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April 2020

To balance your health can be tricky during this global pandemic. We all have to stay at home and move through substantial lifestyle changes. And most of us don’t do well with change so that it can trigger all sorts of emotions. Over the past month, I have treated many patients who are feeling overwhelmed. Many of them experience food and alcohol cravings, with their blood sugar levels out of balance due to increased stress.  Emotional eating is where we use food for purposes other than nourishment or satiation. It is when food is used as a coping mechanism to avoid emotions you don’t want to feel. We eat as a way to self-soothe, numb, fill a void or some sense of control or comfort. While being at home, we all have 24-hour access to our kitchens. This easy access can cause a real problem, looking for food to release boredom or as a break from our work/homeschooling or staying up

Regular movement and exercise is not only great for your heart but can also improve your immune system. Balance is the key, for too little or too much exercise can reduce your immune system, due to free radical damage. Exercise supports both the systemic (whole-body cellular) response and mucosal (mucous lining of the respiratory tract) response to an infectious virus. A published paper in 2019 study by Nieman and Wentz in NCBI revealed that regular exercise had an overall anti-inflammatory influence mediated through multiple pathways and created a surge in the circulation of innate immune cells, thus improving immune function. With many of us social distancing and working from home there are still lots of beneficial ways to exercise. Most countries you can still go for a bike ride, walk or jog, which we as a family find wonderful to prevent ‘cabin fever’. There are many online options too so choose your favourite movement or choose something online you have never done