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Practicing Healthy Routines at Home

With social distancing guidelines extended through at least the end of April, it is guaranteed that everyone will be spending even more time indoors. Following are five tips for practicing healthful routines:

Eat Well
With restaurants closed, cutting hours, and only providing delivery and takeout services, precooked meals are hard to come by, which is why even non-cooks may want to prepare meals at home. Look in the pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator and create dinners around those items. When shopping in a store or ordering groceries online, choose fresh vegetables that keep well on shelves or in the fridge. Potatoes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are good choices. Consider buying frozen vegetables and fruits, too. Have a backup plan in case what you need from the store is not in stock. Substitute canned or fresh tomatoes and spices for jarred spaghetti sauce, for instance.

Work Out
Gyms are closed and nearly all parks and beaches are off-limits, but it is still possible to get a workout. Look online for virtual classes being offered by fitness companies and nonprofits. The YMCA (www.ymca.net/your-y-at-home-staying-active) has a list of free online classes that includes everything from barre to yoga. YouTube is another good source for at-home workouts. And when the sun is shining, take a walk, run, jog, or bike ride. Just remember not to use closed parks or trails and to stay six feet away from passersby.

Sleep Soundly
Granted that uncertainty is swirling inside everyone’s minds these days, it’s still important to keep stress in check and get a good night’s sleep to stay healthy. Making bedrooms tech-free zones can quell one’s urge to pick up the phone or tablet and check news, emails, social media, and texts at all hours. Before bed, consider non-tech substitutes such as reading, journaling, coloring, playing games, or working puzzles, reserving technology to access yoga and meditation videos and podcasts. For peace of mind at night, check in with friends and family through phone calls, texts, and video chats during the day.

Exercise Your Brain
While falling into a Netflix-induced coma may sound like the perfect day to some, keeping one’s brain active is important when spending extensive time at home. Putting together puzzles, playing board and word games, and reading all keep the brain in shape. With a Herrick library card, patrons can access the Gale databases (https://herricklibrary.org/your-health/articles-and-encyclopedias/) to search for a multitude of health-related topics. San Diego County Library (https://www.sdcl.org/) and the San Diego Public Library (https://www.sandiego.gov/public-library) offer ebooks, electronic audiobooks, and magazines online. Access to these resources is granted to card-carrying patrons as well as those who apply online for a temporary or digital card.

Keep Clean
With the coronavirus being able to survive on surfaces for several days, keeping homes clean is imperative. Wipe down surfaces before and after use, including doorknobs, refrigerator handles, light switches, TV remotes, keyboards, and cell phones. Wash hands with soap and warm water after entering the home and each time you use the kitchen. When Lysol and hand sanitizers are as rare on store shelves as four-leaf clovers in backyards, consider making cleaners, which can be as effective as manufactured products. The CDC suggests combining four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water to make a disinfectant to be used on surfaces safe for bleach or making a disinfectant by using products containing 70 percent alcohol, such as rubbing alcohol or grain alcohol that is 140 proof. The CDC’s “Cleaning and Disinfection for Households” page (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html) offers tips on cleaning everything from clothing to countertops. Just be aware that mixing some household chemicals can be toxic.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (VOVID-19): Clean & Disinfect,” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html; Good Housekeeping, “8 Homemade Cleaners That Actually Work, According to Our Cleaning Expert,” https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a24885/make-at-home-cleaners/; Good Housekeeping, “6 Cleaning Products You Should Never, Ever Mix,” https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a32773/cleaning-products-never-mix/; National Institutes of Health, “ New Coronavirus Stable for Hours on Surfaces,” https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces; YMCA, “At-Home Workouts,” https://www.ymca.net/your-y-at-home-staying-active.

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