Ways to stay healthy at home

Apr 13, 2020

The spread and mitigation of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is an evolving concern for Illinois. University of Illinois Extension has a collection of resources to assist families and community leaders preparing for and coping with COVID-19. These resources continue to grow each day as educators across the state develop content for families, businesses and food producers.

People in our community find themselves facing an array of issues. Illinois Extension educators have cultivated a set of materials that will help you navigate these uncharted waters. There is information in a variety of formats including live webinars, tip sheets, videos and blogs. Whether you’re a busy parent, home gardener, small business owner or community leader you’ll be sure to find something that suits your needs. Visit go.illinois.edu/COVID19resources to learn more.  

Recent publications to the website include:

  • COVID-19 Impacts on Farmers Markets, U-Pick Farms and Community Gardens
  • Elements of an Emergency Food Supply
  • Caregiver Tips for Older Adults
  • Coping with Finances During Times of Uncertainty

With changes in schedules and many working from home, we could all use a little support during these trying times. I can say that working remotely has been an interesting experience and has not been without its challenges. I’ve tried to retain some sort of normalcy and for me that means sticking to a routine, reaching out to friends and family, preparing healthy meals and making physical activity a priority every day.

I’ve had success by adding 2-3 activity sessions each day which helps to break up the work day and reduce boredom. These activity sessions range from 10-minute toning exercises to 30-minute fitness walking videos I find on YouTube. If you are looking for ideas, there are many free online resources. One of the best parts of these videos is that you feel less isolated when virtually working out with others and having fun.

The weather is warming up and April is a great time to get outside or off the couch and celebrate Move More Month which is being promoted by the American Heart Association. Simple steps can make a big difference in your mood.

This means finding fun ways to incorporate more movement into your day

  • Walking while you talk on the phone
  • Putting on music and dancing while you do chores
  • And doing jumping jacks during commercial breaks

You certainly don’t have to stay inside. Getting outdoors for a walk can be a remedy for the stress many are experiencing during this period of social distancing.

Walking is the most popular form of exercise, is low cost and has so many health benefits. It reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes and depression while improving your memory and bone strength.

Research shows that for every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy for some people may increase by two hours.

Take time this April to move more and sit less. Aim for 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. This could be brisk walking, dancing or cycling; whatever you enjoy. Try to add at least 30 minutes of activity to your day and remember, every step counts.

This has been Kristin Bogdonas, nutrition & wellness educator for University of Illinois Extension, serving Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, and Stark Counties.

Wellness Wake Up Call is produced by WVIK in partnership with University of Illinois Extension, and sponsored by The Planning Center in Moline, assisting men and women with financial wellness and preparation for life's transitions, including retirement planning, college savings, marital changes, and estate planning.  

Additional Resources:

University of Illinois Extension Resources for Responding to COVID-19

University of Illinois Extension- Unit 7 (Henry, Mercer, Rock Island & Stark Counties)

Move More Month

Physical Guidelines for Americans