Self Isolation to Strengthen Self

Self Isolation to Strengthen Self

Dr Craig Duncan is one of Australia's leading sport scientists and is internationally recognised in the area of Performance Science and Human Performance.


COVID-19 is having an ever-increasing impact on our World, and the issue is evolving rapidly. How different was your life four weeks ago, one week ago or even a few days ago? Are you in a constant state of “COVID-19 information overload”? How is “self-isolation” impacting you?

The government guidelines that mandate “self-isolation” and “social distancing” are critical for the health of our community. Although these strict measures are essential, there is strong evidence that social isolation may harm our well-being.

In December, 2019 social isolation and loneliness were reported as potentially the next major public health issues. Now, just 100 days later, we are being instructed by authorities (rightly so) to isolate ourselves.

So how do we live in isolation but remain healthy?

Keeping yourself healthy is vital during this time, and this starts with maintaining a robust immune system. Stress & anxiety are the enemies of our immune system, and it is imperative we get this under control.


When monitoring elite athletes, we have observed that higher levels of stress can negatively impact performance by increasing fatigue, illness, and injury.


Salivary IgA has a crucial role in immune function, and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a sound measure of overall well-being. The data above illustrates an athlete who reported high-stress levels about an upcoming performance and subsequently became ill three days out from the game. Even if you are not an elite athlete, the impact of stress can be precisely the same.

It’s paramount that we maintain our health by managing our stress & anxiety. Exercise/physical activity, eating well, and, most importantly, getting the right quantity and quality of sleep are critical factors in this strategy.

If you focus on these fundamental pillars, it is possible to keep your immune system strong.

Dr Craig Duncan

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