Staying healthy during quarantine, both mentally and physically, is a task that concerns all people alike. These uncertain times, although challenging, also present us with an opportunity to set new wellness habits and look for new ways to improve ourselves while being at home.
A survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Phentermine.com in April, has found that a significant percentage of people have actually adopted healthier habits during the pandemic. More than 75% surveyed stated that they are incorporating practices such as yoga, stretching, and basic resistance training.  Plus, nearly 50% reported that home cooked meals have increased, and 25% are eating more fruits and vegetables.
However, 40% of Americans say the COVID-19 crisis has made them less focused on weight loss. Although understandable, this could prove to be problematic for overweight and obese individuals on the long-term.
Respondents with an obese BMIwere actually more likely to report a decreased interest in weight loss, than individuals with normal BMI. This could carry over to an increase in weight-related-health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, during and even after the pandemic. 
Furthermore, 20% of those surveyed, disclose that they are snacking or “grazing” more often than usual. In combination with rising stress levels and lower physical activity due to quarantine, this new habit could lead to unwanted weight gain.
So, How Can You Stay Healthy While Being at Home?
The results of the survey can help us understand the habits we need to improve in order to stay healthy during quarantine. Here are a few suggestions that can you can easily apply, starting today!
Simple Dietary Changes
A balanced diet can surely lead to weight loss, but did you know that it can also go as far as improving your mood and regulating your hormone production? Your digestive system is referred to as your second brain, and taking care of it revolves , first and foremost, around the foods you eat.
Follow these simple dietary changes to take care of your gut (and wallet) while being at home:
- Make sure to cook more than you order in and be mindful with your grocery shopping. Keep highly processed snacks off the list.
- Grazing should be kept to a minimum. If you can’t live without your afternoon snack, try eating a piece of fruit or a small bowl of trail-mix
- Avoiding the pantry can be difficult when you are feeling bored at home. Find activities to partake in to keep the mind busy. However, keep in mind that television and video games are good for using up time, but tend to cause the urge for snacking.
- Drink plenty of water during the day and avoid calorie dense beverages like soda. If you crave extra flavor, try sparkling water infused your favorite fruits, fresh lemonade or a cup of tea.
At-Home Workout Recommendations
The CDC recommends that everyone should be participating in 150 minutes of exercise with a mixture of both strength training and cardio . This will ensure that your muscles, bones, and joints stay strong while also assisting with weight loss.
Here are a couple of suggestions to improve your current activity levels:
- Start with 3-4 strength exercises using resistance bands, kettlebells or dumbbells. Do 3-4 sets with 10-12 repetitions.
- Spend 15-20 minutes on cardio. This can include going around the block (if allowed), going up and down a flight of stairs, jumping the rope or dancing.
- Activities such as stretching and yoga assist with staying active and can improve your joint mobility and muscle flexibility. Stretches longer than 20 seconds are great after training, to signal your muscles to relax.
- Consider participating in virtual live stream fitness classes. There are quite a few available for you to choose from while at home.
New Wellness Habits
Studies suggest that it takes the body up to 21 days to accept a new habit. Being at home gives you the advantage of fully being able to invest time into these practices:
- Meditation: Learn to control your stress levels especially during quarantine. Stress can affect your immune system and cause havoc in your daily life. Try meditating for 5 minutes, twice a day, and take 15 seconds to relax, close your eyes, and breath every time you feel like you need to during the rest of the day.
- Non-negotiable rest: Staying up late and not sleeping enough can have the exact same consequences as high stress levels. Plus, sleep depravation affects your mood and causes you to crave unhealthy food. Try going to bed at the same time every night and get between 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Stay social: Although the shutdown highly recommends to keep your distance physically, you can still stay in touch with your loved ones on Skype or Zoom. Remember to check on your elderly relatives and your friends quarantining alone.
- Do something you’ve never done before: Now it’s the time to check that item of your list. Learn how to play guitar or a new language, get creative in the kitchen, there’s nothing you can’t achieve!
Overall, having a clear goal and desire to stay healthy during quarantine, encourages better behavior while stuck at home. You may have difficulty trying to make all of these changes at once, and it is recommended to select a few and focus on those first. Then after a week you can try a few other changes on top of what you already have been doing.
Phentermine.com (April, 2020) – Study: Weight Loss and Wellness During COVID-19 – https://www.phentermine.com/news/weight-loss-wellness-covid-19/
CDC.gov (April, 2020) – How much physical activity do adults need? – https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm