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COVID-19: Resources to Stay Active and Eat Healthy

Updated June 24, 2020

COVID-19 is affecting the lives of individuals and families in different ways. The Healthy South Dakota Team is dedicated to continue providing information and resources to help you and your family eat healthy, stay active, and keep your overall health and wellness in balance, no matter the circumstances. This article will continue to be updated with more resources, so please check back for more information.

Healthy Eating

More time at home, longer hours for essential workers, and increased stress can all have a big impact on your eating habits. We can help you stay on track whether you are eating more takeout and delivery, cooking more, stocking up the pantry to decrease trips to the store, focusing on meal prep, planning, budgeting and much more.

Wearing Gloves for Food Safety
Simple infographic reminding us how to properly use gloves to ensure food safety.
Source: State Food Safety

COVID-19 FAQ for Community Gardens
Steps and tips for garden managers and gardeners including best practices, communication, cleaning and disinfection.
Source: NC State University & NC State Extension

Why You Should Still Meal Prep When Working from Home
Meal prep is a fantastic way to make sure you have healthy options that are easy to grab, and that is still needed when you are at home. Avoid just making whatever is fastest like a PB&J or snacking on junk food instead of taking a break for a full meal.
Source: Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less – North Carolina State University & North Carolina Division of Public Health

Farmers Markets & COVID-19
A guide to help Farmers Markets set up their operation in a manner that will best protect consumers and allow for continuation of operations.
Source: SDSU Extension

Food Safety and COVID-19
This article provides the most up-to-date regulatory guidance that’s been published on the transmission of COVID-19 through food and the risk of eating products that have been packaged or processed at a plant with known cases of COVID-19.
Source: SDSU Extension

Going the Distance: Making Meals Last Longer
We all wish some of our favorite foods would last just a little bit longer. Thankfully, a little planning and making the most of what we have on hand can do just that. Building out your non-perishables cabinet and leveraging that trusty freezer are quick and easy ways to make sure healthy meals can go the distance.
Source: Action for Healthy Kids

Start Simple with MyPlate: Food Planning during COVID-19
This guide contains information on food planning, including what to buy, how much to buy, and preparation tips.
Source: USDA Food & Nutrition Services

Tips on Good Nutrition and Using the Updated Nutrition Facts Label During COVID-19
In the past several weeks, you may have stocked up on more canned, packaged, and processed foods. The Nutrition Facts label can help you learn more about the foods you have on hand or are purchasing online or in stores. The Nutrition Facts label was recently updated and the new format is now on many food products. Check out the latest features and how it can help you and your family plan healthy, balanced meals.
Source: US Food & Drug Administration

Should You Wash All Foods?
From hands to kitchen counters, it is important to wash properly to stop the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses. However, when it comes to food, the rules of washing are not as clear. There are some foods that should always be washed, and others that should be kept far away from the sink.
Source: Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Kitchen Scrap Gardening
Gardening is an excellent way to get more vegetables and fruits on your plate this summer and is one of the best ways to encourage healthy eating among children. However if outdoor gardening seems to be a challenge—whether due to space, climate or something else—you can  grow indoors with items right in your own kitchen! Believe it or not many of the scraps left over from fruits and veggies are all that’s needed to get an indoor garden started.
Source: Action for Healthy Kids

How to Stop Overeating when Working from Home
5 tips to prevent weight gain during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Source: RxWiki from the original article The Four-Letter Word That Can End Mindless Eating Forever by Marissa Beck, MS, RD

Tips for Ordering Take-Out or Delivery
Tips to help you choose healthier meals and snacks when ordering off the delivery or take-out menu.
Source: Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Getting Groceries During Quarantine
Tips to help you make healthful decisions and reduce your trips to the store.
Source: Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Your Children Helping in the Kitchen
Make the most of your time at home by making family meals and getting kids involved in the kitchen.
Source: SDSU Extension

Physical Activity

Physical activity is vital to our health and well-being, and now more than ever we all need to strive to incorporate physical activity into our daily routine. It is absolutely possible to stay active while practicing physical distancing. 

A Call to Action: Physical Activity and COVID-19
A simple, daily walk during the Pandemic can reduce the risk of severe viral infections and multiple chronic diseases. Now more than ever physical activity is essential for good health. Learn why from two experts in the field!
Source:  Exercise is Medicine Blog

Summertime Fun – Safely Enjoying South Dakota Campgrounds and Parks
With the warm temps outside, a day at the park or an evening spent at the campground is in order! And the outdoors is a great place to get your daily physical activity needed for optimum health. Check out the latest information from the SD Game, Fish and Parks’ website for guidelines before visiting a local park or campground.
Source: SDGFP

SD Children in Nature
Kids need at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity, preferably outside.  For safe outdoor play tips, nature facts, games, crafts, healthy recipes, and other kid-friendly information to help children enjoy a day in nature, subscribe to the SD Game, Fish and Parks’ SD Children in Nature e-newsletter. 
Source:  SDGFP

Physical Activity for a Healthy Immune System
New emerging research during the COVID-19 pandemic supports what many of us have suspected, that regular physical activity can boost immunity. Having a strong immune system has never been more important than it is now. For a reminder of how much exercise supports a healthy immune system, check out these physical activity basics.
Source: CDC

Staying Active While Social Distancing:  Questions and Answers
Learn the basics of why physical activity is good for you, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Move Your Way is a campaign designed to get everyone more active and includes an interactive planner to help you schedule your week of physical activity—walk, run, dance, play—what’s your move?

Keep Moving From Home All Summer Long
Kohl’s and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation want to help keep you and your family moving more at home all summer long. Check out the compiled list of free tools, resources, games and activities to make physical activity easy and fun for all. You can also sign up to receive updates when new Moving More at Home resources are available!
Source: Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Physical Activity for All Abilities
People with mobility limitations, chronic health conditions and physical disabilities may be struggling to stay active and eat healthy during COVID-19. Visit NCHPAD for safe ideas and resources, including a 14 week program tailored to all abilities. 
Source:  National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD)

May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month – Start a new activity challenge!  #moveinmay
With the start of a new month, #COVID19 cabin fever and warmer weather, why not ramp up your physical activity by participating in a challenge? Keep track of minutes, steps, days of the week—any activity counts and any amount counts. Move Your Way has an interactive tool where you can plan and build your activity for the week.
Source:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Encouraging Older Adults to Stay Active and Safe
Isolation and social distancing can be especially difficult for older adults, but staying physically active can help with feelings of depression and anxiety. Exercise is key to healthy aging. Endurance, strength, balance and flexibility are the ‘fab four’ for older adults when considering exercise.
Source:  National Council on Aging

YMCA360 Virtual Classes for All
Bring the YMCA to your home! Currently, YMCA360 has a growing library of on-demand and downloadable videos for you and your family to enjoy at no cost to the public. Class categories include Active Older Adults, Youth Sports, Boot Camp and many more. Or, check out what free virtual class offerings your local Y has to offer. 
Source:  YMCA

Keep Moving Indoors
Working up a sweat in your living room can benefit your entire family—older adults, adults, teens and children. Make the best of being home and get creative by incorporating small bouts of fitness or active games throughout your day.
Source:  SDSU Extension

Staying Active While Socially Distancing
Physical activity is good for our immune systems and can help with feelings of stress and anxiety.  Getting 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity is important for staying healthy—every active minute counts!  
Source:  Exercise is Medicine

Safe Outside
Make getting outside one of your daily routines to stay on top of your physical and mental health. Follow this new Guidance for Parks and Recreational Facilities to stay safe while exploring the outdoors.
Source:  CDC or National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases

Keeping Kids Healthy at Home
Action for Healthy Kids works to create healthier home and school environments, and has created and collected resources to help parents and educators keep kids active and healthy while schools are closed or doing online learning.
Source: Action for Healthy Kids

Parks and Open Spaces
Fresh air and being outside in nature makes us feel better, so as long as you are maintaining safe distances, take care of yourself by going for a walk, a bike ride, a solo snowshoe trek, whatever you love. Check out this resource for more tips on safely using parks and open spaces.
Source: National Recreation and Park Association

Safe walking is an essential activity that with a few reminders about physical distancing can be done anywhere, by people of all ages and abilities. Walk at times that streets are less busy, and in locations where there are fewer people and you can spread out. Give your friends and neighbors a wave from a distance, while enjoying a break from the daily routine and information overload. Walking is still available to all of us even during these stressful times.
Source: America Walks

Health & Wellness

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Stress, anxiety, and fear can cause strong emotions in adults and children. It is important to consider all aspects of you and your families health during these uncertain times. Physical and mental health are essential to your overall health and wellness. 

Mental Health Resources for Families
Stay connected and emotionally healthy during stressful times like COVID-19 with these helpful resources for parents, families and educators.
Source: SD Department of Social Services

6 Ways to Celebrate Employee Wellness Month
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that life is unpredictable. Even the most carefully planned and managed life is not immune to unexpected forces. But by prioritizing wellness, your employees can be ready to handle whatever life throws at them, whether it’s a public health crisis, an economic downturn, or the next pressing work deadline. Here are some ideas for celebrating National Employee Wellness Month this June. Each idea addresses one of the six key dimensions of well-being: emotional, financial, occupational, social, physical, and purpose.
Source: WellRight

Workplace Wellness During COVID-19
Wellright has a wealth of resources for workplaces to keep employees safe, healthy and engaged. Learn how to set up an ergonomically appropriate office chair at home, or how to successfully collaborate with coworkers virtually among other wellness topics delivered through videos or blogs.
Source:  Wellright, LLC and

Healthy Sleep Toolkit
Is it time for a family sleep reset? Consistent, quality sleep is proven to boost immunity and improve mood, all while reducing stress. There’s no better time for kids and adults to reset their sleep routines. This toolkit is packed with tips and activities to help families sleep smarter and perform better, together.
Source: Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Check out these fact sheets that can help children of all ages understand COVID-19.
COVID-19 for 3-6 year olds
COVID-19 for 6-12 year olds
COVID-19 for 13-18 year olds
Source: University of California, Nutrition Policy Institute

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home
Everyday steps for cleaning and disinfecting and extra steps for when someone is sick.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Importance of Mental Self-Care
Mental self-care is important during this #COVID19 pandemic. Prevent isolation from taking its toll. Check out this infographic for ideas to help you cope.
Source:  South Dakota Department of Health

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health
Tips for taking care of your mental well-being during stressful situations, such as infectious disease outbreaks.
Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Chronic Diseases and COVID-19: What You Need to Know
People who have one or more of these chronic condition such as asthma, lung disease, heart disease, unmanaged diabetes, severe obesity (BMI >40), or a weakened immune system because of diseases like HIV or cancer treatment should be extra careful to protect their health.
Source: National Association of Chronic Disease Directors

Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19
Families are adjusting to new and ever-changing circumstances daily. This includes trying to keep children occupied, feeling safe, and attempting to keep up with schoolwork as best as possible. None of this is easy, but it helps to stay focused on what is possible in order to reinforce a sense of control and to reassure children that they are okay, and that the situation will get better.
Source: National Association of School Psychologists