Insights from the AFL Quarantine Hub

While the recent rise in numbers and the ever changing restrictions across the Tasman is a grim reality for many, there are thankfully a few positives to help us get through these challenging times – and one of those is the go ahead of certain sports. Entertainment such as sport not only offers an emotional escape for many, but it is also the perfect entertainment for switching off, bringing people together (from a far) and putting a smile on our faces.

However, given the COVID-19 situation there are understandably a few challenges that come with the continuation of sporting games which has resulted in the need for extra measures to be put in place to ensure the safety of the players, their families and the staff.

For the Australian Football League (AFL) who are currently playing out the season in Queensland, adapting to these challenges has led to numerous measures being implemented. A couple of those measures include ensuring that everyone in the Hub remains symptom free – this is done via screening the team members’, partners’ and staff through the MOHR Daily Health Check each morning, along with appointing Bodycare’s very own Dr James Stewart as the in house Health Hub Doctor.

Check out the quick video below of Dr Stewart in the Quarantine Hub:

More about Dr Stewart

Dr James Stewart is an absolute champion of a guy who is doing a fantastic job up at the Quarantine Hub. We thought we would put a quick Q&A together to introduce you all to him – check it out below.

James, tell us about yourself.. where do you normally practice?
For the last 20 years I have been practising as a General Practitioner up in Gympie, Queensland.

Do you have any particular interests in the health field?
Yes I do, my main interests are in lifestyle medicine and sport.

What do you love most about being a doctor?
Easily the best thing about being a doctor is helping people and changing people’s lives. However, this can be as equally frustrating because if people don’t want to help themselves then ultimately what I can offer has minimal benefit.

Being a health professional, what are your main takeaways from the last couple of months?
The main takeaway from the COVID-19 situation has been that mental health is as equally important as physical health. I always say to my patients that a healthy mind leads to a healthy body and vice versa – we must care for both. I truly believe that people should talk about meditating like they talk about going to the gym; or going to see a psychologist like going to see a doctor, physio or going for a massage.

What advice have you been giving people while they are in the Quarantine Hub – either COVID related or just general health advice?
My main advice in the Hub has been to stay active and eat well. In fact, this would be my advice to anyone in quarantine. As I mentioned earlier, a healthy body = a healthy mind. It’s important that people stay active, whether that be from doing in house exercises or going outside for a walk.

The pandemic has affected the way people work out, but there are a lot of alternatives available other than going to the gym. For instance there are so many YouTube clips and apps available that offer 30-40mins workouts with no equipment.

In addition to exercising, a healthy diet is also critical. We all have more time than ever to prepare and cook healthy meals and food prep for week so we should take advantage and ensure that we are nourishing our bodies with healthy food.

We would like to thank Dr Stewart for sharing his insights and of course for all of his help up at the Quarantine Hub – all the best for the rest of the season!