400,000 Americans have perished due to the COVID-19 virus. It is not a secret that the virus has laid bare the fact that many people of color are not as healthy as they perhaps should be. There are institutional changes in health care that must take place to correct inequities, but there are things that can be done right now to help make your health better. There are things now that can help you save yourself and your family.
With COVID-19 wreaking havoc, many people are afraid to leave their homes. As Americans try to navigate and survive this pandemic, many have decreased their physical activity. Staying active is very important even if it is just within the four walls of your home. Walk around your home. Move from room to room. Walk in place. Start to do some exercises. There is a wealth of free exercise programs on YouTube. They range from chair exercises to full workouts. Choose one that speaks to you and your level of physical fitness. Make it a routine that you follow working your way up to 30 minutes daily, five days a week. Find something you enjoy.
Since so many people are now at home and are cooking more, take this time to explore new and different cuisines. This is a perfect time to learn to cook interesting, flavorful foods. Discover herbs and spices you have wondered about. Find a video online and invest in new knowledge about foods that are healthy and cost effective. Bring out your inner chef.
Take this time to get to know someone who you had long forgotten about. Someone who is always on the backburner. Take this time to get to know yourself.
Caring for yourself is one of those things a lot of people do not do. Especially during this pandemic, caring for yourself in the form of exploring your forgotten dreams is an investment in your future. Who are you now, who do you want to be? What would make you happy. Even in the midst of caring for children, schooling, working and caring for yourself is a positive step towards health.
Evaluate your life and who you have allowed in your life. Take this time to rid your life of toxic people and toxic behaviors. You get to make this choice.
Being healthy also involves getting adequate rest. Use this pandemic as a time to develop new behaviors. Get your rest. Turn off that television or computer. Fill your mind with positive thoughts.
Yes, this pandemic has caused pain and suffering for many. Yes, many have lost jobs and are living in a financial crunch. There are those who are looking for their next meal and are wondering where they will lay their heads. Stop, step back and collect your thoughts. A solution will not come in panic. Maintain your health. It is your most precious gift.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at email@example.com.
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