Like everybody else, we are watching the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread and grow into a pandemic. CNN’s numbers say over 124,500 people worldwide have been infected, including more than 1,200 cases in the United States, and 4,607 people have died. Should we be scared? Fear is a natural reaction. Don’t beat yourself up. Let’s channel that anxious energy into productivity.
Pro and college leagues have been cancelled, postponed or suspended worldwide to protect athletes, coaches, team/league members and fans from the coronavirus.
But the athlete within you should not quit.
Employees in all different kinds of industries have been told to work from home. That’s not an excuse to do nothing. It’s an opportunity to adjust and still push forward safely and smartly. Idle bodies and minds are more vulnerable. Don’t just sit back and watch. Healthy routines matter now more than ever.
Medical experts have shared guidelines. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. These preventative measures are simple but often overlooked. That goes for several other healthy things that can be used to strengthen your immune system’s ability to fight.
House of Athlete believes that people from all walks of life—professional athlete, artist, nurse, teacher, everybody in between—should live by five pillars for his or her best self to thrive: train, fuel, mental fitness, recover and tribe.
Below are 11 quick but pivotal actions that fall within those five pillars. You can introduced these into your daily life to strengthen your athlete within—during this outbreak and beyond.
Hydrate. The golden rule has been to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. That should be the baseline when approaching hydration.
Be mindful of your diet. You have to help your body protect you. Individual immune systems are triggered by different things, called inflammatory foods, and having a firm grip on your specific nutritional needs is crucial. There are foods that have proved helpful across the board. Citrus, spinach, yogurt, almonds, green tea, sunflower seeds and shellfish are a few outlined by Healthline. House of Athlete provides additional supplements here.
Limit alcohol intake. The best alcohol for your body right now is the recommended 60 percent (at least) alcohol in hand sanitizer. According to the Cleveland Clinic, drinking alcoholic beverages “gives your body work to do that keeps it from other processes.” Your body needs to focus. Don’t distract it for short-term pleasure.
Use increased down time to read. Social media websites such as Instagram and Twitter have become the world’s most read books. With public activities shutting down, entertain yourself productively. Read a book (a real book). Getting lost in a plot will give your brain a break. Self-help books can keep you engaged and empowered during a time when everything is paused.
Don’t neglect your mental fitness. Meditate, meditate, meditate! Take 15 minutes out of your day to center within yourself and quiet the mounting outside noise. While meditating, your fight-or-flight instinct melts away. Just be.
Breathe in, breathe out. Anxiety thrives in the unknown. Control what you can control. There are so many breathing exercises available online. Find one that works for you. Just keep breathing. It’s the simplest act we can do. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, return to the basics.
Be intentional about your rest. This is nothing new. Sleep is our biological charging cord. Develop a bedtime routine that lets your mind shut down. There is a difference between sleeping and resting. Rest, recover and restore from today so tomorrow can be better.
Use the outdoors to your advantage. Cities across the world have banned large gatherings, but there is still a way to get some air safely as long as we’re thoughtful. At House of Athlete, we’re temporarily trading our House for outdoor workouts. Everybody will have their own personal space while still keeping our tribe together (Learn more here). Sunlight gives our brains serotonin and improves our moods. If you live in a crowded (or cloudy) city like New York City or Seattle, get your Vitamin D through supplements.
Tap into your tribe. The coronavirus is trying hard to isolate us from each other. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people avoid close physical contact with people who have shown symptoms. Communities are being quarantined more and more every day. That does not mean you should emotionally quarantine yourself. A tribe does not take off days! Call, text or direct-message loved ones. Get anything and everything you need off of your chest to a trusted support system. Times like this call for us to come together.
Utilize House of Athlete’s online programs. Going inside a crowded gym isn’t No. 1 on the to-do list right now. That’s OK. House of Athlete has online programs for you to use until the coronavirus is contained. Safety does not have to come at the expense of your improvement. You can still perform without an audience.
Invest in probiotics. We recommend Klean Athlete’s probiotic supplement. View it here.
Disclaimer: These tips were inspired by an article from mindbodygreen’s Abby Moore but tailored to make them our own.