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We are at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty and fear around us regarding the global health pandemic COVID 19. While the situation in Nepal – till the time I write this article – is not as alarming, it would be foolish to remain unprepared. I am not an expert on the virus but am writing this article strictly from the perspective of a fitness expert and a wellness coach.

My teacher once told me that when it comes to transferable diseases, you are only as strong as your body’s ability to protect itself. Rather than feed the fear and worry incessantly, convert the time to prepare yourself better –physically, emotionally and mentally. While it is extremely important to follow the health protocols laid out by the diseases control mechanisms worldwide, it is equally important to prepare yourself on the inside to lower the stress and do everything to build your immunity. Here are some things I hope will help you:

If you are uncertain about being outdoors – even if it is to the nearby grocery store – especially at time of lockdown, don’t go. The stress of to go or not to go will most certainly weaken your immune system if nothing.

Maintain high levels of hygiene. Wash your hands, wipe down surfaces, ensure there is sufficient air ventilation, avoid being in groups especially if you have a compromised health condition generally, get enough sunlight, keep things generally clean around yourself.

Exercise is non-negotiable to your wellbeing. Ensure that you are walking, running, active and get at least 30 minutes of workout at home. While working out, please be careful at this time not to overdo it because when you build the intensity, your immunity lowers for awhile before it recovers.

Focus on your nutrition. Fresh vegetables and fruits are important and should be the mainstay of your food. Avoid meat, frozen and packed foods. Enjoy regular meals and eat in a quiet environment with appreciation that the food you are consuming is nourishing you.

Stay hydrated. Water is a natural immune booster. It is especially crucial that your body gets enough water through the day. Many of us have a tendency to neglect consuming sufficient water or to meet the target, we have it at one go.

Be mindful of what you consume especially from the news and social media. This is especially important. There is so much information out there and not all of it is helpful. Some people are taking social media updates every few minutes and suffer from undue anxiety and paranoia.

Meditate. A few minutes of quiet time and meditation as soon as you awaken and before you go to sleep is very beneficial for your overall wellbeing. During the span of the day, should you feel overwhelmed or anxious – especially because most conversations today focus on the disease or the impact of it in multiple ways – take a few minute to sit by yourself and breathe deeply to calm your mind.

Sleep well. Get regular hours of sleep. You should wake up feeling rested. Sleep is nature’s best healer. Do not undermine the importance of a good night’s sleep on your immunity.

Avoid the things that dent your immunity such as high intake of alcohol, tobacco or caffeine.

Emotional wellbeing. It’s very important that you feel supported. Spend time with your loved ones or your pet. If you are working from home already or have chosen to maintain social distancing, that is a choice you have made and you should not feel ridiculed or lesser for doing what feels right for you even if others fail to understand it.

Sandesh Palungwa Limbu is a certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and also specialises in mixed martial arts. For answers to your fitness queries, write to him at ragefitness@live.com