Health Habits Silver Lining during Pandemic?

When we come out the other side of this pandemic, many of us are wondering – how will life be different?

As an expert in weight management for the past 4 decades, I’ve been watching different diet trends come and go.

Now that we have all been social distancing at home with restaurants and health clubs closed and grocery shopping trips infrequent, I am seeing some new trends.

Here are my top 3 health habits that I’m hoping will stick – long after Covid-19.

See if these apply to you:

1 – You can cook healthy meals in your own kitchen and eat less processed foods

Many of my patients have been making their infrequent shopping trips count more by shopping from a list and doing meal planning in advance to make sure to have the right foods at home for healthy meals and snacks.

I don’t want this to sound too easy because for many patients, eating out was their norm and assembling meals in their own kitchen had been completely foreign.

And yet, they’ve been rising to the challenge, feeling accomplished about their cooking efforts paying off and you can too!

Certainly some of my patients are still struggling but I encourage them to be patient as this is a process that can take some time and trial and error before you’re feeling more confident.

2 – You can be physically active at home by using videos & virtual classes, home equipment, resistance bands, and doing calisthenics

For many, being active at home has become a family affair where parents are joining their children in following a teacher’s directive to exercise 20 minutes daily or children are joining their parent who is doing a virtual exercise class.

For those working from home, having no travel time to and from work gives you more time to put toward more physical activity, whether it’s walking your dog more, doing free YouTube workouts or doing resistance training with free weights and bands while watching TV.

3 – You can de-stress, even with children and chaos around you by using relaxation apps, reading, listening to music, engaging in projects, games & hobbies and connecting with others virtually

This is a stressful time for all, including our children. Managing stress and making time for family self care helps everyone cope better.

Play games together or watch funny videos or movies.

Consider sitting in a quiet room with your children and using a meditation app to encourage the whole family to decompress. Meditation is not just for adults.

On a regular basis, make sure to connect virtually with friends and family by using Zoom, Skype or FaceTime.

This can be a one on one meeting with an old friend, a double date with another couple, a family zoom with another family or an extended family reunion.

These virtual get-togethers give us new ways to reach out to those we love, grieve the loss of a loved one and help support one another.

We’re all in this together!

Every challenge in life teaches us new life lessons.

I hope the health habit lessons we have all been forced to learn and practice – will serve us well moving forward in life – and hopefully keep us all healthier.

Stay safe and be well!

RK

Robert Kushner, MD

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