Here's a list of manageable changes we can make to improve our overall health
For those of us who have been mulling over improving our overalland fitness for a long time now, now is the most compelling time to push through with it.
Under normal circumstances, improving our diet and adopting a regular exercise routine are ideal #goals. Under the "new normal" though, these things are a MUST. However, we keep in mind that neither the irregular office hours nor a work-from-home setup is an extended holiday, so it's not exactly a vacation with lots of free time to work on self-improvement (especially for those who have kids or other family members to look after at home).
Here's a list of manageable changes we can make to improve our overall health, all while managing all our regular responsibilities, as well as those extra ones that might have come with the pandemic.
List down your goals. Trying out a new diet or fitness plan blindly can cause more harm than good. The first step involves assessing the most imminent things you need to improve in your health, and then the related goals you want to achieve. This will give you an easier time in prioritizing the incremental changes you need to make so they won't be so overwhelming. Parallel to this, remind yourself of your current limits (physically and financially) so that you can find the best compromise and manage your expectations.
Include more plant-based foods in your diet. Vegan or not, eating more plant-based foods has holistic benefits for our bodies and our environment. A good guide is the variety of colors that we have on our plates - green fruits and vegetables contain more iron, red and orange ones contain more vitamins A and C, and so on. Lessened meat intake is also linked to better heart health, and lowered risk of obesity, diabetes, and other detrimental conditions.
Set aside 10 minutes per day for a whole-body workout. No equipment nor time? No problem! Find a 10-minute routine of bodyweight exercises that can be done even by beginners. Work out all major muscle groups, burn calories, elevate heart rate and cardiorespiratory fitness, and even boost brain function. Make sure that you're physically fit to do an intensive workout, and do a proper warm-up and cool down.
Do regular breathing and stretching exercises. If you have very little time to do an intense workout, make sure to at least slip in some breathing and stretching exercises. This will help clear your head, rest your eyes and prevent body aches caused by staying in one position for an extended period (most likely in front of a desk). Better yet, involve the whole family in this exercise — even the kids. This will help them develop stillness as a habit in between the constant, frenetic urge to play. It also gives the whole family a bit of quiet quality time that lets everyone slow down and just appreciate being present in the moment.
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