The pandemic has had a negative effect on many people in many different ways. Today we are going to simplify what may be causing people to gain weight or become less fit during this time. We will then leave you with action steps you can start with immediately!
Many people I have talked to have put on weight over this pandemic, many people are also experiencing depression and mental health issues. While others are just being less active. The good news is many of you have made your health a priority and have maintained your health or have even dug a bit deeper and have seen greater results over this time.
Now, we will simplify what has prevented many people from seeing results. It comes down to three things. People are either moving less, eating more or eating poor and stress. Let’s break down each one of these categories and what may be happening and how you can change that today.
1) Moving less
With many people working from home this means less movement. Many people just need to walk a few steps to get to their desk and then they are sitting for the remainder of the day. When you have to leave the house to go to work, you have to walk to get outside to your car and then you have to walk into the building once you get to work and maybe up the stairs. Then at break time maybe you walk to get a coffee or lunch time you get up and move to go for lunch. At home everything is within a few feet. This means we are moving less overall. Don’t forget with many restrictions at businesses or with lockdowns many people are not going out as usual to shop or going out to socialize. Many people are not going out to the gym as normal and some people are not working out period, because it is harder to do on their own. For most people, movement has decreased and this can affect weight gain and an unhealthy lifestyle.
What to do?
You need to get your movement back. Simply get up from your desk every 30 minutes and walk around the house. At lunch time go out for a 15-minute walk instead of working through lunch. Plan a 30-minute workout, before or after work. Make sure you are working out as many days as you would at the gym if not an extra day or two to make up for the lack of movement. Make a conscious effort to get in 30 minutes of movement to make up for lost movement in addition to your daily workouts.
2) Eating more or eating poor
It is easy to eat more when at home. The cupboard again is only a few feet away. What better to do when stressed from work or depressed form lockdown. Run to the cupboard and grab the quickest snack you can. This can lead to unnecessary eating and poor snack choices. When you go to work you need to pack ahead of time and what you have is all you can choose from. This makes it easier to have successful eating habits.
What to do?
Plan as if you are going to work anyway and the night before pack two healthy snacks and leave them in your fridge. Have your lunch ready to go and easy to grab. Have a veggie bucket prepared. When it is lunch or snack time, now you can just grab the healthy option without thinking. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day as well. Make sure to eat small moderate sized snacks/meals every three hours to prevent your blood sugar from dropping which will make you crave sugary processed snacks.
Stress can come in many different forms. Physical, mental and financial. Stress releases hormones that will store fat. Therefore, we need to manage our stress levels.
What to do?
Journal. Write down the positive things about each day. If you are under financial stress then write down all the things you are grateful for you have. Do this daily. When you feel stressed mentally get out for a walk, workout, do yoga. It is important to practice your stress relieving activities daily even if you are not stressed. Whatever it is that helps you manage stress, use it. If you find you start to eat when stressed, then try replacing that habit with drinking water or exercise.
All the above can cause weight gain when not being managed properly. Use the simple tasks to manage each area in order to maintain or build your health and fitness. It’s not easy and any progress right now towards a healthier you is a win!
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