Keep your bod’ fit even when you’re doing literally nothing
There are two kinds of people. The kind who will emerge from isolation fitter than ever – and the kind who…won’t. Some of us are using our extra time to nail new workout routines and test new healthy recipes. Some of us are less active than before — and with so much stress and uncertainty, we might not be making the best choices. While we all have to give ourselves a little bit of leeway (it’s a global pandemic, after all!), it’s important that we don’t let our bad habits leave lasting damage. We’ve put together a few easy tips to keep you fit and healthy through isolation.
Swap: Unrealistic expectations for keepin’ it real
First things first — if you put on weight during isolation, it’s okay. It’s never not the end of the world (and it never will be). Our bodies are incredibly resilient. They put up with a lot – and adjust to our circumstances. For many of us, 2020 has been a tough year so far. You might not run that marathon or look have a six-pack this year. And you know what? No-one cares. If you’re safe and well, you’re doing great. While being less healthy isn’t ideal, it’s also not permanent. No matter what healthy looks like to you, it starts (and continues) with small steps. Setting realistic expectations is the first step in the right direction. Don’t aim for a crazy low number on the scales. Aim for a healthy and happy body. You only have one body — you should love it.
Swap: ‘special treat’ for ‘normal life’
Our normal habits are out the door. Isolation life is a whole new ball game. Meal times are different, workout regimes are different, work hours are different. It’s easy to excuse poor decisions and truth be told, we need to take it easy on ourselves in these crazy times. But it’s important to remember that isolation will end. One day, you’ll be back to your old activities and routines. You’ll be with other people again. If you’re using bad habits as a short-term fix, try to fix your eyes on what’s to come. As much as you can, try to live your normal life even in isolation, including your diet, exercise and alcohol intake.
Swap: Snacks for fuel
Proximity to the kitchen is definitely a perk of WFH. All your favourite snacks on hand, all the time. But after a while, this can take its toll…especially if your favourite snacks happen to be sugary, salty, carby goodness. Next time you do the groceries think: what will fuel my body? Finding healthier snack substitutes will keep you satisfied for longer. Just be careful that your ‘healthy’ options aren’t full of sugar. Even healthy options like nuts or dried fruit aren’t enough to fuel your body. Make sure you’re choosing snacks from a variety of different food groups, remembering to aim for those five serves of veggies and two serves of fruit! And don’t forget the water! If you’re WFH, you’re as close to the tap as you are to the toilet — there’s no excuse not to get you 1.5Ls a day!
Swap: Couch for walk
Isolation means a whole lotta sitting around. You sit at home all day for work. At night, you sit in front of the TV. You sit around the dinner table. All that time on your tush clocks up. Swap your sofa time for a leg-stretch. Whenever you can — when you start your day, on your lunch break, after work, between meetings— take a walk. You probably don’t realise how much incidental movement #isolationlyf has cut out of your day. You can counter this by consciously adding movement into your daily rhythms.
Swap: Zoom chat for group workout
Got (yet another) Zoom chat scheduled with friends or family? Change things up and try a home workout together. Find a workout on Youtube, share your screen and get moving. Youtube has something for everyone: from 1980’s style aerobics to hard-core strength training. Getting your sweat on has never been so much fun! And as always, it’s even better with friends. Zoom catch ups can get a little tedious, let’s be real. Working out together is a great way to spice things up while looking after your health. If you want something more professional, ask your local gym or yoga studio if they are teaching online classes. Gather your friends via Zoom and tune in. This is a fun way to add some exercise into your week.
Swap: Easy meals for new recipes
We’re all eating at home more. If you’re relying on easy staples like pasta, you might be feeling a little sluggish. Though it’s easy to make, we all know that we have way more time on our hands than we had before iso. Which means we have more time to dust off the ol’ recipe book (or Google) and try something new! Cooking from scratch (or as close to it as possible) is a wonderful way to stay healthy and learn new skills. Find a recipe book which focuses on healthy dishes and get cooking! Grilled sesame salmon with sautéed Asian greens? Homemade sushi? French courgette stuffed with feta and sun-dried tomato? Surely that sounds better than a frozen meal or the same old pasta dish. Not convinced? Imagine how impressed all your friends will be when you can finally have them over for dinner again.
Swap: Negativity for self-love
The most important thing to remember when it comes to being healthy (whatever that means to you), is that you’ll catch more flies with honey. With so much media focus on body image, it’s very easy for us to fall into negative self-talk when it comes to our own bodies. And this couldn’t be more damaging. Here are three steps for stopping negative self-talk:
- If you ever catch yourself saying mean things to yourself, ask yourself, ‘would I say that to my sister or brother? to my child? to my best friend?’. If the answer is ‘no’, then you shouldn’t say it to yourself either.
- When you realise negative self-talk starting, say “STOP” out loud. Why? Chances are that this habit has been forming for years and you need to build new pathways in your brain to break it. It might sound weird, but trust us, it works!
- Practise framing healthy choices as an ode to self-love. Imagine phrases like ‘I’m going for a walk to clear my mind and feel happy’, ‘I’m eating this food because it’s filled with nutrients that will fuel my body’ or ‘I’m going to go to bed early so I feel energised tomorrow’.
Be kind to yourselves
Now’s a great time to start new habits that your mind and body will thank you for a long time to come, but remember, you’re human. Love that body of yours — it’s the only one you’ve got. You can’t be healthy if you’re not happy. Here are a few apps to keep you healthy while working from home.