Even when you’re stuck at home, practicing regular exercise and healthy dietary habits is essential for your overall well-being. And, in light of the current health crisis, physical activity and good nutrition may be more important now than ever for maintaining your health. At Envision Fitness, it’s our goal to empower you to become the healthiest version of yourself. Below, we’re discussing how both exercise and proper nutrition play integral roles in boosting your immune system and supporting your physical and mental well-being.
Regular Exercise: The Benefits Extend Far Beyond the Physical Transformation
We all know exercise helps us shed fat and build muscle — but did you know physical activity offers a lengthy list of benefits that extend far beyond your physical transformation? Beyond weight loss, strength building, improved mobility, and pain relief, exercise helps improve your overall well-being by:
● Reducing stress
● Alleviating symptoms of mild to moderate depression
● Improving anxiety symptoms and response
● Increasing mental focus
● Improving the quality and duration of sleep
● Increases self-esteem
Researchers have also found that exercise is an effective coping mechanism for dealing with traumatic situations, whether past or present. In light of these incredibly stressful times, exercise is an excellent way to maintain your mental, emotional, and of course, physical health.
Proper Nutrition: Food Is Fuel, Not a Coping Mechanism
We totally get it: this pandemic is incredibly stressful, many aspects of your life might be up in the air right now, and it’s difficult to deal. Unfortunately, if you’ve used food as a coping mechanism in the past, you’re more likely to fall back into that pattern when stress levels are high and you’re forced to stay at home, bored. But that doesn’t have to be your reality!
At Envision Fitness, we emphasize nutrition coaching because we know what a critical role it plays in your overall health and well-being. Working toward the fittest, healthiest version of yourself isn’t just about conquering your gym or living room workouts; it’s about fueling your body appropriately to support your ongoing training.
Furthermore, the way you choose to fuel your body does more than determine your weight-loss or muscle-building results — your food choices affect your immune system, too. How? Let’s take a look at a handful of the effects your diet has on immunity:
● Excess sugar consumption stifles the action of immune system cells that attack and dispose of health-harming bacteria.
● Consuming antioxidants, which exist in high quantities in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and herbs, helps support your immune system by combating harmful free radicals.
● Eating foods that are rich in micronutrients — fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc. — supports immunity by delivering critical nutrients, such as Vitamins C, E, and beta carotene, that support the action of primary immune system cells.
● Consuming healthy, whole-food carbohydrates provides an essential fuel source for immune system cells, which rely on glucose (your body converts dietary carbs to glucose) to function optimally.
● Consuming healthy sources of dietary fat and essential fatty acids not only helps modulate immune response but also provides structure and stability for immune cell membranes.
● Protein plays a critical role in the framework of each cell in your body. Consuming adequate daily protein gives your body the amino acids it requires to function optimally.
As you can see, giving your body the nutrients it so desperately needs to support optimal functioning is an essential step in protecting and improving your overall well-being. When you give your body the fuel it needs to thrive, it will reward you with long-term health!
Tips for Staying Healthy at Home
When you’re stuck at home for weeks on end, it can be difficult to find the motivation to maintain your health and fitness journey. But that doesn’t have to be your reality! Small actions, when implemented consistently over time, yield big results, so even if you don’t have the resources to complete a full-blown gym-style workout, that’s okay! Here are a few simple ways you can maintain a healthy diet and level of daily physical activity at home:
● Virtual personal training. At Envision Fitness, we’ve implemented virtual personal training sessions and boot camp classes to better serve our clients while they await relaxed social distancing measures. Virtual training is a great way to maintain accountability on your fitness journey even while you’re stuck at home. You’ll get to interact with your personal trainer and fellow gym members via on-screen sessions, reach out for face-to-face advice, and continue supporting the community we value so highly at our physical location.
● Healthy meal prep. If you’re pressed for time between remote work, being a teacher for your children, and managing day-to-day household operations, meal prep can go a long way in keeping you accountable toward your goals. Once a week, try setting aside a few hours to prep a few storable meals and snacks, so you’re not tempted to reach for junk when you don’t have a healthy meal on hand. Even cutting up a few fruits and veggies and prepping a few ready-to-eat proteins can save valuable time in your daily meal preparation routine.
● Get outside. Get outside and play! Outdoor physical activity isn’t just great for your cardiovascular system; it’s great for your immune system and mental health, too! How? When you expose your skin to sunlight, your body triggers the production of vitamin D, which is critical for immune system health. Plus, sunlight also triggers your brain to release serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates your mood.
● Take a walk. This one goes hand-in-hand with getting outside — even if you don’t work up a sweat outdoors, a simple walk can a long way toward boosting your mood. Plus, walking is a fantastic low-impact exercise that’s easy to adjust based on the exercise intensity level you desire. Want to torch calories? Try power walking. Need to calm your mind? Go for a leisurely stroll. What matters here is that you move — it doesn’t necessarily matter how fast you do it!
Ready to Start Your Health & Fitness Journey? Let Envision Fitness Be Your Guide
At Envision Fitness, our mission is clear: We’re here to help Twin Cities residents change their lives. When you let us guide you on your fitness journey, you get access to a wide variety of helpful tools, including customized nutrition coaching, individualized personal training, fitness classes, group exercise classes, and much more. If you’re ready to make a change for the better, we’re ready to help you do it! Feel free to give us a call at 952-444-2791 to schedule your free consultation today. You can also get in touch with us by filling out our contact form, and we’ll get back to you promptly.