A simple guide to staying in shape during a pandemic.
The first few days of the stay-at-home order meant having more time with family, gaining the opportunity to start a passion project, and binge-watching a long list of Netflix shows. As the days stretched into weeks and months, new habits began to form. According to a poll of more than 1,000 U.S. WebMD readers, nearly half of the women and almost a quarter of the men claimed they have gained weight. More than half a million Facebook users have used the hashtag #quarantineweightgain. Life at home during the COVID-19 outbreak has become the perfect setup for gaining more pounds. Here are some tips on how to keep fit as we stay at home.
Choose Healthier Snacks
It’s hard to ignore snacks when they are just several feet away. It gets more challenging when there is so much time for TV marathons. Watch-on-demand services found an increase of users, particularly Netflix, with 15.8 million new global subscribers in the first quarter of 2020. One way to have healthier snack options is by being careful with our choices: choose baked apple chips instead of cookies and fresh fruit shakes instead of soda. If there’s not much to do these days, try to make meal plans for the next week. Mike Doehla, founder and CEO of Stronger U, shares three tips on how to stay on track with snacks, which includes intentionally putting stickers on unhealthy food items you can’t ignore. The sticker can be messages like “Don’t eat this” or “Snacks are for weekends only.” Well, if that’s what it takes, then reach for a sticker and let someone hide that bag of potato chips — your body will thank you later.
Move Your Body
I used to walk a lot back when I was working in an office. The bustling life in the city, especially at a central business hub, has such a powerful way of energizing me! That kind of energy is not present at home. Of course, it’s lovely to be with family and to no longer be stuck in traffic, but staying at home comes with the temptation to become a couch potato. You might think that a lot of movement can’t be done in such a small space, so you have an excuse. But there are ways to be more physically active at home, and you don’t have to live in a mansion. Here are some ideas:
- Look for activities that are good for the body and don’t require space. Some examples are stretching, yoga, and meditation. Remember to stand up and walk around from time to time.
- Make use of the staircase. Try to walk up and down the stairs — promise! It’s going to make you break a sweat.
- Dance! YouTube has an enormous list of basic dance videos that you can follow. If you have friends who are interested, set up a date, and have a Zoom dance session. You’re not only going to lose some weight but create memories as well. Imagine your grandchildren someday asking you what you did during the pandemic. Your answer? “Dear, my friends and I had a virtual dance-off.”
- Go hiking! It’s good for both body and mind.
- Have live cooking sessions with friends! Do you remember how we would gather around the kitchen to prepare for someone’s birthday party? Relive that moment at home. The distance can only be shortened when we reach out.
It Starts From Grocery Shopping
The items available in your kitchen are you and your family’s choice. According to Lose It!, there has been a 266% increase in candy eating in the last 2 weeks of March among its 1.4 million monthly active members. They have also reported a 56% increase in carb-heavy foods like bread and a 36% increase in noodle consumption. The next time you plan your meals, avoid processed food, and buy more vegetables and good protein. Be mindful of the things you put in the grocery cart. Take the effort to eat healthier from the moment you step into the supermarket.
Also, a great read to have at this time is Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which The Wall Street Journal described as a glimpse of “what it is we are eating, where it came from and how it got to our table.”
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Kayce Tiongson is an English teacher and writer from the Philippines. She has written articles ranging from TV show reviews, pop culture features to church events since the early 2000’s. Her love for writing has grown from the very moment she could write her name in cursive. She is currently working on her novel with a cup of tea always present on her desk and creative ideas visiting her without breaks.
If You Could Do So, How Would You Change The World?
If I could change the world, I would like to be a superhero who can erase every invention that is actually bad for the planet. As for my superhero name, I'm still thinking about it. 😀
How do you feel about putting pineapple on pizza?
It's fine but I'm not a big fan of it. I usually have a bite but later on find myself removing some pineapples. 😀
Schnitzel or Tonkatsu? and why?
Tonkatsu! I love those katsu sets at Japanese restaurants. I also enjoy having my little bowl of sesame seeds and mixing them with the tonkatsu sauce. Just thinking about it makes me hungry. Haha!