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There are a lot of reasons why we could simply ride this pandemic out until life normalizes before we do something about our ballooning bodies. Instead of waiting while your waistline’s inflating, take action now because choosing to do nothing will significantly worsen your wellness during a period where the emphasis on optimal health has never been stronger.
I spoke to Jeff Later, health coach and founder of fitness company L8R Lifestyle, who provided a list of 5 things everyone must do to thrive in a time where most are just trying to survive.
We’re perpetually homebound and our fridges are just steps away. During a normal week at the office, we follow a consistent schedule: Preparing breakfast at the same time, eating lunch at the same time, and leaving at the same time. Now should be no different, so get back to your previous schedule and stick to it. Have meals ready ahead of time so the pantry doesn’t keep calling your name. Set reminders and obey them.
Related: 3 Big Well-Being Trends in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic
2. Keep it moving
You’re not sitting on a couch at the office, so don’t do that while you’re working at home. Your daily movement is likely way down and this factor alone can lead to a larger waistline. Even if you continue to work out and follow the same eating regimen? You’re moving less and gaining weight as a result. Set timers to get up and move every 60 minutes. This can not only improve cognition, but you’ll burn more calories and stay on track with your goals.
Constant cardio beats purging yourself into misery any day of the week. A new survey of 2000 Americans and their diet downfalls, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of MyNetDiary, found that the amount of effort required (35%), cost (33%), lack of support (28%) and lack of time (27%) were among the top factors that contributed to respondents giving up on calorie counting.
3. Stay accountable
Set fitness goals with a friend or hire an online coach to keep yourself on track. An accountability partner can keep you encouraged and focused on all fronts. This element alone is what leads to so many successful transformations. Even other fitness professionals rely upon others to help keep them on track.
Related: Have You Tried Online Fitness Services? Here’s How It Can Help
4. Drink more water
Staying hydrated is a must for a healthy metabolism. Replacing your water with a highly caffeinated energy drink to “keep you focused” will likely have the opposite effect and impact your overall H2O intake. Drinking more water can keep you feeling satiated and leading to less snacking. Have a bottle of the clear stuff near your desk at all times. Just make sure you keep the cap on. That laptop ain’t waterproof.
Whether you’re used to working out at a gym, or not working out at all, you simply must exercise. This is less vanity and more just essential. Get your blood flowing, heart-rate elevated, and stress your muscles. By now, you’ve seen home workouts posted everywhere online. Pick one and try it out as many are now finding they prefer these bodyweight and banded movements over the clanging iron at a local gym. Research has shown that you can build muscle with lower amounts of weight. For those worried about losing their gains, have no fear: Whether using your own body weight, resistance bands, a set of pink dumbbells, or the family dog, you can still build bulk. Be proactive, just like you would with any other venture you’re pursuing because the urgency has never been higher.
Related: Working Out, From Home
1 Keller, U., Szinnai, G., Bilz, S., & Berneis, K. (2003). Effects of changes in hydration on protein, glucose and lipid metabolism in man: impact on health. European journal of clinical nutrition, 57(2), S69-S74.
2 Schoenfeld, B. J., Grgic, J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Strength and hypertrophy adaptations between low-vs. high-load resistance training: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 31(12), 3508-3523.