Healthy Living Tips
While we wage war on COVID-19, we may be facing our own battle of the bulge, known as the “Quarantine 15”, as we snack more and exercise less. Though the term is meant to be lighthearted, weight gain can escalate into a serious health issue if we pack on more than a few pounds. For that reason and more, it’s important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits during this pandemic. Here are the top three:
1. Eat healthy
When we are stressed, many of us crave comfort foods. Have you seen all the Facebook photos of mac ‘n cheese and brownies lately? If possible, steer clear of the fridge except during meal prep time; cut down on the “white stuff” (e.g., sugar, salt and flour); and, put more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts on your shopping lists. Try new recipes. Make fruit kebabs or stir frys to add more fun and appeal to your meals.
Why it’s important: Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote your overall health.
2. Move your body
Even in quarantine, there are lots of ways to stay active and fit. Set some time aside in your day for exercise, whether it be following a workout on YouTube or doing some chair yoga stretches. Be creative and find what works best for you. You might try skipping, having a family dance party or using a hula hoop while watching TV.
Why it’s important: Regular exercise helps people lose weight and lower the their risk of developing some diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure
3. Sleep well
“There’s nothing that a good night’s sleep and a good laugh won’t cure”, an old Irish saying prescribes. To get a decent amount of shuteye, try to sleep and wake at consistent times and reduce blue light exposure in the evening. And when scrolling Netflix, choose a show that tickles the funny bone to relax your whole body and get a good night’s rest.
Why it’s important: Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress while sleep enables the body to repair and be fit and ready for another day, as well as helps prevent excess weight gain, heart disease, and increased illness duration.