Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

COVID-19: lifestyle tips to stay healthy during the pandemic

Collage of four pictures of people exercising, sleeping and eating healthy food Eating right, physical activity, adequate rest and taking care of our mental health not only improves overall health and wellness, but also makes us more resilient during COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- COVID-19 has changed many of our daily routines in a way no one anticipated. Many of us are at home more to minimize exposure. Isolation and being at home can illicit the temptation to eat snacks high in sodium, junk food and low-quality meals that provide instant gratification for our taste buds rather than nutrient-dense whole foods that can also be delicious. This is a challenge for many in these times of social distancing and self-isolation.

A day that may have previously included many steps, physical activities like walking from your car at your workplace parking lot twice per day, shopping for groceries, outings with the family or visiting shopping mall are absent for many. With this unprecedented lifestyle shift, there is a potential for the normalization of a more sedentary lifestyle packed with activities like watching television, sitting while reading for long periods, or sitting at your computer for longer-than-usual periods of time. We must stay proactive, and in some cases creative, to maintain an active lifestyle in the era of social-distancing. Even if you are not directly affected by COVID-19, or tested positive, it no doubt has had a drastic impact on your day-to-day routine, which could negatively affect your overall health.

So what are some things we can do to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and routine while the world around us has adapted to limiting exposure to COVID-19?

  • Stay active: The gyms may not be open, however, there are lots of safe alternatives to getting physical activity without going against the preventive best practices recommended by the CDC like social distancing and avoiding large crowds. Aerobics can be done successfully at home. Another important point to consider is that avoiding crowds does not mean avoiding nature. Going for a brisk walk or jog outside in uncrowded areas outdoors is still considered relatively safe.  Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping-jacks and more exercises are great ways to stay fit away from the gym. For more ideas, visit: https://www.aflcmc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2147181/staying-physically-active-during-covid-19/.
  • Adequate sleep: Good sleep is essential to our overall health. According to The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the nation’s leading medical research agency: “Immune system activation alters sleep, and sleep in turn affects the innate and adaptive arm of our body's defense system.”  While the amount of sleep needed for good health and optimum performance mostly depends on the individual, the CDC recommends adults age 18-60 years get seven or more hours of sleep per night.
  • Diet and nutrition: Practicing self-discipline and avoiding “emotional eating” due to stress that may be related to the drastic changes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects our lives is imperative. According to the CDC, whole foods like dark, leafy greens, oranges and tomatoes—even fresh herbs—are loaded with vitamins, fiber and minerals. Make it a habit to try to eat more whole nutritious foods instead of processed snacks or fast food.
  • Self-care: Take time to take care of yourself. Be supportive and suggest the same for those close to you. Meditation, relaxation, quality time with family, personal care of yourself promotes overall wellness. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) has free, evidence-based, self-care tools developed by psychologists that you can check out here: https://health.mil/About-MHS/OASDHA/Defense-Health-Agency/Operations/Clinical-Support-Division/Connected-Health/mHealth-Clinical-Integration
  • Healthcare maintenance: If you have medications prescribed for any condition, be sure to take them as directed by your provider. Chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma and many others should be kept in check with taking your medications as prescribed. Be sure to reach out to your healthcare team with any concerns as well. In the age of COVID-19, telehealth solutions are available if you want to speak with a provider about a health concern unrelated to COVID-19. Madigan patients, for instance, can still utilize Secure Messaging in the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal to request an appointment or call the Puget Sound Military Appointment Center at 1-800-404-4506 to schedule a telehealth appointment.
  • Cope with stress and anxiety: Positively cope with stress and anxiety induced by new precautions we must all now take to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Positive coping mechanisms would include exercise, meditation, reading, further developing certain skills or hobbies etc. Use this era to increase your daily repetition of these positive activities and develop new or even better routines than you may have adhered to prior to the emergence of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Stay connected: Talking with loved ones while in isolation can help reduce the anxiety and instances of feeling down. Take time to utilize the multitudes of technologies and apps (many free) that can help you stay in touch with those you love. Our busy lives before the COVID-19 may have limited how often we connected with distant loved ones, now’s the time to fully exploit these modern capabilities for fellowship, companionship, and camaraderie.

The guidance above is to improve overall health and wellness. Please be aware that although eating nutritious foods, physical activity, adequate rest and taking care of our mental health makes us more resilient, it’s not a cure nor does it guarantee immunity from contracting COVID-19. In addition to these suggestions, first and foremost be sure to practice CDC guidance on social distancing, self-care, self-quarantine, wearing of cloth masks when social distancing is not possible and talking with your provider about any concerns you may have regarding your health. If you have a medical emergency, visit an emergency room. If you have an injury or illness unrelated to COVID-19, be sure to visit an Urgent Care Center. If you have questions or do not know exactly what to do, call the MHS Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

From COVID-19 testing to MHS GENESIS support, lab techs do it all

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask using a blood analyzer machine

To describe what lab techs do, Geisler chose a famed fictional detective to illustrate their importance and provide context.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Tanker medics from McConnell AFB are fighting COVID-19 in St. Paul

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing face masks hugging

Tanker Medics from McConnell Air Force Base travel to Minnesota to help fight COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Keesler uses post-vaccine waiting period to identify routine care gaps

Article
4/20/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask administering the COVID-19 vaccine

15 minutes is all it takes to get routine health care back on track.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Tidewater set to become fifth Military Health System market

Article
4/19/2021
Military health personnel reading a medical machine

The Tidewater Military Health System market in southeast Virginia is scheduled to officially stand up April 19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation

Appenzeller emphasizes: Get COVID-19 vaccine, no matter where

Article
4/16/2021
Military personnel explaining forensic equipment

The DHA’s Combat Support assistant director had some direct and encouraging words about the military’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout to date.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Tele-critical care will play increased COVID-19 response role in 2021

Article
4/15/2021
Infographic that says "202 tele-critical care successes will help 2021 COVID19 response"

Virtual health and particularly tele-critical care for critically ill patients assumed frontline roles in sustaining care while keeping beneficiaries and health care teams safe.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation

Join Us!! Third COVID-19 Townhall Update with Major General George Appenzeller!

Article
4/13/2021
MHS and Military OneSource COVID-19 Townhall, with Major General (Dr.) George N. Appenzeller.  Wednesday, 14 April, 1 PM ET

Join us for the MHS' Third COVID-19 Townhall with Major General George Appenzeller

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Public health remains an integral part in the fight against COVID

Article
4/9/2021
Infographic featuring health personnel wearing face shields and mask with "National Public Health Week" across the top of the picture

The pandemic has highlighted a need to provide more advanced training on infection prevention and control.

Recommended Content:

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit | Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DOD surpasses 2 million COVID-19 vaccines worldwide

Article
4/9/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The DOD hit the 2 million mark for vaccinations worldwide just a month after the 1 million milestone.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Children’s well-being contributes immeasurably to force readiness

Article
4/6/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask in the back of a truck

The Defense Health Agency joins in celebrating military children during Month of the Military Child, observed in April, and always.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Coronavirus | Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Month of the Military Child Image Library

Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

Article
4/1/2021
Uniformed service member stands behind wall of computer screens

COVID-19 has led to the need for physical distancing and has overwhelmed the capacities of health systems, compelling many to adopt telehealth solutions.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Research and Innovation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Lovell FHCC staff steps up to create formidable COVID-19 team

Article
3/30/2021
Military health personnel preparing to administer the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination effort at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois, has brought out the best in staff.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DOD healthcare leaders give COVID-19 update, praise DHA personnel

Article
3/30/2021
Picture of Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr. Ronald Place providing a COVID-19 update at  the Pentagon

Dr. Terry Adirim and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place provide update on COVID-19 vaccination progress and offer thanks to MHS workers for their contributions.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Dover Air Force Base features ‘Park ‘N Pickup’ pharmacy

Article
3/26/2021
Picture of prescription sitting on a counter

Due to the increased need for patient safety, the 436th Medical Group pharmacy at Dover Air Force Base has implemented a Park ‘N Pickup process.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Coronavirus | Patient Safety

Eight nations participate in West African virtual pandemic exercise

Article
3/24/2021
Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask looking at a laptop computer

Medical experts from six African nations, the United Kingdom and the United States, participated in a Virtual Pandemic Preparation and Response Engagement exercise.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Partners
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 24

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.