The pandemic has had a significant impact on the way we live, work, think and behave. We have all had to alter our lifestyles in more ways than one, which has disrupted day to day routines and upended our usual habits. While there is no doubt the pandemic has changed just about everything, there are some positive habits about quarantine life that can improve our health and well-being. Dr. Nicholas Pantaleo, Westmed internist and family medicine practitioner, shares some of the pandemic habits that are certainly worth preserving.
Better Eating Habits
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many of us cooking at home more often and finding new and unique ways to combine ingredients. It has also motivated us to eat healthier to boost our immune systems and be ready to fight any pesky virus that comes our way. The truth is, when you cook at home, you can use less sugars, fats and salt which can help with weight loss and overall health.
Cooking at home also helps you consume more vegetables and fruit thereby packing in more nutrients. Fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients, such as vitamin C, D and vitamin E, which can help with immune function. Some sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, citrus fruits, berries and broccoli. You can find vitamin D rich foods in oily fish like salmon and sardines, in fortified dairy products and even egg yolk. A few vitamin E sources are greens such as broccoli and spinach as well as nuts and seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds and peanuts.
Having more time at home, means many people have been able to replace their commute time with exercise. Everyone knows that incorporating daily exercise into your everyday routine can significantly improve your overall health. Daily exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, keeps your muscles strong, helps you sleep better, make you feel more energized, improves your mood by releasing endorphins and reduces the risk of chronic disease. This habit is definitely one worth keeping.
Embracing the Advantages of Being at Home
While not everyone is working from home right now, we are undoubtedly all enjoying more time in our homes while we maintain social distancing protocols. Being home more and slowing down our schedules helps us to focus on priorities outside of work and a busy social calendar, such as getting extra sleep in the morning, spending more time with family, or eating a healthy breakfast. Working from home has also helped people prepare and eat more home cooked meals and less processed food.
Spending More Time in Nature
Getting outdoors has been has been a great way for everyone to maintain their sanity and also to socialize in a safer environment (with masks and at a distance!). Whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood or enjoying a family hike, taking the time to connect to nature can help to calm anxious thoughts and maybe even lead to you discovering a new found love for the outdoors.
Prioritizing Relationships with Family and Friends
Our time in quarantine has given us the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. We are social creatures by nature, and finding time to connect with others can do wonders for our mood. Let’s hope that this pandemic has taught us all to slow down and really find those deep connections again.
To learn more about how to incorporate lifestyle changes that can positively impact your overall health and wellness, you can book an appointment with your PCP and they can help you make a plan or refer you to a specialist. Westmed healthcare providers can help with specific health goals such as improving fitness, reducing stress, identifying sleep issues or weight loss planning.