Covid-19 has undoubtedly impacted people everywhere, influencing both our physical and mental health. It has caused weight gain in the young and malnutrition in the old. If you have noticed your health deteriorate during his global pandemic, I can assure you – you are not alone.
Let’s get into more specifics; 1 in 3 Australians have gained weight during the pandemic, 55% have reported an unhealthier diet, 61% have reported reduced physical activity and 80% have reported worsening of their sleep.
Navigating our way through a global pandemic can be very emotionally taxing. Though, when considering the substantial benefits nutrition and physical activity has on our mental health, focusing on staying healthy is more important than ever.
Here are our 3 top tips keep on top of our health during this time
1. Keep your routine
With schools, workplaces, gyms closed and community gathering put it pause it can be difficult to maintain a routine. However, this could be the one thing that is the difference between maintaining your health and weight or coming out of lockdown a few kilos heavier.
Our suggestions to help you keep your routine would be:
- Maintain your sleeping patterns. Wake up and go to bed at the same time as you would have pre-lockdown.
- Have a shower, get dressed and ready for the day as you usually would before work or school.
- Pack your lunch box as if you were going to work or school.
- Continue the same exercise routine or maintain the same level of activity as pre-lockdown.
2. Remove temptation
Research tells us if a tempting snack is easily accessible, you are more likely to consume it. If you’re bored, sad, depressed, frustrated or stress you’re also more likely to fall victim to non-hungry snacking. The simplest way to overcome the temptation is to simply remove it from the house or put it out of sight.
Our suggestions to help remove this temptation would be:
- Fill your house with delicious and nutritious snacks, that will satisfy you and keep you full.
- Don’t buy snacks you wouldn’t have usually kept in your house pre-lockdown.
- Use a hobby to distract yourself when you catch yourself non-hungry eating.
- Plan your meals and snacks for the week when you do your shopping and only buy what you need.
- If you want a snack, make yourself walk to the shop to get it.
3. Get outside and move at least once a day
Exercise is an easy way to boost both mental and physical health and reduce stress. If it’s before work, on your lunch break or at the end of a busy day – you’ll be grateful you did it.
Our strategies to help increase you exercise as well as getting outside are:
- If you’re working from home, spend the time you would have been traveling to work or school walking down the street
- Set a time every 30 minutes for a quick 2-5 minute movement break
- If you’re looking for some more variety in your physical activity (other than walking), explore YouTube to find a workout that interests you
- Do lunges to the fridge, skips to the bathroom or side jumps to the bedroom to increase incidental exercise
- If your lockdown restrictions permit it, walk with a friend. It’s always more enjoyable doing physical activity with someone else.
We understand these tips can be easier said than done. We’re not perfect and some days it can be too overwhelming. The best way to keep on track will be to focus on small changes and habits. Write down your goals and make a challenge to yourself to just do one thing each day to bring you one step closer to those goals. If you find your goals aren’t achievable in this time, there is no shame in changing the goal posts to make your goals more realistic. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference.
For more strategies and tips for keeping on track with your goals during lockdown check out our ‘Tea with Beth and Ellie’ podcast episode ‘How to Survive COVID Lockdown’ and if you need more personalised help to navigate your way through this pandemic while maintaining or improving your health, don’t hesitant to book in with one of our dietitians by phoning (02) 4081 1828