How to: Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle During a Pandemic
- Posted on: May 4 2020
Navigating isolation and social distancing during COVID-19 can be difficult both mentally and physically. We are in the middle of unprecedented times that consist of excessive amounts of alone time and limited access to things that we may have always relied on for activity or stress relief, such as gyms and group fitness classes. Establishing a healthy balance, while being kind to ourselves during these times are detrimental to our well-being.
We have asked our multi-talented, Medical Office Assistant Sherylea (nutrition coach & certified personal trainer) for her best advice & tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, during this difficult time.
Developing a routine with a focus on healthy eating, activity and proper sleep can help ease restlessness and make the transition back into society easier, when the time finally comes. Let’s go over a few things you can put into place starting today to develop a healthier daily routine…
Focus on whole foods (no – not the grocery store “Whole Foods”, but actual whole foods such as foods that haven’t been processed). Try to shop the outer isles of the grocery store where the produce, dairy and meat sections are. Focus less on the inner isles that contain mostly packaged and processed foods. Read labels and stay away from excess sugar, white flour and hydrogenated oils. If you have goals around food choices write them down and paste them on your fridge so that you don’t lose focus. If you’re planning on watching Netflix at the end of the day, a great healthy alternative for potato chips is air popped popcorn with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt!
TIP: Always shop for groceries on a full stomach. This will help you avoid irresponsible food purchases while hungry – or “hangry”!
Include at least one outdoor activity per day for at least 30-40 minutes. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful province with gorgeous outdoor parks such as Mt. Doug and Thetis Lake. Activity can come in many forms including walking, biking or hiking. There are also a lot of great options on YouTube for home workouts – not to mention, many local gyms and fitness studios within Victoria are actually posting live workouts daily that you can follow along with!
TIP: If you don’t have proper gym equipment at home, don’t sweat it! You can make use of typical household items such as filling up milk jugs or duffle bags as weights!
Adequate sleep and rest play a huge role in your health and well-being. Since many of us are either not working or working from home, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. To help settle into a healthy sleep routine try to get to bed at a reasonable hour and limit late night snacking (this can also disrupt sleep). Aim for 7 hours minimum and make an effort to get up around the same time every day to create a routine for your body. Limit screen time at least 2-3 hours prior to bed.
TIP: There are many resources available now a days to help you unwind and get to sleep, some of my favorites include:
a) The Bedtime feature (on the iPhone). It allows you to set a schedule for when to go to bed and when to wake up. It will send notifications for when it is time to unwind and when to start your day.
b) Headspace (the app). This app has a “sleep” section, featuring sleepcasts (storytelling in a range of soothing voices), meditative wind-downs and sleep music to help the clear and prepare for rest.
c) Aromatherapy. Try igniting your sense of smell to prepare you for sleep. A diffuser or roll-on essential oil (specifically Lavender) has been proven to improve sleep quality and may also increase time spent in the deep, slow-wave sleep cycle.
The very best advice I can give you is to take time every morning to plan your day by writing your goals down, as this will keep you accountable. If you have a body composition, fitness or goal to simply stay healthy – make sure you stay the course with whatever it is you had in mind before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Remember to be kind to yourself and take time to do things you enjoy each day.
Next week I will be discussing macro nutrients – what they are and why they are important during this isolation period.
Sherylea is a full time Administrative Assistant here at Clinic 805. She was only 14 years old when she got her first gym membership which blossomed into a passion for fitness and healthy living. At age 18, she became a Certified Group Instructor and began teaching a variety of fitness classes ranging from aerobics to high intensity and low impact classes.
At age 20, she furthered her knowledge and became certified in seniors fitness and officially became a NESTA (National Exercise and Sports Trainer Association) Certified Personal Trainer. Over the years, she has competed with the WNSO (World Natural Sports Organization) in fitness and BCBBA (British Columbia Body Building Association) in figure, where she ranked 5th place out of 35 women.
Sherylea has always had a passion for nutrition and became certified as a Precision Sports Nutrition Coach. Since then, she has now shifted her focus specifically to a female client base and how diet, nutrition and lifestyle can impact and result in positive life long changes. She specializes in body re-composition, providing education on macro and micro nutrients, as well as setting up tailored nutritional programs based on specific individual goals.
For more information or if you have a question contact:
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Posted in: Health & Wellness