The recent COVID 19 pandemic has shed more emphasis on the importance of health and wellness in current times. Many of us are facing challenges that makes most situations stressful, overwhelming, and can cause strong emotions. Irrespective of all this, it is still important to focus on good physical health and mental wellbeing now more so than ever before. There is a recent article on how poor diet and lack of exercise affect women’s mental health more than men’s, read here. As you are busy juggling between many roles in your day-to-day life, you always need to motivate yourself to lead a healthy lifestyle. It can mean that you have to set physical and mental goals for you to achieve and look for innovative ways to achieve them.
Maintain Good Food Habits
Committing to a healthy behaviour is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give yourself. As we are busy trying to steer through home and work every day, we need to stay mindful about our food eating habits. A lot of what we eat reflects our health directly. Consume healthy fruits and vegetables. During mealtimes, fill your plate with healthy foods and limit portion to one serving only. Gradually try to reduce your portion size so you are able to take smaller steps. Take into account the change in weather and alter your liquids intake as per that. Staying hydrated is one of the ways to keep yourself going. Keeping in mind challenges we face as woman; I have created the ‘Game of Plan’ app available on Android phones. This helps you keep a log of activities you do during the day, keep a tab on what you eat, the nutritional value of the foods you consume to create more awareness and bring consciousness to your day.
Opt for an alternate recipe
Healthy food does not necessarily mean boring / bland food. These days the internet is filled with healthy alternatives to the otherwise oil-filled curries and biryanis. Follow healthy recipes on YouTube or look at instant recipes that focus on creating healthy wholesome meals. Replace fried food with steamed food while keeping the spices intact. In baking you can replace all purpose flour to nut flour etc to enjoy guilty treats with a healthy nutritious spin. If you have cordial neighbours you can also alternate cooking in each other’s kitchen and share the food on a daily basis.
Take a walk
There is no alternative to walking outdoors in more natural surroundings. Maintain a daily/weekly routine where you allocate time for yourself and engage in walks. If you are at office, you can probably use the stairs, or take breaks in between. These short activities increase blood flow and releases hormones that help us manage stress, increase alertness and burn calories. The happier you are the more energy is positive in your surroundings. You can look for interesting ways to promote wellness in the workplace. If you have downloaded any fitness app, your walks will be automatically logged in and so will your sleeping patterns.
Having a physical routine is very important to bring about lifestyle change. Is getting out of the bed and fetching your gym clothes in the morning is refraining you from hitting the gym? Keep your clothes right next to your bed. This makes it more accessible and likely for you to remember. You don’t necessarily need to keep hours aside to go to the gym. Just try to fit it in your daily schedule. For example, you have a set routine of (5 push ups, 10 jumping jacks, 5 burpees) before you get into the shower. Slot in time to move the way you enjoy. You can replace your gym with dancing or pilates etc. You can check for five daily exercise you can do here on my resource page here. Any form of exercise is also proven effective to protect your brain against depression and anxiety. Read here.
While you continue to focus on the traditional methods, technology has made progressive strides in the health and wellness industry. A large spectrum of innovative tech involves wearable tech, where you are able to understand your bodily functions in a customised manner. You can use devices to track your health, physical activities and sleep. The use of wearables is to track and analyze your fitness patterns and closely monitor it yourselves. Keep a goal to achieve 10,000 steps a day or get 7 hours sleep daily and try to achieve them. If this is too much, you can start by creating smaller milestones and strive to increase them as you reach these figures. These are measurable goals and are easily trackable.
Staying healthy is no more an option but a necessity. It is something that you need to start taking charge of today and be a role model for yourself and those around you. Once you have created these patterns, be sure to follow them. This creates a habit and we are able to sustain these activities for longer periods.