For months now, people nationwide have practiced social distancing in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. As stay home orders continue, maintaining a healthy lifestyle has become a growing concern for many people. Unfortunately, from closed gyms to empty grocery shelves, exercising and eating healthy are now more complicated. However, with a little planning and adapting, you can stay healthy from home.
Modify Exercise Routines
At first, it may seem difficult to stay physically active while not leaving your house. Gyms are closed and you can’t attend your go-to group fitness class. However, take this time to break out of your exercise routine and find new ways to get active. Consider a walk, run or bike ride outdoors while maintaining a safe distance from other people. Find exercises you can do from home without equipment or improvise with items found around your house (think wine bottles in place of dumbbells). Need a little more guidance? Fitness instructors nationwide are offering virtual classes at little or no cost. Search YouTube for recorded guided workouts or join a live-stream class.
It is also worth noting that exercise doesn’t have to be a gym-style workout. From cleaning the house to taking a stretch break during your workday, anything that gets your blood flowing is beneficial. No matter the activity, aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. The proven benefits of exercise are extensive. Notably, physical activity helps fight the stress and anxiety that are inevitable during this time. Additionally, exercise can boost your immune system to help fight off a variety of viruses and bacteria.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
How you fuel your body affects how it functions. Don’t allow the current, uncertain times take a toll on your diet. Instead, follow these tips to maintain proper nutrition.
Plan Simple Recipes
While takeout might be the easier option many nights, make time to plan simple, healthy recipes for you and your family. Plan meals around a lean protein. Then, add whole grains and colorful vegetables for extra nutrients. Consider doubling the recipe to eat throughout the week or use a slow cooker for added simplicity.
Tailor Diet to Exercise
Diet and exercise are both vital to staying healthy, but the two are more related than you may think. Particularly, when you eat certain foods in relation to your workout–before, during, and after–can make a difference in your results. With a few simple wellness guidelines, you can be sure you’re fueling your body correctly. Aim for water and carbs before and during a workout followed by a lean protein source afterwards.
Choose Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
In an attempt to social distance as best as possible, you’re likely taking less trips to the grocery store. Once you make it there, you may notice a shortage of some of your go-to items. Rather than choosing pre-packaged and processed foods, stock up on fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is a great choice, but frozen is an excellent alternative that is less expensive and more readily available. If you happen to overbuy on fresh produce, be sure to freeze it before it goes bad.
Avoid Boredom or Stress Eating
Eating out of boredom or because of stress are both common during the pandemic. Before heading to the refrigerator, stop and ask yourself if you’re actually hungry. Aim to keep your mind and body busy and to identify sources of stress. Also be sure to drink enough water. Staying hydrated is essential to overall health and can help ward off cravings.
Maintain Overall Health
With all the chaos, don’t allow your overall health and well-being get put on the back burner. Most physician’s offices are offering some type of telehealth service to their patients during this time. Non-essential medical appointments can be postponed (such as annual physicals or dental cleanings). However, be sure to continue taking medications as directed by your doctor. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider for guidance about COVID-19 or for other general questions related to your health.
Staying Healthy While Staying Home
From doctor’s appointments to workouts, there is no doubt that things look a bit different these days. However, being stuck at home does not mean your health has to suffer. Instead, learn to adapt to the new normal with an updated exercise routine and a more disciplined diet. Make your overall health a priority to help you stay healthy while staying at home.