Avoid the middle hours to avoid “heat stroke.” Do not forget to protect your head from the sun and to drink plenty of water, before, during, and after the activity. Good hydration is essential.
- First aid kit: some elastic bandage, anti-inflammatory cream, instant cold pack, instant heat pack, tape, they will be of good use if we have an incident.
- Use the cold(ice, frozen pea bags, instant cold pack, etc.) after intense activity in those areas where we notice tension/overload or inflammation. Then stretch. If you have a weaker joint, you can protect it with a means of support (ankle brace, knee brace) or a functional bandage if you are going to overuse it.
And, of course, if you have any problems or questions, you can contact us and if you are away on vacation and need it, you will surely find a physiotherapy center where they can help you. Happy summer!!