Top Tips to Staying Healthy in Mind and Body During a Pandemic

If you’re anything like us, you’re also struggling to stay in shape during COVID-19. With gyms closing and the constant temptation of working so close to the fridge, trying to get in shape for your winter wedding can seem a difficult task indeed! We asked our resident health & fitness expert Jen Towers of White Dress Workout and FemmePower for her tips and advice on how we can stay on track to meet those goals, and here’s what she told us…

Hey Brides to be! First off, I hope you’re all staying safe and well. What a strange time we’re all living in right now! It’s definitely not something most of us could have predicted and it’s more than likely flipped your world a little (or a lot) upside down when it comes to planning your big day and also how you live your life from day to day.

The main thing we need to focus on in is staying healthy and happy in both mind and body and adapt to the current situation as best we can. Yes there’s lots of unknowns and I totally appreciate that you may be feeling a little more stressed and confused but hopefully my tips will help you find some positivity and peace during all this madness.

Jens Top 10 tips to staying healthy &
happy in mind and body during lockdown:

  • KEEP A ROUTINE

Routine is super
important if we want to keep some sort of structure to our day to day living.
Without routine, it’s easy to feel lost, confused, unproductive and it can have
a negative impact on our mood and emotions. Even though some things may have
changed – like working from home, we can still stick to some sort of routine to
keep things as ‘normal’ as we can such as going to bed and getting up in the
morning at the same time, keeping your eating times the same, setting a workout
time each day etc.

  • KEEP ACTIVE EVERYDAY

Now that a lot of us are
working from home, our daily activity levels may have taken a significant hit
and dropped pretty drastically, which isn’t ideal to say the least – that’s why
we need to make sure we stay active every day. When I say active, I’m not
talking solely about exercise, I’m talking about the simple stuff like moving
around, walking, doing household chores etc. If you’re the type of gal to get
up in the morning and sit for 8 hours non-stop at a desk then you should try to
change things up and move more.

If you have an activity
tracker, turn on the inactivity notification to notify you when you should get
up and move. Aim for a minimum of 7k steps to start with if you’re currently
averaging 5k or less then work your way up to 10k a day.

Also, with your daily
activity, you should try to include workouts in every couple of days to
strengthen your muscles and keep your fitness levels up. Mix it up between
resistance and cardio and find things that you enjoy like dancing, weight
training, fun circuits etc.

  • SET WEEKLY GOALS – PRODUCTIVITY/NUTRITION/ACTIVITY

No matter how big or small
they may be, goals are a great way to stay productive, on track and moving in
the right direction. I always like to set goals at the start of the week for a
couple of key areas such as my food intake, workouts, step count and for my
mini work projects. Make sure that your goals are achievable and measure your
progress towards them by writing them down and keeping notes and even have
daily goals that work towards the weekly goal – for example –Target of 8k steps
every day. For this goal, you could write down the goal for each day and note
down how many steps you managed to clock up each night. If you didn’t hit the
target, can you make it up the next day?

It’s good to have a challenge like this as it really makes you conscious about how much (or little) you’re moving each day. Personally, my step count goal each day is 10k and is totally doable even while you’re in lockdown. 10k steps in the house or apartment may seem a little impossible but if you divide that 10k up over 10 hours then you can aim to hit 1000 steps every hour which doesn’t actually take that long to do.

  • KEEP A REGULAR SLEEP ROUTINE

Sleep is one of the most
important things we can do to keep our body and mind happy and something that
should not be overlooked. Having a regular sleep schedule helps you in many
ways such as staying focused and alert during the day, positive moods, fewer
illnesses, less stress, quicker recovery from workouts and much more.

7-9 hours a night is
recommended for adults so try to keep your sleep pattern regular by going to
sleep at the same time each evening and wake up at the same time each morning
and make sure you try to hit your sleep target. Also, when life returns to
normal (hopefully in the not too distant future) you’ll be able to snap back
into your pre-corona routine easily.

  • TRY SOMETIHING NEW  – YOGA / MEDITATION / ONLINE CLASS

With many of us having
more time on our hands, now is the time to try something new like an online
yoga class or maybe meditation to de-stress and focus your energy on yourself.
There are so many online classes out there to try. Some classes have free
trials (like my own ‘FemmePower’ classes) so why not take a step out of your
comfort zone and try something new – if you love it then amazing, you’ve just
found a new hobby! If you hate it then at least you’ve tried it and can tick it
off your list of things to try.

  • MAKE HEALTHY SNACKS

Snacking during lockdown
can get a little out of hand if we’re not mindful about what it is that we’re
eating or how many times we actually snack. Let’s be honest, with the kitchen
close by, all it takes is a little hunger pang to get us off our seat and
walking over to the fridge or cupboards to find something tasty to nibble on.
First of all – it’s great that you’re up and walking but hold up – ask yourself
a couple of questions before you eat. Are you actually hungry or just bored? If
you’re just bored, try and turn your attention on a short task instead. Next,
what type of snack are you wanting to eat? Is it nutritious or is it only
providing you with empty calories that will just add to your waistline?

When it comes to healthy,
tasty snacks, the trick is to plan ahead. It’s super easy to reach for a packet
of crisps or a cereal bar but if you plan ahead, you can make some pretty
yummy, filling and nutritious alternatives such as protein balls made with
oats, almond milk, protein powder and nuts, Home-made hummus with veggies, air-fried
chick-peas and more. Most packaged snacks will have added sugars and
preservatives but if you make your snacks from scratch, you’ll know exactly
what they contain and they will provide you with added nutrients that you don’t
get from a packet of crisps or chocolate bar.

  • KEEP A FOOD DIARY FOR A WEEK

Keeping a food diary is a
great way to see your nutrition intake as a bigger picture. You may think that
you eat a relatively healthy diet but when you look at a weeks worth of food,
what you have down on paper may tell a different story.

When you have your weekly
food diary complete with every meal, snack and drink written down in front of
you, you’re then able to see where you can make adjustments if needed. If
you’re struggling to lose weight this is a great way to help with that. Let’s
say you have a can of soda every day – it may not seem like much as its only 1
a day but over the course of a week, you will have consumed an extra 1000kcal
almost and 273g added sugar (63 teaspoons). Always look at the bigger picture.
Even if you start by reducing your intake to one every other day, you will have
cut this number in half which is great first step. Sometimes we find ourselves
eating a certain food at a certain time out of habit so it’s important to break
these habits and adopt new, healthier beneficial ones.

Another good idea is to
mark a green or red line against each meal, snack or drink whether it’s
nutrient-dense and healthy or processed and unhealthy. From this, you’ll be
able to see if you’re diet is mostly healthy or unhealthy and if you have more
red lines that green then you can see where changes need to be made.

  • CHALLENGE YOURSELF

My final tip is
to challenge yourself. How do you know what you’re capable of if you never push
yourself to your limits? I’m not talking about crazy tough challenges here,
more like small challenges such as trying a new recipe each week or setting
yourself some strength or fitness challenges that you can measure and then work
towards improving.  Here are a couple of
ideas – how many push-ups you can do in a minute or how many flights of stairs
you can climb in 5 minutes?  You may feel
like you’re not strong or fit enough to do either of these but remember; your
starting point is just that, your starting point. You shouldn’t compare
yourself to anyone but yourself. Whether you manage to do only 1 push up or 10,
you can use this information as a guide and work on getting stronger before you
retest a week or two later. It’s always good to see your progress and even if
it’s one extra push up or one extra flight of stairs each time then you’re
still moving in the right direction and every small win is still a win!

If you’d like more information about online coaching or my Femmepower classes, feel free to visit my website www.jet-fitness.com and find me on instagram at @jen_dubai_pt.

Also, I’d love
to offer you the opportunity to join a free FemmePower trial class of your
choice (see schedule). The classes are suitable for all levels of strength and
fitness as I provide two levels of each exercise. All you need to do is visit
the link below and fill in the short form to let me know which on you’d like to
try and you’ll receive your zoom link on the day of the class.

Stay Healthy, Stay Happy & Stay Home!

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