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Healthy Living During COVID-19

May 6, 2020

This blog is the first in an education series about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while following the Stay-at-Home order.  Healthy Living blogs will be released each Wednesday and will be made available at www.perrymemorial.org/healthyliving.

Healthy living usually is not our top priority

As I think back to before COVID-19 became the concept we plan everything around, we were all busy living life.  We may have been living healthy, or we may have been ignoring healthy recommendations because we were too busy with work, family and social commitments.  While COVID has taken over the television news, our Facebook communications, radio stations, and other media sources, you may want an escape from thinking or hearing about COVID.  COVID may cause you to be concerned about your health, and you may be eating everything in sight as a coping mechanism.  I have heard jokes about the COVID 15, describing the 15 pounds of weight gained during the Stay-at-Home order. No matter which group you may fall into, I hope you are remembering to live as healthy as you can while you Stay-at-Home.   

Keep in mind, healthy living includes many aspects of your daily routine.  Healthy living means eating healthy, exercising regularly, sleeping at least 7-8 hours/night, finding hobbies to occupy your time, relaxing, and perhaps discovering an old and a new way to assist you in destressing.  While COVID is the latest health concern, there are many other health conditions which you still need to develop healthy habits to prevent. You may hear about the COVID positive tests in your county or state, but there are other illnesses causing deaths which you are not hearing about.   Deaths are also occurring due to heart diseases, other respiratory illnesses, liver and kidney failure, cancer, and other health conditions.  The most important thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to stay healthy.

Healthy eating can help maintain or improve your health

This healthy living blog shares ideas on how to maintain or begin a healthier you while you Stay-at-Home. I encourage you to follow along for some healthy eating tips. 

  • Tip One: Start by taking a tour through your cupboards to see what you have on hand to create a healthy meal for you and/or your family without going to the stores. I challenge you to dig out recipe books and pick at least 1 new recipe each week to try.  When making things from scratch, you can decide how much salt to add, which allows you to decrease the amount of salt, at least by half, which in turn helps to keep your blood pressure at a healthier level.

  • Tip Two: Consider grilling your meat.  This is a healthier cooking method allowing the fat to cook off. Also, grilling your fresh vegetables serves two benefits.  It decreases the dirty dishes and adds flair to your plate. 

  • Tip Three: Use fresh fruits and vegetables in your menu as much as you can.   If you run out of fresh items, your next best option is frozen.  Stock up on your favorite frozen fruits and vegetables when you place your next grocery order. 

What you choose to eat and how you cook it can make a huge difference in your overall health and quality of life.  The American Heart Association recommends at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.  While eating those 5 servings, you are also boosting your immune system with vitamin A, B6, C, and E, which is naturally part of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Including a 3-ounce serving of protein with your meal also increases the body’s defense mechanism against infections. Lean cuts of meat, poultry, seafood and milk or whole grain products, beans and nuts contain zinc which assists your immune system to work more efficiently. 

Community resources are available

We, the Perry Community Education team care about you and are available to assist you with your needs during this trying time.  We have put together a list of community resources for COVID-19, to help access groceries or receive curbside pickup. 

Make the most of your time at home and reconnect with your kitchen. Food can be a comfort as you share meals with your family and utilize mealtime to talk and laugh together. Involve your kids, and your spouse in the meal preparation, and the cooking process. While cooking, discuss these healthy tips so everyone learns to live a little healthier from the start.

We encourage you to make healthier choices with these tips to maintain and improve your health.  So when the Stay-at-Home order lifts, you return to your usual activities, more robust and ready to live life and enjoy the little things.  

Healthy Reminder: Wash your hands frequently!

 

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