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- 04/16/2020

How to keep healthy while in isolation or quarantine (COVID-19)

AgroFOOD Industry Hi Tech

Whether you are in quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19, you will inevitably be spending more time at home. Following general healthy living advice such as eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and managing stress are the best recommendation for staying healthy during quarantine or self-isolation. 


1. Eat a balanced and varied diet

Simply put, there are no foods or supplements that can ‘boost’ our immune system and prevent or treat COVID-19. Nevertheless, eating a well-balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant and animal proteins and healthy fats is the best way to get all the essential nutrients we need for good health and normal immune function. As self-isolation may lead us to be less active, it is also important to pay close attention to food portions and to keep our energy balance adjusted to meet our needs.

30 minutes of daily physical activity and at least 1 hour for healthy kids (5-17 years).

Follow these tips for staying physically active during self-isolation or quarantine:

  • Plan time for physical activity in your day
  • Take regular breaks from sitting by standing up and stretching or going for a quick walk if permitted
  • Follow an online exercise class
  • Think outside the box: activities like dancing, playing active videogames, cleaning the house or playing with your kids all count as physical activity!

For more information see WHO European Region – Stay physically active during self-quarantine

ideas for physical activity during self-isolation

Figure 4. Ideas for physical activity during self-isolation.


6. Get enough quality sleep!

A lack of quality sleep can negatively affect both our physical and mental health as well as reduce our immune system’s ability to fight off infections. The amount of sleep we need depends on our age (figure 5). In general, adults should aim to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep per night. Stress brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic may have a negative impact our sleep. Therefore, we should try to priorities good sleeping habits and ensure we are getting enough.

Here are some tips to help you improve your sleep:

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule (going to bed and getting up at set times), and keep it on weekends and when working from home
  • Limit alcohol intake and do not smoke
  • Avoid caffeine before bedtime
  • Exercise regularly
  • Use comfortable inviting bedding
  • Keeping your room quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature
  • Disconnect from electronics before going to bed
  • Try relaxation techniques such as meditation