THE world has a new list of safety measures to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Some governments have made face mask-wearing in public mandatory, while others are still enacting lockdowns to stop Covid-19 transmission and prevent a new wave of infections. As members of the public, we are also encouraged by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to practise physical distancing and observe at least a one-metre distance from each other.
These and other safety measures have become part of our daily rituals. Yet there is another critical precaution we must re-learn that is a vital component of preparation and re-entry: proper nutrition and regular exercise.
While we cannot control public health pandemics, we can ensure that our bodies are fit and robust.
According to the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS 2019), one in two adults in Malaysia were overweight or obese. The major contributing factors to obesity among Malaysians include food intake, lack of physical activity and genetics.
Obese people are more likely to suffer from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. Along with face masks, physical distancing, hand washing, nutritious eating and regular exercise are integral items on our personal protection checklist.
Here are five tips to help you and your family stay strong and healthy during this time:
There have been many reports of people selecting more prepared comfort foods in grocery aisles – items that are easy to stock up on or have a longer shelf life. From chicken pot pies to chips and cookies, these products are seeing a surge in sales. The result, in addition to more stress-eating behaviors, is what is being called “Covid-19 weight gain”. There is, however, good news – people are acknowledging the importance of fruits and vegetables in their diet, and they are adding more.
Proteins are essential to good health. You need it to support the health of your bones, muscles, connective tissue and hair, and your body needs protein to manufacture specialised proteins such as antibodies, enzymes and hormones. No matter how careful you are with your food choices, it isn’t always easy to ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs every day. A protein shake made with milk or soy milk and fruit or vegetables can help you meet your daily needs for several nutrients.
Flavanols are a group of phytonutrient compounds found in many foods, but particularly in tea,cocoa, apples, berries and grapes. Flavanols are active antioxidants, and have other benefits including supporting heart health and cognitive function.
Today, a growing number of companies are looking at new ways to incorporate flavanols from cocoa and tea into functional foods and beverages as well as supplements.
Find creative ways to make a workout both effective and fun. Try dance or yoga, making TikTok dance videos or following online exercise classes.
If these options are not available to you, consider using the stairs as your new stair climber, grab a jump rope or coordinate a family dance session for some calorie-busting workouts. Regardless of how much space you have at home, you can do a quick full-body exercise routine to stretch and strengthen your body.
Our life is full of stress. Between juggling family and work, we often become overloaded. Add a global pandemic and financial uncertainty to the mix, and we have the perfect stress cocktail. Taking care of your health means taking care of your body and soul.
Give yourself compassion during this time and do things each day to take care of yourself – from deep breathing to an online yoga class, taking walks or talking with family and friends. The pandemic is taking a toll on all of us but acknowledging the stress you are feeling and finding ways to manage your anxiety will help you and your family.
Source: New Straits Times