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The information I share in this blog is based on my personal experience, conclusions, observations and studies, or taken from books and educational materials, which are mentioned in the articles. I am not a medical professional, nor a health expert. Before implementing any of the information shared in this blog, consult with your physician or nutritionist!
How to Stay Healthy and Fit at Home (Self Care at Home)
A lot of people right now are stuck at home for one reason or another and this sedentary lifestyle is taking its toll on our health and wellbeing! So, today I will share with you my top tips and ideas for self care you can do at home.
This article is not only for those who are currently under self-isolation due to the viral outbreak, but generally for anyone who spends lots of their time at home – the unemployed, stay at home parents, housewives (or house husbands, why not?), those working from home, freelancers, online entrepreneurs, etc.
I am writing this post, because I understand how easy it is to fall into bad habits when there is lack of a healthy daily routine with a certain structure and you are the only person in charge of following a positive active regimen!
Staying fit working from home
The biggest pitfall when staying at home for the majority of our time is becoming a couch potato or getting stuck to the computer or the TV. Our bodies become sluggish, lethargic and lacking energy. That’s because most of us need some sort of physical activity to boost our energy and get the juices flowing!
The sedentary lifestyle even hurts our brain functions causing brain fog, inability to concentrate and remember important information. It promotes the development of cardio-vascular diseases and back pain.
So, here are a couple of ides you can try out! Remember, if you are a complete beginner, start slow!
I highly recommend you learn the basics of forming a habit – this will help you build all kinds of healthy routines. By creating a habit, you save a lot of precious energy and move away from using your willpower and turn to the enormous abilities of the sub-consciousness. I have described the best method of forming habits in my latest book – The Energy Boosting LCHF Diet Plan. By the way, if you wish to shed a few extra pounds off, even when being stuck at home, this book is for you! I also have a free cookbook with easy, quick, and cheap vegetarian staples I prepare almost every week!
My best suggestions for your physical health are:
- Practicing yoga – I love yoga since it is a holistic practice which boosts our overall wellbeing on multiple levels – our bodies, minds, emotions, intuition, and spirituality! That’s why I paid so much attention to the wonderful benefits of yoga in my book Healthy Body Cleanse.
- Simple home workouts with a couple of tools – you can always start with some basic exercises using dumbbells, kettlebells, resistant bands, wrist and ankle weights, a Pilates ball, etc. The options are endless! This is actually my own small home gym equipment which reminds me that there are no excuses! Don’t know how to use them? No worries – here are a couple of workout guides-> Cathe Friedrich’s Slow & Heavy, Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weight, Full Body Resistance Band Workout, Strong & Stable Stability Ball Workout. Also, there a ton of free videos on the web as well!
- Body resistance exercises – if you are not a fan of the whole home gym idea (and let’s say you are short on cash or unemployed), you can still do a lot just by using your own body weight! Do not underestimate the power of these exercises!
- Cardio – I personally find the cardio part a bit challenging because I live in an apartment building and making annoying noises is not a good idea. But, you can still go out for a walk, some light jogging around the block (make sure you have comfortable running shoes to avoid hurting and deforming your feet! I am speaking of experience. Yuk!), attending dance classes (WOW, I just found out you can learn line dancing at home with this DVD!), or some Zumba. The point is to find your favorite cardio training or a mixture of your favorites and stick to them!
My stay at home health suggestions for nutrition
The other huge problem with being at home most of the time is food. You know it is easy to get – just a few steps away in the kitchen – and the temptation to consume fast junk food and to eat more than enough out of boredom is enormous! So, how to deal with this?
First of all, let’s recognize which types of products are not good for our bodies. I know, I know, this is a duh moment, but still, it is good to repeat the important stuff! I would suggest you stay away from:
- Sugar – white sugar and its many disguises are probably the number one enemy of your health and immunity! But, since we are staying at home and our physical activity is typically lower, I would suggest you lower your overall sugar consumption. This includes white bread and pastries, pastas, some grains (especially if you have some sort of gluten intolerance), dry fruits (they are often treated with sugary stuff), maple syrup, honey (keep the dosages small), agave syrup, etc. Focus on fresh fruits that won’t spike your blood sugar level and cause an energy crash soon after consumption (citruses and all berries).
- Unhealthy fats – not all fats are made equal. Some types of greasy foods are worse than others, and I recommend you stay away from fried food, especially packaged products like chips. If you are not willing to give up your French fries (well, technically Belgian fries 😀 ), you can invest in an air fryer and take your healthy home cooking to the next level! Also, avoid cooking with vegetable fats which are unstable at high temperatures – sunflower oil, grape seed oil, palm oil, pumpkin seed oil, etc. Olive oil is an exception if you cook below approx. 392°F (200°C). That’s why it is a good idea to get a food thermometer to check frequently. Good fats for cooking are coconut butter, all fats from animal sources (lard, grass-fed butter, duck fat, ghee, etc.). Also, keep in mind that you can increase the smoking point of your fat (let’s say avocado oil or olive oil) by mixing it with some of the saturated fats (butter, for example).
- Artificial additives – basically most packaged goods are stuffed with all kinds of unnecessary compounds like artificial preservatives, dyes, stabilizers, emulsifiers, excessive amounts of Sodium, etc. Try to avoid those as much as possible and focus on cooking your own food with whole ingredients. Making a simple menu plan for the week will save you a lot of time and confusion! Want some ideas? I have a pile of cookbooks – gluten-free and vegan recipe collections you can try!
How to avoid the bad stuff while being at home?
My biggest secret is healthy shopping – it all starts there! If you have a shopping list prepared and stick to it, you have done 50% of the work! You can read my best grocery shopping practices in the article below!
The next part is also very simple and it is directly connected to the previous point – do not stock your pantry and your fridge with unhealthy junk food! With this simple trick you will be snacking on the good stuff instead of feeling a constant hunger from the sugary products! Need more ideas? All my easy tips and suggestions for sticking to your healthy diet plan can be found in Healthy Body Cleanse, including how to stay hydrated even if you hate drinking water! 😉
Keep track of your calorie intake! That’s huge! But how do we do that? Fortunately, there are lots of applications out there that will help you with the tedious calculations. I personally like Cron-o-meter , because it’s easy to work with, has many cool features, and it’s totally free to use and very handy.
It is extremely valuable because you start by entering your personal data, such as the type of your work (sedentary or physically active), your age, weight, etc. and this helps the app to estimate your core base metabolism. Also, you can create recipes, especially if you use them often, and track their exact nutritional value.
Lastly, as I mentioned previously, you can easily keep a food diary each day and calculate the amounts of calories, carbs, and fats you ingest. And for the picture to be almost perfect, you can add all the physical activities you have done for the day and estimate the calorie difference.
Oh, and one more thing, it’s a good idea to have a kitchen scale for easier calculations.
Remember – it is not about becoming a maniac, this tool helps you keep track of your eating habits and to check whether you consume way more than you should. This will prevent rapid weight gains and cardio-vascular problems!
Working from home mental health practices
Is working from home good for mental health? I would say “yes” and “no”.
In a way, you avoid the stress from commuting and being stuck in traffic, constantly rushing to get to and to go back from work. Also, those who have unpleasant bosses can greatly benefit from staying away from the toxic environment in the office.
But, being stuck at home working can also take its toll on our mental health as well. Being isolated and having fewer social interactions can slowly affect our cognitive functions and deteriorate our emotional state (causing depression, anxiety, etc.).
So, here are my suggestions. I use them almost every day to keep myself sane, even though I am a full-fledged introvert and a natural born hermit! Being stuck at home with anxiety is no joke! If you are feeling unwell, please consult with you doctor ASAP!
- Relax and meditate – working from home or staying at home for one reason or another does not mean you do not deserve time to relax and unwind. Take short brakes between tasks (work assignments, household chores, etc.; set an alarm every hour if you need to), close your eyes and focus on your breath. Add the diaphragm breathing technique to help you out in the relaxation process. Also, you can add some essential oils in your diffuser to amplify the calming ambiance. Don’t try to stop your thinking – it is almost impossible – simply bring your focus back to your breath. Several minutes are quite enough as a beginner.
- Take walks outside – walking outside is greatly underestimated. It is an excellent physical exercise but it also beneficially affects our brains and emotions. Try to have a least one long walk in the fresh air regardless of the weather. This routine combined with gentle sun exposure is also perfect for building your natural immunity! (Remember that most of us working at home or in an office with artificial light sources are usually vitamin D deficient.) I cannot recommend it highly enough!
- Stay connected to your loved ones – we are social beings and long-term isolation is not good for our health and wellbeing. Try to stay connected to your closest people as much as possible – in person or via the new technologies. Use these refreshing walks outside as a bonding exercise with your partner or kids; take a break from the TV and have a cozy dinner with your loved ones; play board games and have fun as much as possible! We as adults often forget to play and enjoy life in a child-like manner! But as modern scientists say, playing has an extremely positive effect on our brains and mental health as a whole!
Stay healthy and safe, my friends!
If you liked this article and you want to watch your weight while stuck at home, you can find my weight-loss plan for women in “The Energy Boosting LCHF Diet Plan”!
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Stay tuned for more healthy recipes and articles!
‘Till next time!