As we all navigate the current unchartered waters in today’s society, it is important to point out that the need for self-care is especially high, not only for physical immunity, but for emotional wellness, also.
As we aim to become more resilient than ever before, we must consider how we can “Adapt and Adjust” to our current situation. This concept was developed by the amazing Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD. She is the author of the books, “Fit to Live” and “The Hunger Fix.” She is a specialist in lifestyle medicine and stress resilience. Her website is https://drpeeke.com for a wealth of inspiration.
Maintaining and boosting our own immune systems through exercise and healthy food choices will not only keep us healthy and armed but will also give us the strength to support our loved ones during this trying time. This is an opportunity to serve others through keeping ourselves well. Perhaps this makes our “why” for self-care higher than ever before. Our loved ones “need” us to be strong. Together we can fight this head-on, but that requires us to intentionally step up our self-care in order to “be strong.”
The following are some basic tips for supporting our physical and emotional health during this pandemic:
1. Develop a daily routine. This is important for structure and sense of well-being and what we can control. Include things like reading, chores, walking, projects, cooking, phone chat, games. Schedule these activities like you would a work-type day, including breaks for a rejuvenating nap or healthy snack.
2. Commit to 30 minutes of “movement” per day. Walking outdoors with social distancing is a great weight bearing, immune boosting activity. Consider listening to a podcast or audio book while walking, or invite a friend to join in. Aim for 30 minutes most days of the week.
3. Consider an online exercise program to perform with a friend for accountability. Better yet, ask your personal trainer for a customized at home workout! Here are two super simple, yet powerful exercises to do at home 2-3 times per week that will boost strength and core:
• Push Ups (on knees or toes) — do three sets of 10-12 or more;
• Planks (on forearms or hands) — do three sets of 30 seconds or more.
4. Purging the kitchen of any “bingeable” foods that trigger overeating. Instead, stock the fridge and pantry with your favorite healthy foods and choose recipes that are satisfying and mood boosting. Whole foods that are unprocessed and packed with vitamins will boost our immunity. Keep a few treats on hand, as this is not a time to “diet.” Aim for the 80/20 rule — 80 percent whole, clean, healthy food choices plus 20 percent treats, or fun foods.
5. Take it one day at a time.
6. Remember that we cannot control all things in our lives right now but what we can control is our thoughts, feelings and behaviors that will either serve our best self or break us down.
TOGETHER, one healthy step at a time, we will make it through this crisis. Commit to your exercise and healthy eating routine. It will not be easy. We will not feel like exercising. We will feel like choosing unhealthy comfort foods. Remember that a stronger, heathier you helps not only yourself, but your loved ones who need you on your game. Choose to be well.
Tracy Desjardins has been a fitness professional since 1991 and is the owner of Custom Body Wellness in Bethany Beach, a private functional fitness training studio that offers one on one or small group private sessions. Tracy and associates are ACE Certified Personal Trainers and are also Functional Aging Certified Specialists. Clients are met “where they are” at the onset of their training programming and are progressed at a safe, appropriate pace for the goal of achieving their best functional self at their age so that they can continue to enjoy independence, energy and a strong, fit body for life. For more information, visit www.custombodywellnessbytracy.com.