Since gyms and community centers are now closed, most people have to get used to the idea of figuring out how to stay in shape at home. Especially now, when we are all facing difficult situations and uncertainty, physical activity is even more important in order to combat stress. Here are some tips on how you can stay active and create a new routine for better health:
1. Join an online class
Making time to work out is a lot easier, if you have committed to it in advance. Online classes are a great way to stick to a schedule, be accountable, and connect with friends at the same time. They are also a budget-friendly solution if you're worried about your finances.
2. Get some basic equipment
If you prefer to work out on your own, you might want to invest in some basic equipment like a mat, some free weights, rubber bands, kettlebells and/or a stability ball. They are easy to store and are usually not too expensive. If you can't purchase weights or other equiptment due to local restrictions or unavailability, get creative and fill up some shoe boxes and water jugs, or grab a bag of rice or flour for resistance.
3. Create a designated space
Having a go-to space in your house or apartment makes it easier to just get going. If your equipment is already set up you are more likely to start your workout.
Huge plus: if you have a trainer, ask them to design a few exercise routines that you can follow every week. Alternatively, try downloading some apps to help you with exercise selection and planning.
1. Everyone needs food
You might think this is a given. What I actually mean, is that everyone needs real, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods. This does not include packaged, processed, sugar- and chemical-loaded ready-made meals. Our bodies have not evolved as fast as the food industry and therefore are not able to process and use those altered foods. In order to stay healthy and absorb a maximum of nutrients, food needs to be fresh, preferably organic and unprocessed.
2. Food is not what is was
Suffering from food intolerances myself and noticing more and more people developing allergies, made me see the connection between intolerances and modified food. Over the past decades the demand of certain foods like soy, wheat and corn increased and farmers struggle to keep up. They use pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to minimize crop loss and turn to genetically modified foods that promise a bigger and better harvest. Our bodies are not designed and not able to recognize altered crops and as a result, the body will trigger an immune response to get rid of the perceived ‘invader’ when absorbed into the bloodstream. To minimize this inflammation and stress on the body, it is important to check labels for GMO foods and stay clear of mass-produced food. Rather, visit a local farmers market or support small companies. This is not only better for your body but for your environment and community.
3. Too much of a good thing can be bad
Everyone has heard of “superfoods”. Kale, chia seeds, quinoa, certain berries... and the list goes on. Yes, they are all great but always in moderation. Just because a study found out that kale has amazing healing properties, it doesn’t mean that we should only eat kale from now on. Our body is designed to eat a variety of foods and needs all the variety it can get. No single food could possibly contain all the nutrients necessary to keep us alive which means that if we only focus on one food, we might end up with a deficiency sooner or later. One example of how a good thing can go bad is kale. It contains oxalic acid which is involved in the formation of kidney stones, therefore eating too much raw kale could promote stones. In moderation, however, the body is able to deal with oxalic acid just fine.
4. Food can prevent or promote disease
Food is more powerful than most people give credit for. Several studies have shown that with the right diet and exercise, people can grow old and stay active until a very high age (Mediterranean Diet). However, one example of how food promotes disease is the intake of sugar and a high consumption of trans-fats. Once introduced, health issues like diabetes and heart disease occurred more frequently.
To sum it up: you hold your health in your own hands. It is up to you what you chose to put into your body and there is no special diet required. Make sure to eat a variety of fresh, clean, unprocessed local foods and listen to your body!
Here's a guide on how to make sure 'real food' ends up in your shopping cart:
1) Plan ahead of time
The biggest mistake you can make is “impulse buying”. The temptations are everywhere and you'll get lost in all the store has to offer if you don't come prepared. Have a rough outline of what you need and write a list.
2) Make sure you have eaten
Another way to definitely buy too much junk food is shopping when you're hungry. Everything in the store will look delicious to you and not only will you buy bad quality foods, you might also end up buying way too much.
3) Shop the perimeter of the store
This is where you find fresh produce and less processed foods. Think about what your grandparents would eat. Think seasonal, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, meats and whole grains.
4) Read ingredients
Don’t buy what you don’t understand. If a product has more than five ingredients and you do not recognize any of them, it is probably not that great for you. Buy less processed foods that are as much in their original state as possible.
5) Stay away from the middle aisle
The middle aisle is where the evil things are. The stuff with lots of sugar, cheap fillers like corn syrup, salt, etc. Stay clear and go straight back to the produce section!
Health and Fitness have always played an important role in my life.