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In a snap, the COVID-19 pandemic created a different and challenging world to live in!  Gone are the sights and sounds of people meshing together in a community. Gone are community events. Home is not only where the heart is, but it is also now vital for everyone’s survival.

But in this new normal, it is crucial to consider home as more than where you live. Home is also your own body and health. In this uncertain time where we have an invisible enemy, it is essential to living a healthy lifestyle.

Here are steps you can take to live healthier even as we contend with this pandemic.

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Keep the Nutrition Up

During lockdowns at home, it is easy to get lost in temptation and cope by eating salty snacks, alcohol, and drinking sugary beverages a lot to relieve stress or boredom. It is important to remember and be mindful, more than ever.

A healthy lifestyle will protect you from going down the path of creating severe health problems that may rear its ugly head later on when the pandemic is hopefully over. Conditions such as diabetes and obesity are debilitating — but fortunately, preventable.

Fun Fact: Human brain uses a whopping 20% of your body’s total energy.

Monitoring Your Intake

When you watch what you eat, you can manage your weight better and even your energy. Our body needs more than forty different nutrients, and you can’t get them in a single type of food. Variety is essential to have balanced nutrition.

So don’t just stick to your favorite pizza takeout. Plan your meals, and if you have the time, cook, and prepare your food so you can watch your intake. For example, a high-fat dinner can complement a low-fat lunch.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School for Health gives excellent guidance to health buffs when it comes to their diet: don’t obsess over calories, focus on the quality of the food.

Keeping Track of what you eat
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Eat some Carbohydrates

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to rely on carbohydrates as the base of your diet. Half of the calories that we require should come from food varieties that are rich in carbohydrates such as potatoes, cereals, rice, pasta, and bread. At least one of these options should find its way to your meal.

For an increase in fiber intake, add wholegrain foods such as pasta, bread, and cereals.

For your fat consumption, replace saturated fat with unsaturated ones. Contrary to what many people think, fat is essential for your body. But too much of it can lead to weight issues and cardiovascular problems. What we should avoid is trans fats, and you should be very critical in checking the labels of food that you buy.

It is an excellent idea to consume fish two to three times a week. Have at least one serving of oily fish to keep up with your unsaturated fat needs. When cooking, consider steaming or baking instead of frying. Use vegetable oil and remove the fatty part of the meat.

Fresh Fruit and Vege’s a must!

Fruits and vegetables are also important because they provide fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Try to have at least five servings a day.

This can be distributed throughout a day, such as a slice of apple in the morning, a cold glass of fresh fruit juice during lunch, and a sumptuous dinner of vegetables at night.

It has been found that if you eat small meals more often, it is better for you in many respects. Read our article top find out more.

Fruit and Vegs
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Water yourself to life

People usually ignore the benefits of hydration. Drink plenty. You should consume at least 1.5 liters of fluid daily. This is especially true during hot weather or if you are physically active when you sweat a lot. Water accounts for 60% of our bodies, so we must never neglect it. This is essential for several critical body processes such as temperature regulation, digestion, joint lubrication, respiration, and blood flow.

Avoid Salt and Ditch the Sugar

Avoid excessive intake of salt and ditch the sugar. High salt consumption can spike your blood pressure and increase your vulnerability to cardiovascular ailments. Regulate this by choosing products with lower sodium content. Spices can help add more flavoring to your food instead of salt. As for sugar, it can provide energy, but too much of it can help trigger diabetes.

Watching what you eat takes conscious effort. In this lockdown, the temptation to be lazy and to just eat mindlessly is real. But so are the health risks of obesity. While there are genetic aspects of obesity, there is still a significant aspect of it that can be controlled through discipline and healthy eating.

no sweets
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Nothing like home cooking

According to a study by Wavemaker Global, Braving the New Normal ,57% of their respondents in the Asia Pacific region are spending more time cooking at home. This reflects an excellent opportunity for people who are in lockdown or experiencing the new normal to be in control of what they cook, and in turn, what they eat.

In America, a survey from Hunter reveals that 54% are cooking more, 46% are baking more, and 50% have become more confident in the kitchen.

This seems to be the new normal going forward. 51% of the respondents are positive that they will keep cooking more at home in the next few months. 35% are enjoying cooking more than ever, and 44% have even discovered new ingredients.

This new drive for learning and mindfulness is a suitable spark plug to keep understanding our bodies more with the food we are consuming. With greater control of the ingredients we include in our home-cooked meals, we are more empowered to love our bodies more. 

Home Cooking
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 When we say you need to be watchful of what you eat, it doesn’t mean you should starve yourself to death. A good benchmark is to eat more meals, with fewer portions. Five controlled meals a day is a good alternative, and it can help spark your creativity about the various ways you can mix and match your food so that you can have all the nutrients that you need.

Skipping meals can have more negative consequences. It can lead to ill-timed hunger that will only result in overeating. In-between snacks can help offset this, but they should not replace a proper meal. Good snack options are fruits, unsalted nuts, yogurt, and bread with cheese.

Mindfulness is what we eat will help us watch the calories that we consume. This can help manage our weight better as well as the nutrients we give our bodies. We need to focus on cooking the right meals to ensure they are healthy in all respects. Try some of these very healthy recipes  you will be surprised at how it can you change your life.

Avoid long term health issue by exercise

Excess body fat is a reflection of eating more than what our body needs. It is crucial to maintain a bodyweight that is good for our health, dependent on our height, genes, age, and gender. Obesity can open the floodgates to a variety of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions.

Fat is the most concentrated source of calories. To release energy, physical activity is essential.

Why is Breaking a Sweat good?

Exercise is good for the circulatory system, specifically the heart. It can also maintain or improve our muscle mass and overall health. You don’t need to be in peak athletic shape to have physical activity. Most doctors recommend just at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity to meet the requirements of your body. It can be as simple as taking the stairs or taking a short walk during lunch breaks.

Physical activity can also give your body in better shape overall, with the release of endorphins that make you feel good. This can help uplift your spirit and mood throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be a long workout. It mitigates stress and can boost our immunity as it combats stress. You can just devote twenty or thirty minutes of your time for exercise to help build your physical strength, mental courage, endurance, flexibility, and core stability.

Home Exercise
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 According to the American Psychological Association, even children can benefit from exercise during this new normal. Encourage them to exercise with you, and this may also serve as an opportunity for family bonding.

If you may have been used to working out on gyms, you may feel restricted or deprived. The new normal presents several opportunities to be creative with home exercises. Embrace the limitation as a challenge and try to improvise on your exercise repetitions and routines.

Isolation may demotivate you, so you need to sharpen your focus to keep going. One of the best ways to keep going is to have a fitness partner or to look up videos  that have a practical guide to push you.

Heaps of home exercises that you can do without leaving home

There are hundreds of exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home, whether it has limited space — such as squats and lunges for your lower body, as well as dips and push-ups for your upper body. You can use free weights to improve your presses and flexes. Using kettlebells are great (read our review of various kettlebells. Crunches can be done with the help of a mat as you target your abdominals, obliques, and core muscles.

The options are limitless. There are several apps that can help you with fitness workouts ranging from five minutes to an hour. Try to spare a few minutes for exercise. It’s better than none.

Posture can also contribute to your overall health. It is easy to neglect this and just slouch your heart out when you’re locked down at home. But remember that bad posture can damage your ligaments, muscles, and even spine. Proper posture can help you preserve your body well into adulthood because this can help prevent kyphosis or the abnormal curvature of the spine because of osteoporosis.

Physical Activity and the Immune System

Studying the impact of exercise during the lockdown, Dr. John Campbell of the United Kingdom emphasizes the resulting immune system boost after a good round of exercise.

Natural killers cells are said to move into the bloodstream after a good sweat. They migrate to areas of the body where there are inflammations to find pathogens and damaged cells. With the silent threat of the COVID-19 virus, your best line of defense is to boost your immune system with regular exercise.

Regular exercise is also seen as an excellent way to improve the efficiency of the immune system to locate, identify, and distinguish harmful pathogens and particles inside you. It can also enhance the effectiveness of vaccines within the body.

How to boost your immune system
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Don’t take “REST” for granted

There will be a lot of time to rest at home during the quarantine. But with all the restlessness of isolation, the temptation of binge-watching, and inactivity, it is easy to forget about devoting adequate time to rest.

Your body needs rest to deal with stress, heal your ailments, and give you proper focus on your tasks. Strive to have at least seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep.

If you have a chronic feeling of fatigue, it may be because you are neglecting your sleep schedule. Be mindful of your mattress or pillows, as this can significantly affect your comfort as you sleep.

Look after your Mental Health

It is not just the physical body that needs time to recover. Look after your mental health. There is a lot of uncertainty and stress during the pandemic that it is easy to overlook that your mind needs to rest also.

A study by Blind identified the impact of social distancing and the pandemic on the mental well-being of people. The factors were loss of productivity, loneliness, and anxiety.

Out of 10,107 responses, 52.3% experienced more loneliness after working from home. 56.4% felt anxiety attacks. 53% said their productivity had been hampered.

Indeed, it is a difficult time.

Mental Health Awareness
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How to control every one anxiety levels at home

Not only are adults feeling anxious, but children are also experiencing increased levels of anxiety. More playtime and exercise can be a boost to their mental health. The American Psychological Association has noted that engaging the physical health of children will also help their mental well-being.

In turn, this can cause positive development in their behavior, attention spans, cognitive development, and academic performance (even though most are under distance learning now).

For adults, work from home setups is prevalent now, and this can also cause unnecessary anxiety, especially when you have a difficult time dividing your professional time with your time. So you must work smart to set goals and strict deadlines for your work so you can still have a chance to rest your mind.

Take a break when you are stressing yourself too much. Meditate when you can with a prayer or reflection to contemplate on your life. This health pandemic can cause so much stress. Keep track of bad habits that you may develop and cut them out.

Meditation can help break the cycle of rumination, which is a term that psychologists use to describe our thoughts when we think of negative ideas over and over again. Meditation invites us to appreciate the present and be here.

Begin by devoting two to five minutes a day just to sit still and focus on your breathing. Imagine your negative thoughts leaving your body with every exhale and positivity entering your being with each inhales. This can help inspire peace of mind and a general sense of well-being in your daily life.

Yes to Social Distancing, No to Emotional Distancing

We are encouraged to do physical distancing for our protection. But this does not mean we should also do emotional distancing and be hermits. Quarantine is not an excuse to disconnect from loved ones because several communication apps can help you establish your presence with your family and friends.

A healthy lifestyle is only possible with your mental health intact. Loving connections help keep your mental health strong. Embrace the opportunity given by the new normal to reconnect with people important to you. Offer support, acceptance, and empathy for those who need it. As you will find out, you will need it too.

No emotional distancing
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Final Say: Everything point to working towards an integrated Balanced Lifestyles

A good healthy lifestyle during this new normal requires a delicate balance among nutrition, exercise, and rest. It may seem difficult at first, but you just need to strive for consistency. Everything starts with a single step, so focus your will that you can have a productive start. With consistency, the change will find its way into your daily routine, and you will appreciate it very well.

This pandemic has caught everyone by surprise. But we have always endured and will continue to adapt and adjust. We can overcome this difficult phase by being in the present, looking for opportunities to grow and be better even with the threat of a looming virus.

Be mindful of everything you do during quarantine, community lockdown, or the new normal when the restrictions are lifted. Watch what you eat efficiently. Take time to exercise. And look after your mental health.

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