10 Do’s and Don’ts to Stay Healthy and Fit During the Coronavirus Pandemic
As we continue to make lifestyle changes to adapt to the pandemic, it’s forced us to reexamine our relationship with diet, exercise, and our overall well being. What areas are you currently doing well? What could use improvement?
To help you stay on track, here are 10 do’s and don’ts:
Do come up with a schedule
While working from home certainly has its perks, it can be a problem when it comes to productivity. With distractions around every corner – pets, technology, kids and other family members making noise – it can be hard to focus.
That’s why creating a sense of structure is important. A daily schedule will help you stay on track and make you feel organized even when your surroundings feel chaotic.
Do some sort of exercise everyday
In these circumstances, it can be tough to get motivated. At some point, laziness may set in, but don’t give up! Even something as simple as stretching and a 10-minute yoga sequence is better than not doing anything. This isn’t just to protect your physical health, but your mental health as well.
Quarantine living is our new normal, so we need to make our wellbeing a priority. Stay active and do your part to keep your body healthy and strong.
Do watch your diet
When it comes to keeping your immune system strong, nutrition is your first line of defense. Here are some general guidelines:
- Fresh, whole unprocessed plant foods – These types of foods provide important vitamins and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are natural compounds of plants that are powerful healers and protectors when it comes to our immune system.
- Taste the rainbow – Eating the rainbow of colors is an easy-to follow approach for balanced nutrition. Make it your goal to get all seven colors every day with a variety of foods. To protect your immune system, eat leafy greens, watermelon, carrots, berries, broccoli, oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe, and other brightly colored produce.
- Cook with fresh herbs – Herbs have anti-inflammatory properties. This includes garlic, rosemary, sage, oregano and spices such as turmeric, black pepper, and saffron
- Remember not all food is created equal – Sugar and processed foods tend to make your body slightly more acidic and more receptive to the virus.
Do keep your stress levels down
Stress is scientifically-proven to weaken your immunity. When you’re feeling stressed, the hormone cortisol turns off the cells in your immune system.
Try to find healthy coping mechanisms for stress. Whether it’s meditation, journaling, exercise, there are many options available.
Do get enough sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should be getting close to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Your immune system produces proteins called cytokines while you sleep, which contributes to a good night’s rest. When you aren’t feeling well, your body naturally makes more of these proteins to help speed up the recovery process. If you’re sleep deprived, the number of cytokines goes down, leaving you more susceptible to infection.
Don’t have excess alcohol
How much do you drink each week? (Be honest!) To keep your immune system strong, it’s important to limit your alcohol intake.
According to dietary guidelines, moderate alcohol intake is two glasses per day for men and one glass per day for women.
Don’t eat when you’re bored or stressed
Many of us are guilty of bored and stress eating, and quarantine doesn’t make things easier. To set yourself up for success, try to keep healthy snacks in the house.
The next time you’re hungry, grab raw veggies with hummus or a handful of nuts. Both will keep you feeling full longer.
Don’t let the laziness set in
Exercise is just as much about mindset as it is about action. When it comes to staying healthy and fit, it’s your negative beliefs that will hold you back from achieving your goals.
Getting and staying motivated is about creating good habits and sticking to them. Once you build the momentum and start seeing results, it will be easier to keep going.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you slip up
While it’s human nature to dwell on our slip ups, it’s important to let it go and move on. Whether it’s eating ice cream, skipping a workout, or spending the entire day in front of the television, don’t beat yourself up. It happens!
Tomorrow is a new day and a chance to start again.
In the midst of these uncertain times, many of us are feeling fearful and anxious. Instead of worrying about the future and letting the panic take over, focus on staying healthy and safe in the present. That’s all we can do.
Are you ready to take back control of your health? By following these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be able to stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
Stay well everyone!