The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it, from the structure of megacompanies all the way to our day-to-day existence. People have had to adapt to a new order, a new environment, and a new set of challenges.
One such challenge is how to live in this new environment and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. This article will look at the key elements of a healthy lifestyle and suggest ways in which these can be maintained.
Maintaining a healthy diet
“We are what we eat” – Ludwig Feuerbach
It has long been established that a healthy diet is a key to good health in general. A healthy diet boosts the immune system and reduces the likelihood of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. For young children, having a healthy diet is important for them to grow and develop. Meanwhile, the elderly also need to shift to healthier food options and activities to help them have healthier, longer, and more active lives.
For many of us, COVID-19 has resulted in a major lifestyle shift. Maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging, so here are a few tips which may help.
Aim to eat a wide variety of foods. Ideally, this should include fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, such as maize, lentils, brown rice, and beans. When the snack attack happens, choose raw vegetables, fresh fruit, or unsalted nuts.
Limit your sugar intake as well. Refrain from munching on sugar-loaded snacks and drinks and replace them with healthy food options, such as nuts, cheese, yogurt, chopped or dried fruits, and boiled eggs. Try steaming or boiling food instead of frying, and eliminate the foods that have a lot of trans fats.
Maintaining an exercise regime
Experts have always pointed out the benefits of having a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Regular exercise increases your level of protection against chronic diseases, lowers blood pressure, improves heart rate, helps with weight loss, improves sleep patterns, and reduces feelings of anxiety and depression.
WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorously intense activity per week. But with the closure of traditional exercise venues, physical interaction being discouraged, and people spending more time at home, many have found it difficult to meet these recommendations. However, with a little creativity and forethought, it is possible to integrate regular exercise into your current lifestyle. Here are a few suggestions on how to achieve that.
First, going for a stroll, a vigorous walk, or a light jog is an easy and accessible type of exercise. Make it a habit to involve walking in your daily activities. You can try walking in place while listening to music or take a stroll around the house. If you receive a phone call or are communicating via video call, do it standing up or take a stroll while you talk.
Second, remind yourself to stand up from time to time during the day. Working from home, it is easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle. However, some simple steps can prevent this from happening. Try breaking up the time you spend sitting or reclining by standing up every 30 minutes. Consider installing a stand-up desk as well. It would also be a great idea to engage in playing games with your children.
Maintaining good mental health
The change in lifestyle, uncertainty about the future, concerns about health and finances, the lack of physical interaction, and the constant bombardment of negative information concerning COVID-19 all combine to increase our levels of anxiety and stress. However, some simple steps can reduce your levels of anxiety and stress.
The first important step toward maintaining good mental health is to have a routine. When time is structured, it stops boredom and minimizes spikes in anxiety and depression.
Another aspect of maintaining mental health is keeping your mind active, and there are several ways to do this. Try reading a book, completing a crossword puzzle, purchasing a monthly craft subscription box, and playing mentally stimulating games. Engaging in these activities will keep your brain active and make you feel productive, even for a short period.
Regular communication and social interaction are key to mental health. Unfortunately, social distancing makes close physical contact and communication difficult. To counter this, pick up your phone and make that call or contact someone using video chat.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, but by following a few simple steps, such as eating healthily, exercising regularly, and stimulating our brains, it is still possible for individuals and their families to live a happy and fulfilling life.