The coronavirus: What is COVID-19 and how can I protect myself?
It's taken over news headlines, but what is the coronavirus?
As more and more of us are doing what we can to help slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus (or COVID-19), you may find that it’s that little bit harder to focus on your physical health.
Gyms are closed, many retailers have shut their doors and it’s not recommended that we venture out and use our local parks and beaches the way we used to.
So, how can we eat and move to ensure our bodies stay strong and well?
We sat down with Medical Doctor and CEO of VicHealth, Dr Sandro Demaio, to find out why staying at home is so essential, but also to get his advice on keeping healthy while physically distancing.
Sandro explains, “The risk COVID-19 poses to the health of Australians is extremely serious and real. Right now, the most important thing we can all do is stay home.”
“Don’t leave your home unless it’s essential, for example to get medical supplies or food. Social gatherings – such as having friends or family over for dinner or celebrations – cannot happen right now.”
“We understand this will take some getting used to and will impact on all of our lives, but it’s incredibly important for slowing the spread of COVID-19. While you may not get seriously ill with the virus, your grandparent, an older neighbour or other vulnerable people in the community you don’t even know could die from this illness.”
“We all need to take this seriously to save lives.”
“As our lives change and physical interaction is limited, being active is more important than ever. Doing some form of exercise is an easy and free way to boost both your physical health and make you feel better – and there are plenty of ways you can move your body, regardless of the size of your home and your fitness level,” he says.
Here are Sandro’s tips to get you started:
“Eating a healthy diet helps keep our immune system strong, and that’s really important right now. While supplies of packaged foods like pasta and rice have been low, there are plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available to enjoy,” Sandro explains.
“If you can’t get to the supermarket, ask a family member, friend or neighbour to make a trip for you.”
Sandro’s given us five simple tips to for eating a healthy, balanced diet:
While it’s important to focus on keeping physically healthy, it’s also essential we care for our mental health. For a range of articles with advice, tips and resources, head to The Check Up's Mental Health section.
For more information on COVID-19 and the latest updates, head to the Australian Government’s Novel Coronavirus webpage.
Co-host of the ABC TV series ‘Ask the Doctor’, author of 30 scientific papers and ‘The Doctor’s Diet’ (a cookbook based on science), Dr Sandro Demaio is an Aussie medical doctor and global expert on non-communicable diseases.
For more articles by Dr Sandro Demaio, check out The Check Up’s dedicated section.