Pandemic weight gain was (and perhaps still is) a real thing. Affectionately called the “quarantine-15,” the number of Americans who report having put on more than a few pounds is more than significant. According to the American Physiology Association, 42% of U.S. adults have reported an average of 29 pounds of unwanted weight gain.
Many would consider this unsurprising, especially given the unprecedented circumstances brought on by the year 2020: Global lockdown, severe isolation and job loss, making the shift from time in the office to full-time "working from home". These are but a few of the unthinkable events experienced, all of stacked up and created a reality that was far from normal and, you guessed it, compounded with harrowing stress.
So where do we go from here?
As the world opens back up, many individuals are struggling to find the motivation in their day-to-day lives. Below are a few ways that you can help get your body grooving again, and start on the track to becoming your healthiest and happiest self yet:
Our bodies use water in our cells, organs, and tissues, helping to regulate most basic functions needed for survival. Lack of proper daily water intake can cause dehydration and can lead to the following:
Rather than reaching for a soda or an energy drink when you’re in a slump, try sipping some ice cold water instead.
- Loss of energy
- Dry, dull, or wrinkly skin
- Excessive hunger
- Brain fog
- Trouble sleeping
Tip: It helps to always have a water bottle with you, to remind you to stay hydrated throughout the day.
2. Go For A Walk
One thing the 2020 lockdown had a positive influence on was motivating people to get outside more often.
Walking does so much more than just help you get in your daily steps, although those are important too. It helps clear the mind, relieve stress, and increase oxygen intake (which makes you feel better all around). A midday walk can also boost your creativity and productivity for the remainder of the workday.
3. Prioritize Sleep
It’s easy to forget how important a good night of rest is, and its certain that a stressed-out mind keep you awake. However, a lack of sleep dramatically reduces our bodies ability to function optimally and how it should.
Believe it or not, our brains actually stop processing information after a maximum level of exhaustion is met. This means that no matter how badly you want to power through, depriving yourself of rest can be detrimental to your performance and overall health.
4. Take A "Social Media Break"
We live in a digital age full of mindless scrolling and alternate identities, both of which may lead to the unfortunate cost of our mental well-being. And with a feed continuously saturated with unfortunate world events, it can be refreshing to take a break from time to time.
Put down the phone and allow your body to reconnect with yourself, take in the view, and enjoy the company those around you (of course, a video chat is always an exception). Ultimately, you may find yourself in a more blissful state of being and surprisingly less stressed.
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live” - Jim Rohn
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 Weir, Kirsten. The Extra Weight of COVID-19, American Psychological Association, 1 July 2021. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2021/07/extra-weight-covid