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How you feel motivated to eat better and exercise more in 2021


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Visit the WHO website for the most current news and information about the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, I wrote ambitiously about how to return to a healthy diet and exercise routine “after the lockdowns are over.” Well … now I think I was a little overzealous because here we are, seven months after this story was originally published, in certain locations for renewed stay-at-home orders and attention to holiday precautions everywhere.

Whether or not you’ve been in a bona fide lockdown for the past nine months, your life is likely to look different from February 2020, when we were all still so innocently excited about the start of a new decade. It’s been nearly a year since CNET first covered the novel coronavirus in January, and we’re about to enter 2021 with – if I had to guess – with far less enthusiasm than most of us started 2020.

We can only hope that 2021 will prove to be less turbulent, but it seems safe to say that will not return to our previous “normal” even if lockdowns end (will they?), but there’s one thing you can reclaim regardless of your city’s quarantine status: your health.

Humans are usually creatures of habit, so they are pushed into a new routine (or non-routine) without much warning has the potential to zap pre-existing healthy habits into obscurity. If you’re struggling with a lack of routine, are unhappy with your eating or exercise habits, or feel frustrated and frustrated in some other way, here’s how to get back to health in 2021.

Read more: Why you shouldn’t make a New Year’s resolution before 2021, according to a psychologist

Recovery for healthy eating

Most people agree on one thing: #QuarantineSnacks really got us through this situation. From chocolate to chips and of course the universally loved banana breadhas unobstructed access to the kitchen kept everyone healthy and happy during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.

Some of the best snacksalthough tasty, they are not necessarily good for your health. And snacking all day long, even on healthier snacks, can lead to a healthy diet calorie surplus. Weight gain is certainly not the worst that can happen during a pregnancy global pandemic
, so don’t feel guilty or ashamed if you’ve put on a few pounds. Ultimately, if you’re safe and healthy, a little weight gain isn’t a problem.

On the other hand, some people have forgotten to eat because of stress or anxiety. Either way, watch beyond body weight, your eating habits affect your health in the long term. Your diet plays a huge role in your ability to control ward off disease (both short-term infections and chronic diseases), your sleep quality and energy levels, your mood and your productivity.

To get back to a healthy diet, it can help to focus on one thing at a time. Maybe you want that, for example eat less sugar. Or maybe your goal is to eat more vegetables every day. Just focus on one thing – you’ll be amazed at the big difference a single change can make.

Restore your morning routine

Those first few weeks of work-from-home life were blissful, right? No commuting, not annoying early alarms. You can just roll out of bed 15 minutes before your first schedule Zoom meeting for the day, no pants needed.

After a while (ahem, a year), one total lack of structure can adversely affect your health. Your sleep cycle ebb and flow until it is not a cycle at all; you may skip meals (or do the opposite: snack all day long); let go of any pretense of a workout routine. You may even find yourself forgetting to do simple things such as your daily intake medication brush your teeth once or twice a day.

Try to restore a morning routine and start your day like a boss. Wake up at the same time every day, brush your teeth, wash your face and yes, put on pants. Even leggings that will suffice. Eat breakfast (or not), grab your favorite morning drink (no wine, sorry) and start your day with something productive.

Being productive can mean anything: go for a walk, do a morning stretches, read a few pages from a book or magazine, do some household chores, or get to work right away. As long as it gets you moving, go for it.

Woman reaching to turn off alarm clock

If you are WFH in the near future, it is important to establish a morning routine.

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Develop a healthy sleep schedule

Just as you should create a healthy morning routine, try one soothing nighttime routine also for yourself. Having an evening routine can help you relax, fall asleep faster and settle in healthy circadian rhythm that supports high quality sleep.

Your night routine doesn’t have to be elaborate – there’s no need to pack a 20-minute yoga flow, herbal tea, face mask, and diary into one evening (although those are all great exercises, and if you love it, you should it).

An effective nighttime routine can be as simple as taking a shower, putting on your favorite soft pajamas and getting into bed. Experiment with your evenings and find out what works for you.


Sleep should be a number one priority when relaxing in a routine.

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Restart (or maintain) your exercise habit

A silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic that, as a fitness professional, fills my heart with joy is the number of people who have picked up a workout habit during this time. Exercise has so many benefits, both emotional and physically, and I’ve seen firsthand how physical activity can help people through difficult times.

If you are one of those who first started exercise during the pandemic, stay strong as stay-at-home orders become easier and life returns to “normal” (whatever that means).

If you exercise regularly before the COVID-19 pandemic and let that habit slip away, don’t worry too much: Everyone reacts differently to difficult scenarios, and it’s okay for you to give your body a break. In general, a few months isn’t that long, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you get power and stamina shoot back.

Start exercising by starting with two to three workouts a week and gradually increasing from there if you wish. If you have the financial options, consider hiring a personal trainer When gyms and fitness studios reopen, you can help a small business owner who has likely struggled with the loss of customers, and you will rest assured that you exercise safely and will get results.

Read more: The best rowing machines of 2020

Friends take break after workout in gym

Exercise is undeniably good for your immune system (and your mood!)

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Set screen time limits

Many people had a lot of extra time on their hands during the coronavirus pandemic, whether they lost work or simply lost their usual robust social life. There are only a limited number of hours you can fill with board games and home improvement projects, and all that extra time has resulted in extra scrolling on the phone for many.

Although there is nothing wrong with one Netflix binge every now and then, excess screen time is known to affect health in many different ways, disturbed sleep and mood problems are some of the most common.

View your screen time statistics (Screen Time app on iPhone ($ 599 at Apple); Digital Wellbeing on Android) and think about where you could cut back. Once this is all over, you may find that you are shortening screen time because you are back at work or having more real face time (not FaceTime) with friends.

Restore work-life balance

Working from home can bring all kinds of boundary issues, especially if you end up in a home situation without warning – not to mention your setup probably not ideal if you never actually intended to work from home.

The experts say you shouldn’t have to work from your bed or your couch and you should have fixed working hours. You know, no emails after 6pm or whatever. That alone may seem impossible when your personal phone becomes your work phone and your personal laptop your work computer.

If your work-life boundaries are fading during the coronavirus pandemic, try to restore the balance. By staying on the job, you can avoid excessive stress and overwhelm, which can lead to diabetes burnout.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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