Are you finding it hard to stay healthy during this quarantine?! If you were committed to living a healthy lifestyle before stay-at-home orders were put into place, you may be finding it difficult to maintain your old schedule in the face of new demands such as your kids being home from school, or more intense work pressures. It can be hard to find the balance you need to take care of yourself at this time.
In addition, if you had unhealthy lifestyle habits before, you may find they’re getting worse right now! Added stress, a busier schedule, anxiety-driving news headlines and a closer proximity to the kitchen can all make the situation worse.
But, no matter what your past situation is, you can start to prepare for a healthier future by making health and fitness a priority right now, in the present, while in quarantine. Though we don’t yet know how long stay-at-home orders will last, it’s apparent that life is going to look much different than we’re used to for at least the near future; So, it’s time to start making adjustments that you can continue with for the long-term!
Take a good, honest look at your current lifestyle and recognize if you can put healthier habits into place, starting today! After all, it’s extremely important to maintain peak wellness, especially now, with a strong immune system to help your body fight off sickness – and you can’t do that if you’re making bad lifestyle choices! Read on for our top tips to stay healthy in quarantine…
How To Stay Healthy During A Quarantine 101
1. Fuel Your Body Wisely
Stress can make you eat more food than you actually need to – but you also need to be eating enough calories to meet the demands of a busy lifestyle. So, the trick is not to eat less food. It’s to pick nourishing options that fuel your body and mind, while helping you burn calories, not store them.
You want to eat foods that fill your stomach and satisfy your taste buds, while also giving you the biggest nutritional bang for your buck. Many people choose “fast” over “healthy”, but don’t realize that they can actually be the same thing! And, once you realize how much better you feel when you make the healthier choice, you’re likely to choose something similar next time.
Your goal should always be to choose whole foods over processed ones, with as little added sugar as possible. When putting together your grocery list for the coming week, think about making some of these food swaps when it comes to your meals…
- Instead of waffles with syrup… Try whole wheat toast with peanut butter and raw organic honey
- Instead of a bagel with cream cheese… Try a bowl of plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with added berries and crushed nuts
- Instead of scrambled eggs with bacon… Try an egg white omelette jam-packed with veggies, with a side of turkey bacon
- Instead of a bowl of cereal… Try a healthy smoothie with a good balance of protein, fat and healthy carbs
- Instead of a sandwich on white bread… Try sandwich “roll ups” using your favorite sliced meats and cheese wrapped in lettuce leaves
- Instead of a bowl of spaghetti… Try baked chicken breasts with tomato sauce and cheese, with a roasted veggie on the side
2. Choose Craving-Crusher Snacks
Next, it you’re craving sugar, or other “bad-for-you” foods, there are plenty of ways to fulfill those cravings in a healthier way, while satisfying your desires. It’s all about making wiser, more nourishing choices, even when you snack.
Meal replacement shake smoothies using totally tasty, yet clean ingredients are one way to meet cravings head-on. When you start off a healthy smoothie with some of the best diet shakes (or protein powders packed with quality protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and more), you get the nutrients you need to feel full and energized, at a much lower calorie cost than other meal choices.
Many diet shakes are made with whole food ingredients that help increase your energy levels, and improve your concentration and mood. Not to mention, that you can also add lots of yummy yet healthy ingredients into these smoothies!
Here are some awesome healthy foods that you can add into your diet shake smoothies or enjoy in other innovative ways, to help fulfill your cravings while nourishing your body as healthy snacks…
- Plain Greek yogurt – Makes a great base for healthy smoothies, or you can top it with fresh fruit, nuts, coconut flakes, or homemade granola.
- Cocoa powder – Mix into plain yogurt, combine with peanut butter, or add into smoothies to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
- Frozen bananas – Add to smoothies for a great “ice cream like” consistency!
- MCT oil – Add to smoothies or enjoy by the spoonful for an extra energy boost plus cravings control.
- Peanut butter powder – Though peanut butter is also a healthy choice, peanut butter powder, (or PB2), can be added into smoothies or other recipes for that nutty taste, but with way less calories.
- Fresh berries or other fruit – All fruits contain natural sugar, but because they’re also packed with fiber, they’re a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Pure raw honey – Having a small amount of honey is a great way to tame your sugar cravings while helping to strengthen your immune system at the same time.
- Nuts and seeds – Toss or sprinkle them onto anything you’re eating! Great choices include cashews, pecans, and almonds, and chia, flax and sunflower seeds. By adding these high-fiber foods which also contain healthy fats into your day, you can reduce your urge to splurge on sugar and carb-heavy foods.
3. Change Up Your Fitness Routine
Next, along with a healthier diet, you also need to fit in exercise! It’s not only important for maintaining a healthy weight, but it’s also incredibly important for total body wellness: mind, body and spirit! Exercise can help lower stress levels, improve mood, promote a better night’s rest, and may even help you control your diet and make better snack choices.
The good news is, fitness doesn’t need to be complicated! And you don’t need to do it anyplace special. If you no longer have the gym that you used to count on to help fulfill your fitness needs, or your beloved yoga, barre, spin or strength training classes – that’s okay! Because there are plenty of things you can do to stay fit from the comfort of your own home.
Plus, another great thing about current “stay-at-home” orders is that, weather permitting, you can also go outside! As long as you keep a safe distance from other people, you can reap the benefits of the great outdoors, by making it your new grounds for exercising.
Take a walk with your kids, your dog or yourself, or find a great place to hike. Take a bike ride, or play a game of tag with your kids! Exercise is not one-size-fits-all, and it’s more important to be active than it is to meet a certain calorie goal. You can get in your cardio in a number of fun and creative ways, and then make sure you also add in some strength training, or anything that works and builds your muscles.
You can find a number of at-home fitness routines online or different fitness apps, including Nike Training, Peloton, Tone It Up, and many more. Sure, some basic fitness equipment like a yoga ball, yoga mat, and fitness bands can really help you get ahead with your goals… But, if you don’t have any equipment, don’t worry! You can still power through using your own body weight and even some creative “weights”… like peanut butter jars or liters of water!
The most important thing is to stay as active as possible, because living a sedentary lifestyle is one of the worst things you can do for your health, especially now. And the best way to ensure you stay motivated to be active is to fuel your body with the best nutrition – it all comes full circle!
Don’t quit on your health and fitness goals just because your life looks a little different right now… You can still stay in charge of your nutrition and feel your best, even from home. Just use the tips outlined above, and remember that your wellness should be a priority, even in the midst of other demands!