While on lockdown, it can be hard to maintain healthy habits within a strict budget and a static environment. As we’re stuck inside, we’ll face new challenges to stay calm and take care of our physical and mental health.
Everybody’s bodyweight needs are different, so it’s important to check in and assess your wellbeing.
These are some tips that can help you maintain a healthy body while confined to your home.
1. Set Up a High Protein Diet from the Pantry
Grocery stores may not be stocked as usual due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice a healthy diet while on quarantine. Prioritizing protein in your diet will help you build muscle and stay full so you won’t binge-eat between meals.
Working from your pantry will help you be mindful of your budget and your portions. With canned goods, you’ll have easy access to measured meals that can easily be stored and saved for later.
Canned beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, sauces, and vegetable stock are long-lasting, so they’ll help you maintain social distancing by saving you trips to the store while giving you healthy options to get creative with.
You can also increase protein in your diet and simultaneously help out workers in the food industry by switching to a plant-based diet. Keeping your plate colorful with fruits and vegetables is an easy way to ensure a nutrient-rich meal.
Plant-based diets also provide more than enough protein as well as a variety of flavors in dishes such as stir-fries, tray bakes, pasta, and curry.
2. Exercise Regularly
Without your fitness center or regularly scheduled gym class, finding a no-equipment workout might seem a little daunting in a confined space. However, increasing blood flow, engaging your muscles, and cutting through lethargy has never been more important to actively maintain your weight.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stick to your routine:
Start and end your workout at the same time every day. Building in and setting aside time to exercise can help your body anticipate the physical effort and will clear your schedule in order to commit.
You can even call up a friend or participate with your quarantine companions to create solidarity and hold each other accountable.
Here are some fun exercises that can be done in the living room that will get you off the couch to cut through fatigue and get to burning calories:
- Bear Crawls: walk on your hands and feet in straight lines.
- Lunges: alternate between lunges for an extra cardio burn.
- Ice Skaters: hop from side to side while landing with a low lunge.
- Bunny Hop: get into a push-up stance and jump out to either side.
3. Sleep on time
Getting a full night’s sleep is crucial to maintaining your weight because of its impact on your mental and bodily health.
When we sleep, our body regenerates and repair themselves, including our mind. Sleep is a time for you to rest and recharge your willpower like a battery. If your mind isn’t well-rested, then you’re prone to give in to extra sweet or salty cravings and skipping out on your exercise.
Specifically, it’s important to maintain 8-9 hours of sleep each night so that your metabolism remains active, optimizing your calorie usage overnight. Oversleeping or eating close to bedtime, however, can slow down your metabolism, so we recommend settling down and waking up at the same time every day.
4. Practice Breathing (Meditation)
Dedicating time to breathe deeply can help you maintain a healthy weight by keeping you in tune with your body and focused to meet your goals. By taking 5-10 minutes every day to practice circular breathing (breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth), you can become more aware of your thoughts and actions, including those pertaining to food, stress, and exercise.
If you find it difficult to meditate, this exercise takes the pressure off of having to remain focused. Know that it’s okay to let your thoughts wander as long as you can gently bring your consciousness back to how your breath affects your body.
When you breathe deeply, expand your diaphragm out through your stomach and release any of the tension from your face, neck, shoulders, and legs.
This process naturally focuses your mind on other tasks and increases your willpower. Breathing deeply can help you avoid cravings, commit to your agenda, and bridge the gap between the static of cabin fever and exercising at home.
5. Reduce Stress
Stress-reduction is one of the most important ways you can manage your weight. Addressing your meals with a calm approach can help you logistically prioritize your needs to cut down excessive snacking or settle your nerves to eat if you are trying to gain weight.
In addition to practicing breathing before entering the kitchen, you can make healthy eating a fun social activity.
By cooking together and organizing meals around games and movies with your friends and family, you can create events that take the pressure off yourself to stick to your diet alone.
Building up stress can also deteriorate your willpower and cause you to rely on sweets for comfort. It can help to limit news time and pick up a recreational activity outside of exercising such as painting, doing puzzles, or even video games.
6. Indulge Every Once in a While
Rewarding yourself for staying on top of healthy practices and consistent mental exercises is part of self-care. It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while; we’re in a pandemic and it’s important to find ways to enjoy yourself.
In addition to incorporating fun activities into your workload, a nice piece of chocolate or taking the evening for a movie night are great incentives to work towards and during your quarantine.
Premeditated rewards are also a great way to manage weight and promote good health.
By planning certain rewards for yourself, you can keep track of your indulgences so they don’t disrupt your weight management goals. When you set up a reward system, you’ll be able to incorporate experiences that you enjoy into your goals for a healthy lifestyle.
Setting aside a dessert ahead of time can prevent you from reaching back for more than what you planned.
At the end of the day, you’ll be able to rest easy having the best of both worlds: feeling satisfied with the things you love, and a job well done for maintaining your health goals.
Stock Photos from Happy Stock Photo / Shutterstock