Reviving Long-Term Healthy Habits Post Pandemic


The pandemic and associated restrictions had a profound effect on people’s daily lives. Alcohol sales skyrocketed, physical activity stopped for most and emotional eating led to weight gain.

After two years of pandemic life, many are having difficulties returning to a healthy lifestyle. The strategies we used to adapt and cope have cemented into bad habits for many of us. In other words, pandemic habits may be hard to break.

According to Nielsen, during the first week of stay-at-home restrictions in March 2020, there was a 54 percent increase in national sales of alcohol. This, despite the fact that bars and restaurants were closed. Furthermore, the most recent data from Nielsen show sales of beer, wine and spirits at the start of 2022 remain higher than they were in 2019.

Changes in exercise have followed a similar pattern. According to scientists at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), data from the smartphone app Argus indicated that one month after stay-at-home restrictions were implemented in the spring of 2020, people took about 27 percent fewer steps a day, on average. That’s 1,432 fewer steps.

Interestingly, in the U.S., physical activity picked up during spring and summer months (both in 2020 and 2021), when cases declined and there was more daylight, but dropped again with fall and winter surges, including the Omicron surge.

Finally, there was also evidence of weight gain. According to UCSF researchers, data analyzed from volunteers who reported their weight during the early months of the pandemic gained an average 1.5 pounds per month.

Many health professionals fear that the combination of the aforementioned might translate into higher rates of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events across the population in the years to come. That remains to be seen but is a real possibility.

If a healthier post pandemic life is what you want, make every effort to focus on the long-term. New habits and real change are not born overnight. An important component of change is the belief in the ability to implement it. This belief may be lacking for some of us. We may believe we can achieve certain weight goals, but might stop short of that ideal, healthy weight.

When establishing a post pandemic routine, people often fantasize about desirable outcomes with no plan on how to achieve their goals. People need to not only create a plan to achieve their goals, but also additional plans that will help to fight falling back into old habits. Interestingly, the best plans are often not fully executed because people rely on willpower to stay on track, which can often be problematic. We have all succumbed to moments of weakness. It is only human.

Create good habits by implementing manageable actions. Build on what’s already working. Make habits appealing and create rewards for actions that lead to measurable accomplishments.

As previously mentioned, the important thing to remember about restarting an exercise and nutrition routine is that you want to make long-term changes. If losing weight is your ultimate goal, choose healthy habits that will help you accomplish this goal: regular exercise, a nutritious diet and strategically supplementing to fuel your exercise needs. The following are a few recommendations to get you started:

Move as much as possible: According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, there is no minimum duration for physical activity. Every minute of activity counts towards your daily total. Regardless of the activity or activities you choose, set a goal of at least 60 minutes per day.

Eat your fruits and veggies: According to the USDA’s (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Dietary Guidelines, adults need to eat anywhere from five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day depending on age, gender, physical activity and overall health. See www.usda.gov for a guide on determining serving sizes of common fruits and vegetables.

Take your dietary supplements: For anyone re-starting a training program, it’s important to take the right supplements, including a multivitamin, probiotics, fish oil, antioxidants, a wide range of vegetable, and/or milk proteins and bone support, among others, as part of your training. Supplements will never replace proper nutrition—but they can immensely help your exercise routine! Supplements complement your diet and help cover nutrient gaps, ensuring that your body has what it needs for peak performance. No matter what your training goals are, the right supplements can help improve your health, performance and physique.

Drink water: If you don’t stay hydrated, your physical performance will suffer. This is particularly important during exercise. Dehydration can have a noticeable impact if the body loses as little as 2 percent of its water content. This can lead to increased fatigue. It can also make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally. Optimal hydration has also been shown to prevent the oxidative stress that occurs during high intensity exercise. If you exercise, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.

Choose a healthy, active hobby: Hobbies that keep you physically active are a great way to improve your health. Try activities including hiking, cycling, running, tennis, dancing and team sports.

Keep a health log: This can be an app or an old-fashioned journal. Track any relevant details, including exercise, sleep, diet, how you’re feeling and any additional health info you deem as appropriate. A health log provides a better picture of your habits and daily routine. It can give your doctor a better understanding of your health.

Ultimately, we all have the very best intentions when undertaking positive post pandemic change. The challenge will be establishing a long-term mindset despite the pandemic being in the rear-view mirror. Restarting health routines are about making change from the undesirable habits that were established during the pandemic. That said, we all have to be cognizant and recognize that, sometimes, goals may be too ambitious. That is why designing a plan that takes into account possible setbacks is so vital. After all, you don’t want to be restarting your routine a year from now. Take charge, be disciplined and make your post pandemic routine your best routine yet! VR

Mark Becker is a senior account manager for Vivion Inc, a raw materials distributor, based in Vernon, CA. He has worked as a natural products sales and marketing executive for 20 years. Becker has written more than 300 articles and has hosted or been a guest on more than 500 radio shows. He obtained a bachelor’s in journalism from Long Beach State University and did his master’s work in communications at Cal State Fullerton. For more than 35 years he has participated in numerous endurance events, including more than 150 triathlons of Olympic distance or longer, 103 marathons and numerous other events including ultramarathons and rough water swims from Alcatraz to the mainland. He has relied on a comprehensive dietary supplement regimen to support his athletic, professional and personal endeavors. Follow Mark Becker on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marklbecker/posts/387591877933686#!/energyatlast. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/becker_mark. For more information, access www.vivioninc.com, www.alliedbionutrition.com or www.EnergyatLast.com.

The pandemic and associated restrictions had a profound effect on people’s daily lives. Alcohol sales skyrocketed, physical activity stopped for most and emotional eating led to weight gain.

After two years of pandemic life, many are having difficulties returning to a healthy lifestyle. The strategies we used to adapt and cope have cemented into bad habits for many of us. In other words, pandemic habits may be hard to break.

According to Nielsen, during the first week of stay-at-home restrictions in March 2020, there was a 54 percent increase in national sales of alcohol. This, despite the fact that bars and restaurants were closed. Furthermore, the most recent data from Nielsen show sales of beer, wine and spirits at the start of 2022 remain higher than they were in 2019.

Changes in exercise have followed a similar pattern. According to scientists at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), data from the smartphone app Argus indicated that one month after stay-at-home restrictions were implemented in the spring of 2020, people took about 27 percent fewer steps a day, on average. That’s 1,432 fewer steps.

SR Carnosyn
CapsCanada

Interestingly, in the U.S., physical activity picked up during spring and summer months (both in 2020 and 2021), when cases declined and there was more daylight, but dropped again with fall and winter surges, including the Omicron surge.

Finally, there was also evidence of weight gain. According to UCSF researchers, data analyzed from volunteers who reported their weight during the early months of the pandemic gained an average 1.5 pounds per month.

Many health professionals fear that the combination of the aforementioned might translate into higher rates of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events across the population in the years to come. That remains to be seen but is a real possibility.

If a healthier post pandemic life is what you want, make every effort to focus on the long-term. New habits and real change are not born overnight. An important component of change is the belief in the ability to implement it. This belief may be lacking for some of us. We may believe we can achieve certain weight goals, but might stop short of that ideal, healthy weight.

When establishing a post pandemic routine, people often fantasize about desirable outcomes with no plan on how to achieve their goals. People need to not only create a plan to achieve their goals, but also additional plans that will help to fight falling back into old habits. Interestingly, the best plans are often not fully executed because people rely on willpower to stay on track, which can often be problematic. We have all succumbed to moments of weakness. It is only human.

Create good habits by implementing manageable actions. Build on what’s already working. Make habits appealing and create rewards for actions that lead to measurable accomplishments.

As previously mentioned, the important thing to remember about restarting an exercise and nutrition routine is that you want to make long-term changes. If losing weight is your ultimate goal, choose healthy habits that will help you accomplish this goal: regular exercise, a nutritious diet and strategically supplementing to fuel your exercise needs. The following are a few recommendations to get you started:

Move as much as possible: According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, there is no minimum duration for physical activity. Every minute of activity counts towards your daily total. Regardless of the activity or activities you choose, set a goal of at least 60 minutes per day.

Eat your fruits and veggies: According to the USDA’s (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Dietary Guidelines, adults need to eat anywhere from five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day depending on age, gender, physical activity and overall health. See www.usda.gov for a guide on determining serving sizes of common fruits and vegetables.

Take your dietary supplements: For anyone re-starting a training program, it’s important to take the right supplements, including a multivitamin, probiotics, fish oil, antioxidants, a wide range of vegetable, and/or milk proteins and bone support, among others, as part of your training. Supplements will never replace proper nutrition—but they can immensely help your exercise routine! Supplements complement your diet and help cover nutrient gaps, ensuring that your body has what it needs for peak performance. No matter what your training goals are, the right supplements can help improve your health, performance and physique.

Drink water: If you don’t stay hydrated, your physical performance will suffer. This is particularly important during exercise. Dehydration can have a noticeable impact if the body loses as little as 2 percent of its water content. This can lead to increased fatigue. It can also make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally. Optimal hydration has also been shown to prevent the oxidative stress that occurs during high intensity exercise. If you exercise, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.

Choose a healthy, active hobby: Hobbies that keep you physically active are a great way to improve your health. Try activities including hiking, cycling, running, tennis, dancing and team sports.

Keep a health log: This can be an app or an old-fashioned journal. Track any relevant details, including exercise, sleep, diet, how you’re feeling and any additional health info you deem as appropriate. A health log provides a better picture of your habits and daily routine. It can give your doctor a better understanding of your health.

Ultimately, we all have the very best intentions when undertaking positive post pandemic change. The challenge will be establishing a long-term mindset despite the pandemic being in the rear-view mirror. Restarting health routines are about making change from the undesirable habits that were established during the pandemic. That said, we all have to be cognizant and recognize that, sometimes, goals may be too ambitious. That is why designing a plan that takes into account possible setbacks is so vital. After all, you don’t want to be restarting your routine a year from now. Take charge, be disciplined and make your post pandemic routine your best routine yet! VR

Mark Becker is a senior account manager for Vivion Inc, a raw materials distributor, based in Vernon, CA. He has worked as a natural products sales and marketing executive for 20 years. Becker has written more than 300 articles and has hosted or been a guest on more than 500 radio shows. He obtained a bachelor’s in journalism from Long Beach State University and did his master’s work in communications at Cal State Fullerton. For more than 35 years he has participated in numerous endurance events, including more than 150 triathlons of Olympic distance or longer, 103 marathons and numerous other events including ultramarathons and rough water swims from Alcatraz to the mainland. He has relied on a comprehensive dietary supplement regimen to support his athletic, professional and personal endeavors. Follow Mark Becker on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marklbecker/posts/387591877933686#!/energyatlast. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/becker_mark. For more information, access www.vivioninc.com, www.alliedbionutrition.com or www.EnergyatLast.com.





Source link

Comments are closed.