When the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy and forced people across the world to quarantine at home to limit the spread of this disease, it resulted in a significant cultural shift and how we view our health. With new routines, more and more people found themselves looking for new ways to exercise, eat, and maintain healthy habits, while places like gyms and restaurants remained closed.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic also brought on new challenges, such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety, that millions of people are struggling to cope with. As we enter the final months of this unprecedented year, it’s a good time to reflect on how we can change our relationship with our health and wellbeing. While it can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits, especially during times like these, it’s best to set goals and put yourself first to ensure a happy and healthy life. Let’s take a look at healthy habits you can implement into your routine as the new year approaches.
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Get rid of vices
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus hit the American people hard. With record unemployment, hundreds of businesses closing their doors, and people mandated to limit their social circle, it’s normal to feel emotions like stress, fear, and sadness. These can result in unhealthy behaviors like increased alcohol consumption or smoking cigarettes. In fact, reports by notable research firms like Nielsen and Morning Consult found that alcohol sales during the pandemic have skyrocketed, with more Americans claiming they’re drinking more than usual.
While the occasional glass of vino or beer is perfectly okay, excessive drinking can do a lot of harm to your body, especially your liver and heart. If you find yourself imbibing, make an effort to cut back and drink a healthier beverage like water or juices. You can even make your own “mocktails,” which are your favorite cocktails but without the alcohol.
Smoking has also increased during the pandemic as people turn to cigarettes to relieve stress. Quitting this addiction can be extremely difficult, especially during times like these. However, there are a few ways you can slowly wean off cigarettes and protect your health. You can first try transitioning to e-cigarettes. While there are numerous myths surrounding e-cigarettes, they can actually help you become less addicted to nicotine and contain fewer harmful chemicals. You can then transition to vape pens with CBD oil, which contains no nicotine at all. They can even help relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression without harmful side effects.
Create a healthy habits routine
Whether you’re working from home or an essential worker going to your place of employment, we all have routines. But if there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, is that our previous routines are now obsolete. We can no longer go to the gym before or after work, hang out in large group settings to get exercise or socialize, or dine-in at our favorite restaurants. With so much change, it can be easy to fall into an unhealthy routine.
To create a new quarantine routine, start by setting goals. Do you want to eat healthier? Train for a virtual 5k? Get into cycling? Once you have your goal, grab a blank calendar and start penciling in time slots for you to achieve your goals. Maybe you’re an early bird and prefer getting things done before work. Now’s a perfect time to log a few miles around the neighborhood, experiment with new recipes, or take a virtual fitness class.
If you prefer slow and relaxing mornings, it’s okay to push things off to the end of the day when you have the most energy. When creating a routine, it’s important to remember we’re all different. Do what works for you, and if possible, find someone in your “quaran-team” to hold you accountable and help you reach your goals!
Elly: Grab your free habit tracker template to take the next step towards creating a routine.
Healthy habits for nutrition: Restock your pantry
With restaurants closed, more and more people are starting to realize they may have to begin cooking at home. However, if you have limited cooking experience, knowing what to cook and how to cook can be a challenge. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a 5-star chef at a Michelin Star restaurant to cook up a delicious and healthy meal.
Before you head to the grocery store, think about what types of food you like. Italian? Asian? Mediterranean? Caribbean? There are dozens of different genres of food inspired by cultures across the globe. Once you figure out what your taste buds prefer, you’ll be able to start your grocery list.
While TV dinners and frozen meals might seem appealing to their minimal prep time and convenience, they’re not all healthy. Processed foods can contain high levels of fat, sodium, and other ingredients that aren’t great for your body. It’s best to stick to whole foods that come straight from Mother Nature herself, such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and so on.
Snacks like cookies, candy, chips, and crackers are perfectly acceptable for movie nights and treats in between meals, but just like vices, it’s best to consume them in moderation. And to help get you started, the Internet is your best friend. With YouTube and Google, you can research healthy and easy recipes you can make right at home, so with a little planning, you can be on your way to cooking up your own nutritious meals.
Elly: Check out the video below for a nourishing vegetarian dinner idea.
Start an at-home exercise regimen
Now that most gyms are closed or operating at limited capacity, you may be standing at home wondering what you can do to stay in shape. There are plenty of at-home exercise routines you can do, such as:
- Going on a run through your neighborhood, and staying motivated with fitness apps like Strava and MapMyRun
- Signing up for virtual fitness classes that require no weights
- Going on a hike with your family or housemates and exploring new trails with AllTrails
There are numerous exercise regimens you can start right from the comfort of your own home. As long as you’re creative, you can find ways to keep your heart rate up without having to step foot in a gym.
Elly: Grab your free bodyweight workout download via the button below. It’s perfect for at-home or “anywhere” exercise. There are three progression levels for each exercise, so you can choose the one that suits you best.
Getting ready for 2021
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still very present, it doesn’t mean you have to fall into a cycle of unhealthy habits. During these next few months, prepare for 2021 by getting motivated to keep your health in check. From getting rid of vices to creating a routine and eating healthier to exercising at home, these are just some of the healthy habits you can start for 2021.
Elly: If you want to know what’s in, out, and exploding in popularity in the fitness world right now, check out the top fitness trends for 2021.
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Thanks to Samantha from 365businesstips.com for this article. Please join the conversation and leave any questions or comments below!