Shedding the Quarantine Fifteen

Back in their college days, many adults will remember gaining the “freshman fifteen” while living away from home for the first time eating a steady diet of beer, pizza and cereal that resulted in weight gain.  For those stuck indoors with a fridge full of comfort food, the same trend may be happening in homes around the world.  But now months into physical distancing, it might be time to ease up on the baking and shed the “quarantine fifteen” before it turns into something more and all that closet purging leaves us with nothing left to wear besides our pajama pants. 

Fortunately, warmer weather encourages eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer heavy meals.  With gyms and diet support plans offering many online deals to stay afloat, it is a great time to get back on track with some accountability.  Establishing routines is part of a recipe for success; plan to exercise each day at a certain time and consider scheduling outdoor activities in the early morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler.  

Did you get an activity tracker for the holidays last year?  Charge your device, track your steps, your diet and your sleep habits to start back on the path to a more healthy future.  Try setting realistic goals each week and give yourself a small treat, and remember that by staying active and eating a healthy diet, you are helping your immune system as well as your physical and emotional well-being.   Just 30 minutes of walking, swimming or cycling can also help reduce stress. If 30 minutes all at once is too much, break up activity into 10-15 minute bursts. 

Any movement that gets you up off the sofa or away from your home office is beneficial. Gardening, cleaning or dancing in your living room counts.  You can even start a challenge with your friends or family earning points for every 15 minutes of activity; cash in these points for a reward such as a door-dropped healthy dinner,  an iced-coffee delivery or a pitcher of margaritas.   Have fun with it!

For more tips and inspiration to stay motivated and improve your fitness at home, follow this link to a recent UCLA Health post.