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Covid-19: What a doctor is doing to stay healthy in the pandemic

Dr. Sarika Arora, MD

We’re all staying home as much as we can to flatten the curve of Covid-19and keep ourselves healthy. My daily routine is radically different these days,but in staying home and practicing physical distancing, I am finding so many new and creativeways to support my immune health and overall wellness.

A woman taking good care of her health during the Covid-19 pandemic

Could you use some tips on staying healthy at home? Here’s what I am doingthat I know everyone can do.

Take advantage of more time to cook healthy foods

Preparing vegetables for different recipes is almost always the most time-consumingpart of cooking for me -- all that chopping! So with more time to spend onmeal prep, I am finding it easier to include more veggies in my diet. For example,I’m teaching myself how to make baked kale chips, a recipe I’ve alwayswanted to master.

As part of keeping myself healthy and nourished, I am trying to get at least 5-7servings of vegetables and 1-2 servings of fruit every day. I am eating grapefruitand papaya for the Vitamin C content, and also adding probiotic-rich foods to mymeals, including organic kimchi and organic fermented beets. Maintaining a healthygut is the first line of immune support, so I add a tablespoon of one of these foodsto every lunch and dinner. As I try to stretch trips to the grocery store -- fewertrips means less risk -- I’ve found that buying a large bag of frozen berriesis an easy way to always have some fruit to sprinkle over my morning bowl of gluten-freeoats.

Add vitamins and supplements for immune support

I have slightly changed my normal supplement routine to really put the focus onimmune support. I am taking added supplements of antioxidant Vitamin C, Omega-3s,a great multivitamin, and iodine. Stress can dampen the body’s immuneresponse, and who isn’t stressed now? So I’ m also taking an adrenal support supplement to protect against the effects of stress.

Use routine and connection to minimize stress

Speaking of stress, part of my strategy to keep it minimized is to continue my normalroutine of praying and meditating upon waking. With so many disruptions to everydaylife, routine feels good! And doing it first thing helps keep me on trackall day.

At the beginning of the year, I started a “5-minute journal,” in whichevery morning I write down three things I am grateful for and three things thatwill make the day great. In the evening, I add three amazing things that happenedthat day. It’s helping so much — gratitude is the best medicine forstress!

I’m also taking extra time to call my friends and family — all the peopleI haven’t talked to in a while because of busy schedules! Facetiming is wonderfulbecause you see each other. Staying socially connected, even during a time of socialdistancing, is so important for our emotional health.

Take advantage of online exercise classes

Exercise helps support immune function, so I’m on the prowl for online exerciseclasses to keep me moving at home. This week I took part in a virtual yoga class.I loved it! The class was relaxing and easy to follow, and it was great being ableto make dinner immediately following the class. I didn’t need to spend allthat time driving home. Many online exercise classes are low cost or free, and Iencourage you to try one out! My personal trainer is offering virtual classes andvirtual 1:1 sessions to help her clients and me to stay on track.

Use hand washing as a way to support local businesses

As a doctor, I have long been a big hand washer. It’s an essential part ofour training, and the more you know about the science of soap, the more you’lldo it too.

Dr. Bronner’s is one of my standbys and can be purchased at most grocery stores.I am also stocking up on Organic Bath Co. soaps and Cambridge Natural soaps, madelocally here in the Boston area. It makes me feel good to support local businessesat this difficult time. Plus, they are great soaps! I encourage you to look forlocal soap companies in your own area and then frequently suds up.

I look forward to sharing more with you about how we can all get through this withour health and wellness intact. If you found these tips helpful, please share withyour friends. Send us your tips by email or on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll share them with our community. I’ll see you (online) soon.

Covid-19: More than the elderly are at risk. Maybe you are too.

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Published: March 27, 2020 - Last Updated: April 2, 2021

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