Wellness — December 15, 2020 at 9:00 pm

Physical Wellness

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It’s possible that you started the year off with big hopes of eating healthy and going to the gym – only for them to be dashed by the shutdown due to the pandemic. It’s also possible that you are one of those people that always has an excuse as to why you aren’t working on your health (don’t have the time, hamster was ill, etc.). No matter what kind of person you are, this has been a year where most are assessing priorities. Is physical wellness a priority for you?

Many definitions of physical wellness list activities and ways to be physically fit without defining what it means to be physically well. I like Iowa State University’s description: “Physical wellness means living responsibly and taking care of your body, and recognizing that our daily habits and behaviors have a significant impact on our overall health, wellness and quality of life.”

Since the pandemic hit many of our daily habits have changed. The first few months of the shutdown were nerve wracking – whether you were working from home and home schooling, or simply glued to news broadcasts completely unaware of what the future might hold.  Now, approaching the end of 2020, you might’ve heard a joke or two about gaining the “quarantine fifteen”.

Of the many types of wellness, physical wellness is one that people tend to be more familiar with. Some people struggle to find their zone and others overdo it. How do you get to the happy median? Here are a few tips chosen from a list by the National Institutes of Health to help give you a better idea of what you can be doing, even during this uncertain time*.

Just Move – Try adding to the little things that you already do, like walking an extra loop outside with the dog or doing squats while on a lunch break. You can try doing shorter exercises daily, 10- 20 mins at most, or more intense workouts 3-4 times weekly.

Did you build a home gym, sign up for virtual fitness classes, or download apps with workout programs and reminders this year? Whether your home gym includes a Peloton bike or just a few free weights and a jump rope it doesn’t matter, as long as you will use it.

Eat Well – In general try to avoid sugary, processed, fried or junk food. Concentrate on eating things that provide the right nutrition for your lifestyle taking your activity level into account. Healthy proteins can give you loads of energy throughout the day. Fruit, vegetables and whole grains are also an important part of a healthy diet.

In this day and age, you can either easily grab a bag of chips or fall down the rabbit hole of fad diets. Try to remember how your body feels after you’ve eaten certain things to guide you with your choices. There are also apps that track what you eat to give you an idea of caloric intake and patterns you might not be as cognizant of.

Cultivate Healthy Habits – Ask a friend or family member if they can help keep you accountable by being an exercise partner or by helping you set goals and reminders. Consider prepping meals ahead of time and setting up an exercise schedule by making exercise appointments for yourself. All you have to do it keep your appointments like you would a zoom call!

*Don’t worry, I put a coin in the jar for using “uncertain time”.

By Maegan Carrasquillo, Staff Writer

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