Throughout 2020 and now moving into 2021, we are existing in a new reality. We have been hit with a pandemic health crisis causing economic devastation, social isolation, and the loss of many precious lives globally. It has reminded us that health is one of the most - if not the most important aspect of life. This has inspired many to focus more on improving their health, and we are here to help you.
Here at FitMyFoot, we are advocates of movement. So much so, that we dedicated our entire company to helping you move better. With that being said, we want to help the nation stay healthy and active during covid-19. In this post, we’re going to give you some helpful ways to stay healthy at home during covid, so you can adjust to the new reality with a happy and healthy outlook.
Moving less, eating more: A disclaimer
A recent poll asked more than 1,000 participants whether they had gained weight during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, 54 percent reported gaining weight, 54 percent reported exercising less, and 68 percent admitted to snacking more. The reality is: gyms are closed, we’re stuck at home, we’re feeling stressed and using food as an emotional crux, and subsequently - we’re gaining weight.
That being said, we want to make this point clear: you don’t need to feel guilty about gaining weight, and for many - weighing more is the least of your concerns. We understand, and we hear you. If dieting or weight loss triggers you, this article may not be for you.
But for those looking to adjust their daily habits to avoid excess weight gain during covid-19, so you can feel your best mentally and physically, here are some habits to help you on your journey.
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Tips to stay healthy during COVID-19
This is the first, and arguably most important tip when it comes to staying healthy during covid-19. Being healthy isn’t all about cutting calories and exercising more. It’s also about being mentally healthy, which is all too often ignored.
In a recent survey by the American Psychiatric Association, 36 percent of Americans said the pandemic has had a serious impact on their mental health. If you are part of that group, you are not alone. It’s time to take care of yourself.
One of the most effective, well-researched ways to relax and destress is to meditate. Meditation isn’t as gimmicky as you might perceive: real science backs up the benefits of regular meditation. A study with over 3,500 adults found that meditation improved anxiety, depression, pain and stress, as well as boosting quality of life.
2. Adjust your caloric intake
Here’s the thing: the less you move, the less energy you need. It makes sense, right? But unfortunately, as shown in the above poll, people are snacking more and moving less. That causes weight gain, because you’re in a positive energy balance. To learn more about energy balance, check out this article we wrote.
If you don’t want to gain weight, you will need to adjust your caloric intake to ensure you are maintaining an energy balance - i.e., calories in are matching calories out. The best way to do this is to use an online daily energy expenditure calculator like this one.
Once you know how many calories you need to fuel your current level of activity, aim to eat this amount of calories to avoid weight gain.
3. Home workouts
The pandemic forced people to get creative when it came to workout. With gyms and fitness centers closed, it was time to decide whether to exercise at home, or skip it altogether.
According to a survey conducted by the fitness app Freeletics, 52 percent of Americans are working out at home, and the average person used two fitness apps and did four online fitness classes during lockdown. In fact, according to a study published in the British Journal ofSports Medicine,a population-level interest in exercise peaked at an all-time high in April 2020, a couple of months into lockdown.
It’s safe to say: home workouts are killing it right now. Not only can they help to boost your activity and energy expenditure, they are also powerful mood-boosters, which can be extremely beneficial during stressful lockdowns.
4. Get outside
Getting outside in the fresh air has a plethora of benefits for your mental and physical health. Check out this recent piece we wrote that summarized some of the major benefits of exercising outside.
In short: you’ll feel calmer, happier, have a boost of energy, less anxiety, better immune function, and of course - you’ll be improving your physical health with some movement. Even if it’s just a quick walk before lunch, getting outside and doing some movement will help you stay healthy during covid.
Before you get moving, make sure you’re wearing the correct footwear to support your feet. FitMyFoot creates custom insoles designed specifically for your feet and chosen footwear to promote foot wellness.
5. Drink more water
If you’re reading this, go drink some water! Staying adequately hydrated is vital. Studies show it improves your skin, digestion, mood, cognitive performance, and can help you lose some pounds! If you don’t drink enough water, research shows your body can’t properly metabolize stored triglycerides or glycogen. This process is known as lipolysis, and uses water to break down fat stores.
A study gave participants 2 liters of warm water per day and found that they increased thermogenesis and lipid oxidation equating to an additional 100 calories per day. This is a super simple yet extremely effective way to stay healthy during lockdown.
6. Get some motivation
Being stuck at home is pretty demotivating. No fun vacations to look forward to, no fun spin class with your girlfriends… we get it! But it’s important to stay motivated to ensure you look after yourself and keep healthy, which sometimes involves actively seeking it out.
An online fitness community can offer you some motivation, whilst also helping you stay accountable. These online communities create a space for you to talk and meet others with the same goals and obstacles as you.
This is supported in research: a randomized controlled trial published in 2015 by the Preventive Medicine Reports found that when participants joined a fitness-based social network, they had higher levels of physical activity (an additional 1.6 workouts per week compared to the control), which researchers attributed to the motivating social environment.
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Here at FitMyFoot, we believe that being healthy is about nourishing your body, moving your body, and looking after your mind. We are here to help support your movement with our custom insoles, but we are also here to support you on your journey to a healthier and happier you, during covid and beyond.