For the past year, our lives have been disrupted. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic forced families to quarantine in their homes and businesses to shut down. While exercising outside was still allowed, the closure of gyms and social workouts made sticking to a solid health and wellness plan extremely difficult.
If you exercised at a gym or with a group, then you likely had to shift to solo or socially distanced workouts. Diets were tricky as well. Parents of small children had undue demands placed on them, with many working from home. All this made meal planning and diets a challenge.
Exercising and eating the way we know we should be was primarily put on the backburner.
Now that the restrictions are easing up, we can start to get back into a flow. Our health and wellness plan may not look the same as it did before the COVID-19 pandemic, but we can kick start it, getting back into a groove.
Returning to a routine can feel impossible, so we’ve put together these 8 ways to restart your health and wellness plan so you can jump back in with confidence!
Many times, jumping into a new fitness routine can become painful and sometimes doing the wrong thing, with good intentions, can cause injury or setbacks to your wellness goal. As a starting point to improving an individual’s wellness, Core Health Partners offers a whole body and nutrition assessment that helps each individuals set realistic goals for themselves with the guidance of professional wellness staff and clinical professionals. The assessment leads to recommendations that are based on where the individual is at with their muscle structure, bone density, body fat, and nutritional habits.
Core Health Partners utilizes state-of-the-art technology, from initial assessment with 3D body imaging systems to ongoing nutritional counseling with licensed dieticians and nutritionists. Through telehealth services, individuals have the support of appropriate meal planning and nutritional guidance. Matching the assessment with a nutrition and wellness coaching package is a safe targeted approach that uses motivation and clinical science to guide each individual to a better quality of health.
One of the best things that you can do to restart your health plan is to connect with a wellness coach. A professional wellness coach will assess your emotional and physical state and then help you set big wellness goals.
When working with a wellness coach through our Core Health Partners program, you gain access to a professional who understands that not all lifestyles are the same. They then work with you and assess your nutritional patterns, physical fitness, relationships, and spirituality (among other things), so the plan makes sense for your lifestyle.
It would really help connect with a wellness coach right away to ensure that the next steps you take on your wellness journey are the right ones. They also help keep you accountable and on track to hit your goals.
Through public health programs and doctor recommendations (and good, old-fashioned parental advice), we learn the types of healthy foods we are supposed to eat. Unfortunately, we are often told a lot of varying information. Diet culture does not help, and it can often confuse us, leaving us unsure of what is actually good to eat and fuel our bodies.
On top of this, not all healthy foods are available to everyone. You might also have reactions to certain foods. For example, having IBS symptoms or gluten intolerance might mean that even though what you’re eating is healthy, your body cannot tolerate those foods and is being put into a state of stress or inflammation.
By connecting with a Registered Dietitian (RD) through Core Health Partners, you will gain access to a supportive nutrition counselor. RDs provide medical nutrition therapy, which uses an evidence-based approach to treat chronic, underlying nutritional conditions.
Meeting with an RD, you will have an assessment portion and then an educational portion. However, overall, the RD will:
Eating “healthy” can be difficult on your own, and there are many things about the body that you may not know about. Having a professional RD alongside will help you to kickstart your wellness plan.
If you are tech-savvy, you could consider getting apps for fitness monitoring and health. Fitness monitoring and health apps include fitness watches, which read biometric results, and phone application suites where you can monitor your exercise levels, daily steps, and other metrics.
These apps aren’t the only means for getting back into healthy lifestyle choices, but they help. With the support of this data, you can see how often and how efficiently you are exercising on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and then improve those rates to get to population standards (such as the CDC’s daily activity rates) or excelling beyond that.
These apps should be used in conjunction with the advice of a medical professional, like the support of a wellness coach or RD, as they will be able to interpret the data for you and provide techniques or strategies for improving your fitness.
You can consider fitness watches, physical fitness apps, and nutrition tracking apps.
If you have some idea of a plan, you can go into a free or paid fitness social group to gain accountability and keep you motivated. Social fitness groups are groups of like-minded individuals who want to hit a certain goal. While the goals of each individual in the group may vary, the group can come together with a similar mindset: to stay active and eat healthily.
This type of group is particularly important when you don’t have as many friends or family members who are as motivated as you are. Without this motivation, it can be quite lonely. You may find that you fall off your diet plan or continually modify it.
Fitness groups remind you that there are others, just like you, out there who are continually learning and relearning how to stay active, healthy, and happy with their wellness plan.
You might also find out more advice about eating healthy, practicing mindfulness, and staying active. This is usually an excellent place for getting new fitness ideas and finding more creative ways to move. Your wellness coach or RD might also recommend joining a social group as part of the wellness plan. (In order to provide safe recommendations based on each individual’s place in life Core Health Partners has chronicled the South Collier YMCA’s entire inventory of group fitness classes).
One of the best ways to get your active lifestyle kickstarted is to join a fitness challenge. A fitness challenge is an event that is designed to motivate individuals to work towards a specific goal.
An example of a fitness challenge might be running 100 miles in a month, following a specific diet for a month, or completing a HIIT exercise every day for two weeks. The event might be more challenging than what you are used to, but you sign up for it on your own and figure out what you need to complete it.
Usually, the challenge can be completed at home, outside, or at a gym. If you are competing in a healthy eating challenge, you’ll have to prepare meals ahead of time to be ready for the challenge start date.
Be careful with challenges, as they can sometimes be tough and overexerting. Start small so that you feel motivated to continue with the exercise, healthy eating, or mindset. Then, you can start to add in more behaviors. You will also want to work with a trainer, team coach, wellness coach, or RD so that this plan is integrated with your overall wellness plan.
Especially with pandemic restrictions still in place in some areas, you may find that completing an exercise you enjoy is tricky. Let’s say that you prefer to walk on the treadmill. If gyms in your area are closed, then you might not be able to do this.
You can consider investing in small household equipment so that you can stay active even in such a difficult situation. There are affordable bands, which can be used in band workouts, yoga mats, and stationary bikes, which can help you stay active and mix up the fitness movements.
Equipment can also help you when planning meals. If you have a meal preparation plan in place, you can consider purchasing scales or Tupperware to set everything up when you meal prep. Core Health Partners TeleHealth and TeleWellness platforms can provide individual professional clinical advice on your physical fitness, nutrition and motivation. A personalized client experience is always confidential and has proven to be a very effective add on for those who prefer working out alone.
As soon as you start to get active, remind yourself that you need to create a routine. Establishing a routine is extremely important because the activity, whether it is healthy eating or physical activity, does not feel like a chore.
Routines are typically established after you complete an activity over a period of time. For example, if you go for a walk every day for one month, then the chances of you continuing to walk after that month are increased. Simple techniques such as calendaring your progress, working out with a friend or wellness coach that can motivate you, and using motivational notes or videos can help keep you on track.
The more consistency that you can establish, the better you will feel about continuing with your wellness plan.
Even if you have an imperfect plan, adults need to get back to healthy eating, meal planning, and exercising to minimize weight gain and reduce the risks associated with increased sedentary behavior caused by the pandemic. With the increase in sedentary behavior, more individuals are becoming at risk for heart disease, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and other obesity-related illnesses.
Many health problems are linked to weight gain, so if you can get back into an exercise and diet regimen, you may reverse some of the adverse effects of COVID weight gain.
The right health and wellness plan considers your mental, physical, spiritual, financial, professional, intellectual, and environmental health. So, when you come up with a plan, you are actually developing a strategy based on your situation, needs, and goals.
Consider a wellness assessment or working with a wellness coach or registered dietitian through CORE Health Partners to restart healthy living.