Staying Healthy in the Time of COVID-19Mar 1, 2021
We understand these are stressful times, but the last thing that should be neglected is your health. It’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. San Ramon Regional Medical Center is open and safe to care for you and your loved ones. Your safety is our top priority.
For many of us, including our little ones, spending more time at home has become the new normal because of COVID-19. What are some things we can do to stay healthy at home?
Stay Active – Movement is Life
Exercising daily, decreasing phone time and fixing your posture are key factors in staying healthy and helping prevent neck and back issues down the road. When working from home, we tend to stay in one spot all day and not exercise. We need to make time for movement.
“Since you have time to be home now, you have to create a regimen for yourself to be able to exercise daily. Movement is function, movement is key and movement is life. So you have to spend time moving to have fewer [health] problems,” said Saqib Hasan, M.D., Orthopedic Spine Surgeon at San Ramon Regional Medical Center.
Check Your Posture
Dr. Hasan says having poor posture from looking down at your phone will catch up with you, so hold your phone straight in front of you, as opposed to looking down at it. This will put less pressure on your spine. When standing and sitting, avoid rounding your shoulders and back.
Other helpful tips for preventing neck and back issues: When you sleep, your spine should be straight when you’re laying down. And when picking up heavy items, use your knees and hips to lift. Don’t bend your back. Again, the key is to keep your spine straight and avoid rounding your back. Get more tips from Dr. Hasan in our recent web series.
Watch for Stress in Children
For many families during COVID-19, children have been home more than usual because of online schooling, which can be challenging. It’s important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of stress and seek help from a pediatrician or mental health professional if the problems persist.
“For infants, toddlers and young children, fussiness, aggression, sleepiness during the day and separation anxiety that leads to tantrums. These are all signs of stress," said Sam Pejham, M.D., Pediatrician at San Ramon Regional Medical Center. “For older children and adolescents, parents may notice their mood changing or they’re sad. They may not want to be involved in some of the activities they love doing, they may stay in their room, their schoolwork may be affected, they don’t keep in touch with their friends, depression, drug and alcohol use, thoughts of suicide.”
Dr. Pejham says physical activity has been shown to be one of the major ways we can help reduce stress in children and it can help combat some of the negative impacts of social isolation. This rings true for adults as well. Some ideas include sports, bike riding, swimming, jump rope and hiking. Physical activity reduces stress levels, improves moods, and helps with metabolism and memory. A good night’s sleep is also important. It helps with short and long term memory, growth and development, and building a strong immune system.
It’s also a good idea to limit screen time. Use the free time for more physical activities or playing games, doing puzzles or crafts. Hear more from Dr. Pejham in his recent web series talk.
Don’t Delay Medical Care
If you’ve been putting off your medical needs due to fear of coming to the hospital, there is no need to delay your care. In fact, it can be dangerous to do so. We continue to care for all patients who come to us with healthcare needs not related to COVID-19. This includes chest pain, heart attacks, strokes and broken bones. We have separate care pathways for potential or confirmed COVID-19 patients. Every precaution is being taken, combining strong infection prevention processes, staff training, testing and ample supply of personal protective equipment. We are committed to universal protection and safety for every person who walks through our doors.Until we achieve significant rates of vaccination in our communities, the most effective safety measures we can take against COVID-19 continue to be wearing a mask, washing our hands and maintaining social distance. Let’s work together to help stop the spread