With gyms closed and less expendable cash to throw around on smoothies and drop-in pilates classes, we’re left to our own devices when it comes to our health right now. Here are a few ways you can stay balanced and sane at home, according to our in-house nutritionist and wellness expert, Katrina Mills.
Q: I'm finding it hard to adjust to all this change. Any tips on how to maintain balance?
Routines = freedom. Set up a start and end-of-day routine that replaces your regular work commute and coffee run. Our brains have become used to a series of external triggers that set us up to start working. For the majority of us, those regular triggers have changed and require some energy to set up new ones.
A few wonderful examples include:
Morning exercise, like a run, walk, bike ride
An at home workout or yoga class
Ending the day with a quick reflection or journal, we play hi/low in our team where we ask each member to tell us their highlights and challenges or blockers - you could also do this with your family or friends.
Remember, don’t rush the process: It takes around 21 days to create a new habit, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it is taking some time to come together for you.
Get half dressed. Look, if you're like me and now WFH, you'll know one of the beauties is that you don’t have to be in tight pencil skirts or trousers all day. But it is helpful to get into work mode by physically marking that transition between home and work. Clothes do an amazing job of that. Try work up top, i.e. company t-shirt, blouse or collared shirt and party on the bottom, active tights, shorts or even trackies.
Q: How do I stop snacking so much?
Eat proper meals at normal times. Yep, your body clock hasn’t changed. You still need breakfast at 8am, coffee at 10am and lunch at 1pm.
A little meal prep here and there is helpful. Don’t underestimate just how long it takes to cook, eat and clean up lunch. If you normally take a 30 min break in the middle of the day, do you want to spend all that time cleaning up the kitchen? Prep your lunches ahead of time - like normal or at least order a healthy meal to be delivered at the time you’re taking your lunch break.
Resist buying too many snack foods, out of sight, out of mind. Also, the more you work from the kitchen where you look at food, the more you’ll think about it and probably eat it. Do your best to put away food on the bench so it isn’t as tempting.
Q: How much should I be exercising a day? Any tips on easy moves to try at home?
Instead of worrying about doing your regular exercise, plan to get outside at least once a day. Sunlight + some movement is great for the body and mind.
Replace big bouts of exercise with smaller 10 min recharge breaks throughout the day. A great tip is to put on approximately three songs and do some type of movement, ie. pushups, running on the spot or dancing around the living room. If you like incentives, allow yourself your snack or meal after you raise your heart beat.
Get an exercise mat and make that your gym space. Try something new you’ve never done before. Online salsa class? Why not, no one is going to see you!
Q: Any recipe ideas for using canned or frozen foods?
So many! My faves are:
Veggie Fried Rice (canned or frozen vegetables – eg. peas, carrots and corn) stir fried with a packet of basmati rice, a splash of soy sauce and a couple scrambled or fried eggs. Absolute winner!
Frozen veg topped with cheese and pesto bake in the oven. Easy peasy, and cheesy.
Veggie fritters. Mix whatever veggies you have with some eggs, flour and pan fry.
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