We’ve been on lockdown for several weeks now and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gained a few unwanted pounds. I’ve tried to eat healthily when I’m not craving comfort food. And I’ve tried to be more active but it’s tough when outside time is limited. So what ways can we stay healthy while stuck at home?
I don’t want to use lockdown as an excuse to let go of my body and give in to an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s easy when slobbing round the house in comfy joggers not to notice the weight creeping on. But I put my jeans on at the weekend and they were definitely tighter. And I didn’t like it.
What worries me more though is the fact that we need to be keeping ourselves as healthy as possible at the moment. An unhealthy lifestyle increases your risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and muscle atrophy. And studies have shown that people who do not maintain a healthy lifestyle when stuck at home often find it difficult to resume normal activities after the home period is over.
9 Ways to Stay Healthy While Stuck at Home
1. Plan healthy meals
When lockdown was just beginning shop shelves were being emptied. Choosing healthy food wasn’t possible for a few weeks as we had to make do with whatever was available. But things are settling down now and menu planning is getting a little easier. No more excuses that junk food is the only option.
Take time now to plan healthy meals and snacks and use the time at home to cook some nutritious meals. Think 90% healthy whole foods and 10% treats.
See my post 10 healthy ways to boost your immune system for some useful tips.
2. Keep active
Physical exercise isn’t just about body looks. It is much more than that. Exercise helps the body release stress and clear the mind. It is good for the heart too as it gets the blood flowing.
By keeping exercising when stuck at home you can boost your sense of wellbeing and help prevent conditions like depression and anxiety.
There are lots of free workouts avalable online at the moment. Greatist.com has a list of best free workouts on youtube covering a wide range of routines from yoga to HIIT, dance or martial arts.
3. Read books
With online streaming sites being so popular, it is easy to get stuck on the couch and binge-watch tv shows. But hours of watching TV can have a negative impact on your eyes, back and intellect.
Instead, try to incorporate some reading time in between your TV shows. Taking time out away from screens and moving images will give your eyes a break. Or give audiobooks a try if you want to get on with other activities while listening to your book.
Personally I’m just trying to stay away from apocalyptic type reads at the moment and choosing something more uplifting.
4. Keep your brain active
Choosing some activities that involve a bit of brain work is another way of staying healthy when stuck at home. There are lots of ways to keep your brain active during a lockdown.
You could play strategy and logic games that require you to think. Or buy yourself a puzzlebook. You could also enroll in an online course or join forums that discuss highly intellectual topics.
Lifehack has a list of 25 sites for free online education.
5. Look after your mental health
When you are stuck indoors, you may be at risk developing mental health issues, especially if you are living alone. Taking care of your mental health should be an absolute priority.
Make an effort to maintain contact with friends and family if you are going to be stuck indoors for a long time. You do not necessarily need it to be physical contact. Video chats, texting, and phone calls can do just fine.
If you are into gaming, set up some online tournaments. Or try one of the many online pub quizzes that are being organised at the moment.
6. Start a new project
Having a sense of purpose can play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy attitude when you are stuck at home. It does not even have to be a big project. Just a simple project with visible results can work wonders.
You can embark on a simple project like decluttering or redecorating your room or something a bit more challenging, like a DIY project.
You might like to set yourself a target of trying a new recipe each week. Or challenge yourself to complete a new fitness regime.
7. Improve yourself
When you are stuck at home, you could use that time for personal development. Learn a new skill that will help you get ahead when you eventually return to the world. Educating yourself will remove the unhealthy feeling of being “stuck” and replace it with feelings of finding a new purpose.
I love the Duolingo app as a fun way to learn a variety of different languages. And Udemy has some fantastic courses and often has sales with prices as low as £9.99 as well as a variety of free courses to try out.
8. Help others
Helping other people while you are stuck at home can do wonders for your mental health. There are many ways of helping other people that you can try. You could volunteer to help older people do online shopping. Another example would be to take some time to listen to other people’s problems (although not too much to avoid being depressed yourself).
Look out for local volunteer groups on places like facebook to see what is going on in your area.
9. Explore and expand your horizons
It is both healthy and satisfying to explore and expand your horizons. The world has so much more to offer than what you already know or think.
While you are stuck at home, take time to explore other cultures. Do research online, read some books or watch documentaries. Try new foods from different countries and experience the world from inside your own home.
When this is all over you might have discovered some new destinations to try for a much deserved holiday.
I hope you’ve found some good ideas and tips to help you stay healthy while stuck at home. I’ve found some rebound workouts on youtube that I am commiting to, along with starting Slimmiing World up online again to lose those excess pounds. And I’ve treated myself to a couple of courses on Udemy to get stuck into.