We’ve been a captive audience over the past 18 months with many opportunities to raise awareness of the benefits of staying healthy and fit during a global pandemic. This health crisis has given government agencies and health professionals, worldwide, a platform to support proactive, preventive health measures including eating a nutrient dense diet, having a weekly fitness plan, getting restful sleep, managing stress, and preserving our mental health. It’s been tough to prioritize a well coordinated proactive approach, as most governments and agencies are in full-blown crisis mode with this global health emergency. Let’s explore the opportunities for health and well-being post pandemic.
Nutrient Dense Dietary Pattern
- Choose a nutrient dense dietary pattern that is best suited for your health priorities.
- Make sure your vitamin D status is adequate.
The covid crisis has increased awareness of the importance of good health and eating nutrient dense foods. Remember no single dietary pattern is a silver bullet for everyone. It may be necessary to seek out a qualified health professional, like a dietitian, to support your health goals and to implement the optimum dietary pattern that is best suited for you.
There are numerous dietary patterns. In the past year, I’m written about the Low FODMAP diet, Intermittent Fasting and Easy Tips to Lose Weight. Keep in mind, a lifestyle filled with healthy habits including a balanced dietary pattern is the best approach for long-term consistent, mind body health now and post pandemic.
Research collected from patients with severe covid-19 symptoms demonstrated a low vitamin D status might be a factor in poor outcomes. Osteoporosis Canada advises healthy adults aged 19 to 50 years to consume 400 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily, and those over 50 years, or younger adults at high risk, get 800 to 2,000 IU daily. The organization advises year-round vitamin D supplementation for all Canadian adults.
- Dedicate 30 minutes to daily fitness such as power walking.
- Choose activities you enjoy and before long they will become a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.
Being physical fit has long been a factor in good health. As a general population in North America, we were living a sedentary lifestyle prior to March 2020. Today, with the pandemic restrictions, the device and sofa time can easily increase! Numerous studies have shown the benefits and positive outcomes to exercising regularly. Dedicate 30 minutes of daily fitness such as power walking now and post pandemic. How about adding an extra 5 to 10 minutes to your daily fitness on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays?
- Aim for 7.5 hours of restful sleep daily.
- Develop a relaxing routine before going to bed at the same time each night.
If we get less than 7.5 hours, then it has negative influences on both our mind and body. Just like a healthy diet and regular exercise, a good night’s sleep is essential for optimum health and to support the body’s energy and defenses against infection and chronic illnesses including covid-19. Also, not getting enough sleep can cause a decrease in the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin and can increase the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin. This is not good news! As this change can make us crave high sugar, salty and starchy foods leading to overconsumption. Aim for 7.5 hours of restful sleep daily now and post pandemic.
- Develop healthy natural habits that reduce stress and distract you from mindless eating.
- Create a daily routine that best suits you and enables you to thrive.
Our mind-body, since the pandemic, has been through a lot. Most of us are trying to stay positive amid the health and economic uncertainties. We can’t predict what will happen in the world or locally in the next few months, but you can put systems in place to encourage a daily routine and reduce stress on the home front.
Earlier this year, I partnered with my client Algarithm Ingredients in Saskatoon to write about the benefits of Omega-3s. This nutrient is not only significant in cognition, but it has the potential to aid in depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Other significant nutrients to nourish your noggin include choline, B vitamins and ones found in nootropics. Stay on course of nourishing your mind now and post pandemic.
Bottomline for Opportunities for Health and Well-being Post Pandemic
Opportunities for health and well-being post pandemic are abundant. Eating well and staying active are more important than ever as we navigate beyond the global pandemic. It has and continues to be challenging adjusting to this transition period. Stay hydrated, get restful sleep, manage stress, have a fitness plan, eat well and most important have fun and feel good!
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