Life in the pandemic has been tough on everyone, but it’s been particularly difficult for those of us living in cities, where COVID-19 has spread quickly amongst buildings and within our communities. It’s been hard to get out and about, and even more difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle while we’re cooped up in our homes.
The good news is that public spaces are starting to reopen, and many of us are cautiously returning to our “normal” pre-pandemic lives. However, there are still a few unique hurdles that you need to clear to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic.
You are 68 times more likely to die from COVID if you are not vaccinated and have not had the booster. Additionally, a recent UK-based study found that folks who are vaccinated have a faster decline of “viral load,” which means they are less likely to spread COVID-19.
Simply put, being vaccinated reduces your chance of spreading COVID-19 in your community, and helps your body cope if you are infected. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to ignore other areas of your health and well-being during the pandemic. For that, you can look to telehealth options and should consider a few lifestyle changes.
Before the pandemic, very few of us had heard of “telehealth.” But, due to physical distancing requirements, many medical professionals pivoted their services to provide an online, real-time service to their patients. This meant patients could still get the treatment and advice they needed without having to come into close contact with other people.
The good news is that telehealth is here to stay. Post-pandemic telehealth is great for patients and doctors alike and has a range of benefits over traditional in-person consultations. In particular, telehealth gives medical professionals access to more data when making decisions, as our watches and wearable devices can help monitor things like sleep patterns and blood pressure. This means medical professionals can make better-informed decisions, and you can stay on top of your health regimen.
Telemedicine also allows you to skip the waiting room at the doctor’s office. This might seem trivial at first, but waiting rooms are a major source of anxiety for many people, and can put people off from getting the treatment they need.
Additionally, social inequalities are often reproduced in waiting rooms, as Margaret Waltz explains, “White people don’t wait as long as Black and Hispanic people. People of high socioeconomic status have shorter wait times compared to people of low socioeconomic status. And women wait more often in these spaces than men.” This is a frustrating reality, but one that telehealth can help you sidestep.
By leveraging telehealth to your advantage, you can cut out the stress of waiting rooms, and give your doctor more accurate historical data that improves their diagnoses and helps you stay safe and healthy.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic was almost impossible for those living in urban areas. We weren’t allowed outside, and exercising in your own apartment or room just wasn’t the same as a morning run through the city or an exercise class with friends. But now is a great time to get back to your healthy habits.
You can start by making small lifestyle changes like drinking green tea and using wearable tech like Fitbit which tracks your health data. When you’re ready, you can start exercising again. To give yourself the best chance of staying on track, consider signing up for a group class, or enrolling in a pre-programmed exercise regimen that keeps you accountable.
If you’re in a real funk, then you should just focus on improving your mental health. The best way to improve your mental health is to get in touch with a medical professional who can suggest things like low-impact exercise or may even suggest that you get a dog, as recent research shows that our canine pals can help us fight several mental health disorders.
Finally, be sure to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Your sleep pattern may have been disrupted by the pandemic, but now is the time to get back to a routine. You should aim to sleep 8 – 10 hours every night, and can improve your chances of nodding off by turning off your cellphone at least an hour before bed, as well as by cutting out excessive alcohol or stimulants that keep you up at night.
Maintaining your health during the pandemic isn’t easy. It’s tempting to stay up all night if you don’t have in-person commitments the next day, and many community exercise groups were forced to close when the pandemic struck. However, you can get your health back on track by getting in touch with a medical professional via telehealth services, and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that will help you feel energized.