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Physical Health and Well-Being

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused everyone to pause and re-evaluate their physical health and wellbeing. For a typically healthy individual without any physical impairments to their physical health, this is something we take for granted. Diseases that spread have always been around, and it continues to be important for us to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of this disease. Wolters Kluwer UpToDate, Inc. has created this informational video reviewing what COVID-19 is with associated symptoms, how it is spread, what to do if your feeling sick or have been exposed, and how to stop the spread. The 9-minute video is entitled, Emmi ® Patient Engagement Video: Understanding COVID-19 and How to Stay Safe .

“The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.” ~CDC

  1. Stay home.
    1. Avoid travel to areas with increased incidence.
    2. Try to limit travel only for essential business, like going to the grocery store.
    3. Clean items you handle often like your cellphone and doorknobs.
    4. Avoid sharing food, drink, towels, or tissues with others.
  2. Wash your hands.
    1. Using soap and water is best, spending time, at least 20 seconds or 2 rounds of the happy birthday song, with a 10-second rinse.
    2. Scrub well by rubbing hands, wrists, in between fingers, and fingernails.
    3. Dry hands with a towel, and turn the water off with that towel.
    4. Hand sanitizer is an alternative if rubbed well until dry.
  3. If you must leave home, stay 6 feet apart.
    1. Avoid crowds, handshakes, hugs, or high fives.
    2. Don’t touch your face keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    3. Wash your hands often, and ensure you wash your hands before returning home or as soon as you get home.
    4. A note about masks or cloth face covers to cover your face while you are outside of your home, please refer to the CDC’s most up to date recommendations.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes.
    1. Use a tissue to cover if at all possible, and throw it immediately in the trash.
    2. Wash your hands immediately.

It is important to take a moment and check-in with ourselves to ensure we are keeping our physical bodies safe during this time for our optimal performance. Our physical bodies can be compared to a machine, like a car for example. To feel safe in our car, we need to ensure it is maintained properly, with adequate oil, and a full tank of gas. Most drivers are alerted by lights or bells alarming them to any malfunction in their machine's performance.  Our bodies will also send these same warnings to us, but we need to be aware of the “bells” and listen to our bodies to maintain our physical health. Feelings of fatigue, hunger, or “just not feeling right” could be our body’s way of signaling to us a need for maintenance.  Maintaining consistency for sleep, nutrition, and physical fitness are our body’s foundation for maintaining optimal functioning. The following list of resources is a great review to remind you how best to address these three key aspects of maintenance for our body's overall physical health and well-being.

When reading this, remember to make caring for your body as important to you as maintaining your first car.  I remember my first car with an old wire clothes hanger holding the manual stick shift in the frame, but man I took the best care of that car because it took care of me!  Taking a moment to review these helpful resources hopefully will allow you to take a minute to check in with your most valuable machine … your physical body … there is no trade-in or upgrade promotion you will ever find to replace this most valuable machine!

Erin Perry, RN, Purdue CAPS Psychiatric Nurse

CAPS would like to give a big thank you to Purdue seniors Dillan Nelson, Logan Flake, Brian O’Leary, and Nadeem Ali for their work creating this informational video on Managing Quarantine.  Please check out this video if you’re interested in learning more about COVID-19 and managing your mental and physical health.

Recommendations and resources for Sleep

  1. Daytime sleepiness may be caused by not having good sleep habits or environmental disturbances while you are trying to sleep.
  2. It is important to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, or at least within an hour window to maintain a consistent schedule.
  3. Create a ritualized relaxing consistent bedtime routine for the final 30 minutes of the wakeful part of your day right before your scheduled bedtime.
  4. Exercise several times a week, but not right before your bedtime.
  5. Avoid using your blue light devices right before bedtime, such as a television, computer, tablet, or cellphone. Recommendation to make the bedtime routine blue light free.
  6. Limit your caffeine intake afternoon, by avoiding tea, coffee, or soda in the afternoon.
  7. Avoid alcohol and smoking, especially in the evening.
  8. Sleep in a dark, quiet, temperature-controlled room with comfortable pillows and mattress; consider using a fan or earplugs to block out noise.
  9. What you do during the day does impact how well you sleep at night. Try sticking to a consistent daily routine, with exercise and sun exposure activities, and deep breathing or meditation to help manage stress.
  10. For additional information please visit Sleep Education from the American Alliance For Health Sleep.

Recommendations and resources for Nutrition

  1. A balanced diet can give you the nutrients your body needs to keep you healthy.
  2. Carbohydrates give you quick energy, proteins help grow and repair the body, and fats give long-term energy.
  3. Your body also needs vitamins and minerals.
  4. Do not skip meals, stick to your scheduled meals and snacks to avoid hunger and over-eating.
  5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  6. A healthy diet is good for everyone, for more information visit
  7. Free APPS and websites promote nutrition and meal planning. Examples:
    1. Super Cook – Recipes for ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
    2. Fridge Food – Find Recipes for ingredients you have on hand.
    3. Forks Over Knives – Healthy recipes, meal plans and at-home tips.

Recommendations and resources for Physical Fitness

  1. Exercise has many benefits for your body and includes aerobic, resistance and stretching activities. It is important to include all three types of activities into your physical routine.
  2. Start slow and increase over time.  Start with a warm-up, then do your workout, followed by a cool down.
  3. If you can not exercise for 30 minutes straight, try to exercise for 10 minutes at a time 3-4 times a day.  This type of activity can be of benefit to you, especially if it means spending less time sitting.
  4. Spending extended periods sitting still is bad for your physical health.  Get up and move around whenever you can.  Even small movements like short walks or doing household chores can improve your physical health and well-being.
  5. Always remember to drink plenty of fluid, and wear properly fitting shoes.
  6. Purdue RecWell has great resources for maintaining your physical health, including home workout videos and nutrition resources.
  7. Free APPS and websites promote physical well-being. Examples:
    1. Fitness Blender offers FREE membership to all exercise videos – Physical Activity & Mental Health.
    2. 7 Minute Workout App.
    3. C25® - Couch to 5K App.
    4. Daily Yoga App & Website.
    5. At-home exercises, no equipment needed.