Clinical psychologist, Linda Blair, and personal trainer, Scott Laidler were on hand earlier on Thursday to answer all of your questions on looking after both your mental and physical health during quarantine. With schools across Britain closing, our experts provided advice on how your children can maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle while they are not at school.
What tips do you have for someone who has health anxiety?
Linda Blair says one way to reduce health anxiety is to impose limits; first on the number of sources you turn to for information when you feel overwhelmed, and second by limiting the amount of time you spend checking any concerns you have.
Linda also suggests planning to call and catch up with friends and family members every day, with the rule that neither is allowed to mention any health worries.
What are the best home exercises if you have no home equipment?
This is a pressing question for many people who are facing the prospect of spending the next few weeks indoors. Staying active during this time is essential, as periods of inactivity can lower your immune system.
Scott says that the best home exercises are ones that make you stay active in terms of basic movements, such as lunges, squats, planks and press ups.
For core, he recommends workouts such as the plank, flutter kicks, bridges and sun salutations.
You can find loads of demos of all of these on YouTube.
If you want to work on general cardio, Scott says to try running on the spot, shuttle runs in the living room, burpees and rocket jumps up the stairs. If it’s strength you’re looking to maintain, he says to do wall sits, one leg deadlifts and Hindu push ups.
Not leaving the house and lots of anxiety is giving me issues with my sleep, what can I do to get a better night’s sleep?
Many of us aren’t used to being confined to the house, which can be problematic for our sleeping patterns. If you’re struggling to get a good nights sleep, Linda recommends starting your day early, making sure you take aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes, at the same time each day, and eat your meals at set times as well. This helps ’settle’ your body clock and will allow you to feel tired more naturally.
In the evening, Linda recommends devoting between ten and 30 minutes of that last hour to a bedtime routine, doing things that relax and settle such as taking a warm shower or bath, doing some gentle stretching, putting out some aromatherapy oil. You should make sure your bedroom is cool but not cold. Once in bed, read until you feel tired—from a real text, not a screen. Turn the lights out only when you feel really sleepy.
Should the vulnerable (elderly and those with a weak immune system) be doing exercise at home?
Scott says that this group shouldn’t take on a new exercise regime in terms of a fitness or outcome orientated goal. However, it’s important they take steps to stay active and mobile by maintaining basic movements such as getting up from a chair, walking around the house and using stairs.
Are they any apps you can use to help you with mindfulness?
Many of us are turning to technology to help us through these times. Linda recommends three apps to help with mindfulness. The first is Andy Puddicombe’s Headspace. The second is a website called yogawithadriene.com, which can also be found by looking up yoga with Adriene on Youtube. This is especially good for those who relax through movement. The third is a CD that comes with Mark Williams and Danny Penman’s book Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World.
How to ask a question
Leave your questions in the comments section at the bottom of this article for them to be answered at 1 p.m (GMT) on Thursday. Alternatively, if you are reading this on the Telegraph app, or don’t have a Telegraph account, you can submit a question by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to remain anonymous, please disclose this when you ask your question.
*DISCLAIMER: None of the information provided in this Q&A constitutes or is a substitute for medical advice. If you believe you may have been exposed to the virus or have any other concerns then you should follow government advice.