During a pandemic like COVID-19, it is advisable to maintain balance diet, exercise and good sleep to recharge the body and ensuring a healthy lifestyle while at home. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, citizens around the world are faced with the reality of carrying on everyday routines within their homes, many parents are finding themselves stuck at home for most of the day juggling childcare, work and other competing responsibilities. Staying home is essential for preventing the spread and potential exposure, but the change in routine is leaving many in unfamiliar territory especially when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
Figuring out “What’s for dinner?” can be yet another daily challenge.
It’s important to have a plan before stocking up on groceries to enable you pick up the right items and to avoid panic buying. A healthy diet is rich in fibre, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, unsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. These dietary components turn down inflammation, which can damage tissue, joints, artery walls, and organs. Going easy on processed foods is another element of healthy eating. Sweets, foods made with highly refined grains, and sugar-sweetened beverages can cause spikes in blood sugar that can lead to early hunger. High blood sugar is linked to the development of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and even dementia.
Here are a few suggestions to help deal with this pandemic in a healthy way.
- While going straight for grains (legumes and brown rice) and canned goods right now, it’s actually a good time to buy fresh produce. Buy those fruits and vegetables, cut them up and put them in your fridge and freezer respectively, because they can be used in different forms. Sturdy veggies and starches like broccoli and sweet potatoes also keep for a long time outside the freezer.
- If you do buy canned, dried or frozen goods, choose those low in saturated fat, salt and added sugars. Look for foods with less than less than five grams of added sugar, less than 200 milligrams of salt and less than 1.5 grams of saturated fat per serving. Shelled eggs are safe 3-5 weeks.
- Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavour, colour, and fragrance to dishes without adding extra fat, sugar, or salt. They also provide powerful Antioxidants, and have a range of other health benefits. Herbs are the most convenient flavour boosters. Sprinkle some in your pasta, salads, sautéed vegetables, fried rice and sauces, and they can lend that instant zing. The fresh versions are no doubt most sought after for their distinctive flavours, but their dried versions too serve the purpose, especially when the fresh ones are not readily available.
- Adequate water intake helps to keep your body strong and have the ability to fight off viruses and infection, adding fruits or vegetables like lemon, lime, cucumber slices or berries to water is a great way to add an extra twist of flavour and boost immunity.
- Rather than giving kids sweets or salty snacks, opt for healthier options like nuts, cheese, yoghurt (unsweetened), chopped or dried fruits, boiled eggs, or other locally grown options.
- You may not be able to go to the gym, but it’s okay to walk, run or bike outside, There are also plenty of no-equipment-required exercises like squats, burpees, sit-ups, planks, push-ups and mountain climbers you can do in even a small space.
- Resting is just as important as working out because it’s an equal part of the total process required to build strength, endurance, and muscle. “Working out, especially resistance training, breaks your body tissues down. Rest days allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild.
By Kachiro Keziah
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