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Health, fitness and self-care in quarantine

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Oct 05, 2020 4:00 pm

Now is the worst time to stagnate. It’s very important to adapt like water. Or like a sailor on the sea — change sails depending on where the wind is coming from.

With the world shifting, it’s also important to get ahead of that shift as fast as you can. If you’re stressed out, the amount that you resist will only increase the pressure the world gives back to you.

If there’s something to learn from this pandemic, it’s that health should always be one of our biggest priorities. Business, school, relationships and every other area we focus on would all crumble and fall without a solid foundation — good health.

There are four areas to improve in order to make the most of the quarantine: health, fitness, mindset and wealth.

Focus on having the best health of your life. Find the areas of improvement in terms of your mental health, emotional health and physical health, and address them. Working on your health will improve your immunity, which is one of the top priorities of everyone right now.

Health goes beyond just the body. Emotions and headspace have a role to play, too, in your overall well-being. Its not enough to just exercise your body, you need to make daily practice out of strengthening your mind, too.

To build the best mindset, you need to manage, protect and enrich your mind. Notice your triggers. Are you bothered whenever you watch the news? Do you get more anxious and tired whenever you constantly scroll through social media? Listen to your mind’s signals and don’t be afraid to detach yourself from these. Now is the time to prioritize yourself and your well-being.

When you know your triggers, work on improving your mindfulness. Start incorporating it into your daily life through meditation, journaling and breathing exercises. A few minutes per day spent sitting quietly with yourself will do wonders in helping you get grounded and centered. That’s extremely important amid times like this.

It’s also the time to break unhealthy habits. Are you still battling any vices? The health crisis is a signal that it’s time to step up our health. Now is a good time to work on giving up bad habits. Breaking unhealthy habits is simple but it isn’t easy. Take it a day at a time and start small. Some top tips for breaking unhealthy habits include leaving reminders around your house, swapping habits and most importantly rewarding yourself whenever you reach small milestones.

Anything that enriches your mind also contributes to improved mental health. Learn new skills, read, explore creative outlets and learn more about yourself. This will not only keep you entertained and productive during quarantine but could also lead you to a creative new source of inspiration and even income.

Right now is the best time to get fit. Even from home, it’s possible to reach your fitness goals. All you really need is intention, commitment and consistency. This applies not just to fitness but to anything in life. To reach your fitness goals, ensure a smart goal, proper planning and lifestyle change.

Smart fitness goals involve research and science. Each person is different and there are so many factors that go into fitness such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep, among others. That’s why the best way to set an attainable, effective goal is by consulting with a coach.

There are many coaches who are available for fitness assessment and goal setting. A quick search online would readily show it to you.

There’s no one-size-fits-all program, but a good place to start is with three to four days’ exercise per week, targeting the whole body, and incorporating both cardio and resistance into the program. This would meet the requirements of most people working out on their own.

It’s also important to progress your workouts, meaning to add resistance to your training over time. Usually in the gym, this is done by adding weights but it can also be done at home by adjusting your form to add difficulty, increasing reps or time under tension. Your body adapts to workouts over time, that’s why it’s important that they increase in difficulty. This will optimize you strength gains and improve your results dramatically.

Make sure to add a safe, balanced and sustainable diet, adequate sleep, rest and plenty of water. These would all go a long way in improving your fitness and health.

Nothing worth it ever comes easy. Fitness is a total lifestyle change. You need commitment and consistency. You also need patience and time.

Take this time at home to exercise your mind and body. Focus on this for at least 30 days and you will come out of the pandemic stronger and fitter than ever.

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