The first thing I want to say is that I understand that we are in unprecedented territory with the outbreak and spread of the novel Coronavirus or Covid-19, and as a business we take the implications of the virus very seriously. Over the next day or so, I will set out the changes that we are making to help combat/ slow down the spread of this virus, but firstly, I wanted to start with YOU, and set out 6 easy ways to try and keep yourself well.
I'm no medic or health worker, I humbly walk dogs for a living, and in addition to following guidelines, I think we need to take a common sense, panic free approach and the process should start with looking after ourselves and protecting our bodies from attack, so here's a few ideas of just how to do that:
1. Get your immune system in tip top condition- this seems like a no brainer to me, surely improving our immune system by eating vitamin rich foods particularly Vitamin A and C is a sure fire way to help ward off any virus. Eating lots of fresh fruit and veg particularly super foods like brocolli, kale, blueberries, oranges sweet potato, butternut squash, beetroot are full of these essential vitamins while grains, seeds, pulses, oily fish, tumeric and ginger for example will get your body in tip top condition, making it more able to fight off infection and viruses. Probiotic drinks and yogurts are also beneficial in keeping your gut healthy and ensuring your bodies natural defenses are fighting virus's, colds and flu.
2. Water! Wash your hands in it (often), drink it (often)- being properly hydrated enables your body to work properly, all your internal functions slow down and become less effective if you are dehydrated so water is a key component in fighting off any viral attacks. The recommended daily amount is 2 litres.
3. Walk your dog- now of course I would say that, but dog walking DOES actually help you ward off poor health (don't have a dog?...go for a walk anyway, it'll do you the world of good).....why?-
* Fresh air is good for you, it makes you feel better, fills your lungs with clean air rather than stale, recycled indoor air more likely to contain viral droplets etc.
* Being outdoors reduces stress, stress can suppress your immune system leaving you more open to catching colds, flu and viruses ,so being less stressed improves your immunity naturally.
* Even moderate exercise improves your immunity and reduces stress so dog walking naturally boosts your endorphins which in turn improves your feel good factor.....its a win- win!
* Being outdoors boosts your Vitamin D intake, an essential vitamin that stimulates the release of peptides which are our bodies virus fighting substances.
4. Get enough sleep- being tired reduces the bodies natural defence mechanisms, so try to stick to as normal a routine as possible, going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, enhances the quality of sleep, regulating our internal functions and in turn improving our immunity.
5. Tune out- easier said than done when the tv and radio are constantly forecasting doom and gloom. Would you feel better if you took a break from tv, social media and newspapers? Perhaps read a book, do some drawing, phone a friend and get some positive vibes back in your daily routine. Constantly listening to the news as it unfolds isn't going to change the outcome, but taking a few hours for yourself, a bit of an escape from the constant Covid noise may just lessen your stress. Stress is not good for our bodies, it makes us feel tired, depletes our defenses and makes us grumpy......a perfect reason to switch off and chill out for a few hours I'd say.
6. Help someone in need- lending a hand to someone worse off than yourself, actually improves your own health! The feel good factor of doing a kind deed has been proven to release endorphins into our blood stream, which in turn lowers our blood pressure, regulates our heart rate and breathing, what's not to love about that. As long as you are symptom free, your hands are clean and you are following guidelines, our community is relying on people to do the right thing and round about NOW is the right time to perhaps be helping out a neighbour or loved one.