The “new normal” in healthy lifestyle

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All three living generations of today will agree that this is the most unique phase of life that they would have witnessed – when we say ‘unique’, for the most part it is challenging!

There has been a major change in our lifestyle patterns, especially in terms of reduced accessibility of common things.

The present situation has led to a new definition of our priorities. However, even in such circumstances, it is a no-brainer that we cannot take our health for granted and can’t put it on the back burner.

Currently our health is challenged at both the physical and the mental levels. Hence, the issue now is that how can we to stay healthy within these restricted resources. What’s the new ‘normal’ in healthy lifestyle!

Problems posed by the current scenario

  • A common problem that is emerging due to Work-From-Home is that of muscular aches &pains due to incorrect posture; as the furniture at home is not conducive to the long hours of office working. Hence frequents breaks with short walks should be taken regularly.
  • Although the travel time has been reduced considerably, it has not converted into free time at hand – people are still figuring out the new norms of WFH – hence for the same output, very often, more time is spent fixing calls and video meetings etc.
  • The food intake on the other hand has increased and people are snacking like never before. This is primarily due to easy availability of snacks at home and also because in times of uncertainty, the first thing people reach out for, is the comfort food which gives them a warm and fuzzy feeling.
  • The constant influx of food pics on various the social media platforms is not helping either; they tempt a person to indulge in delicious, decadent desserts at home like cakes, indulgent pies, deep fried foods etc.

Suggested remedies

  • The most important thing to do, anyway, anytime, is to be aware of the power of temptations of food and empty calories. Being aware of any challenge is the first step in figuring out a need to combat it
  • Those snacks, that are full of unhealthy ingredients are hard to resist; so instead of depriving oneself completely, one can tweak the recipe in such a way that it becomes healthier; yet retains its taste and flavor. Like, add one tablespoon of packaged namkeen/chips/nachos to simple  home made murmura/makhanas/amaranth-seeds namkeen.
  • The need is to create a structured eating pattern and stick to it, however difficult it may be. Once you have the structure defined, the deviations can be measured. The measured issues can be addressed more systematically
    One can change the timings a little bit but the defined-meals should be taken at regular intervals. A small meal with 2 rotis is any day better than an unhealthy snack any time of the day.
  • We can also be a part of virtual health oriented groups and take inspiration and ideas from them for our betterment.
  • Maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern and getting enough sleep is a very effective shield against ill-health challenges.
  •  One must limit the alcohol intake, as there is no shortcut to health.
  • One cannot just sit and wait for a time when things would become normal again to lose weight. Each day wasted adds another level of difficulty in losing the weight later. Hence, one needs to be proactive now and not allow the body to become rigid and resistant, even for the short term.
  • It is ok to have guilt trips if one deviates from their healthy plans; then it can be adequately compensated later by healthier choices. Like choosing to eat Salad for dinner, after having had an indulgent evening snacking session with the family.
  • We cannot use the current situation as an excuse and just let go of our bodies. We should in fact, turn this into an opportunity to learn the skill of healthy living; if we can acquire good habits with limited resources, the chances are, they will serve us well when we revert to our old lifestyle.

The idea is to not stress too much about the actual weight because health is not just that. It is a combination of many things that need to be sustained over a period of time for best results.

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