The gyms are closed, health food shops and vegan restaurants shut down, and no marathons for the foreseeable future. We’re more or less confined to the house, which makes staying healthy quite a challenge. If you’re not careful, the combination of low activity, reduced availability of food, and stressful news headlines could cause your physical and mental health to decline.

Staying fit and healthy is more important than ever in lockdown. We all need to stay positive and look to the future, keeping our minds and bodies strong to face whatever challenges arise. If you are finding it difficult to look after your health while in lockdown, here are some tips to help you.

Make exercise more fun

When government advice says you’re allowed out for a short burst of exercise each day, this can severely limit your options. Running a lap around your neighborhood can get dull after a few days. If you’re the kind of person who prefers the fun, social atmosphere of gym classes, or the beautiful scenery of a hike in the mountains, your options are limited. Whether you’re new to exercise or a fitness fanatic, it can be hard to motivate yourself to work out if you’re not enjoying it. Instead, try making exercise more fun by varying it up. Go for a run one day, a walk another day, and a bike ride the next. There are hundreds of free online workouts of all kinds that you can try. You might find something you love. If you’re missing the freedom to get out and exercise wherever you want, try expanding your horizons within your neighborhood. Find roads and footpaths you’ve never set foot on before, or challenge yourself to run every street in your city.

Eat well

It can be hard to resist the temptation to snack or order an unhealthy takeaway when stuck at home, but eating well is crucial for maintaining health. Even though you may be out of a routine, stick to regular mealtimes, and try to eat a balanced diet. Find healthy recipes online that anyone can quickly whip up.

Manage stress

The constant barrage of fear-mongering headlines would make even the most upbeat person anxious. Stop continually checking news and social media, which can damage your mental health and lead to stress and anxiety. Switch off and only check the headlines once a day if you have to.

Be kind to your eyes

This doesn’t mean treating them to a new pair of Gucci glasses. Your eyesight is one of the most critical aspects of your well-being, and it’s essential to look after it. Being stuck at home, we’re probably spending more time in front of screens than we would like to admit. Our phones, computers, and televisions are our windows to the outside world, but staring out the actual window would be much healthier. Too much time on screens causes eye strain and can lead to degeneration of vision over time. Take breaks from the screen as much as you can. Perhaps allocate some time each day in which to disconnect from technology entirely.

What tips do you recommend for staying healthy at home?

*This is a collaborative post*
Kids are often scared of monsters in their closet and ghosts in the attic. We never worry when we hear these stories because we know they aren’t real. We know they are just the variables of an overactive imagination so to us they are harmless. It’s useful because it allows us to help our children dispel these fears when we can say with confidence that they can't possibly be true. But that doesn’t mean that your home is free from monsters. There are definitely scary foes that could be lurking around your property. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities. 


Contaminants

It doesn’t take much research online to find that there have been several high profile cases where contaminants have been found in water supplies for homes. These contaminants can be both dangerous and even deadly. Indeed, various research suggests that the level of fluoride found in water - a chemical used for cleaning it - is often far too high. To compensate for the danger here, it’s worth exploring different options including filtration systems. Filtration systems are available for home use and more than affordable for the typical family. 

Asbestos 

Hopefully, your home doesn’t have asbestos. However, you won’t know this for sure without a full home survey. Through a survey, you will be able to discover whether this substance could be an issue. If you connect with a top mesothelioma attorney, then you will discover that asbestos has been linked to this dangerous illness. The good news is that asbestos only becomes dangerous when the fibers get into the air. That usually won’t happen unless you break through the walls and it used to be a form of insulation. This is why you should always complete a thorough survey of your home before making any big changes to the construction. 

Mould 

You probably don’t worry too much about mold around your home. Particularly, if it’s the variety that you tend to find around a window that has a poor level of air circulation. However, mold can be a problem because of the spores that it releases. It could cause breathing difficulties in young children and potentially make health issues like asthma significantly worse. This is why when you notice mold around your home, you should clean it up as quickly as you can. There are plenty of mildew sprays that work beautifully. 

Internet 

Finally, if you have older kids, there is an invisible enemy that you need to be aware of and that’s the online world. It’s fair to say that the world of online communications can be quite useful but definitely dangerous to children. You never know who they might be talking to and that’s why it’s worth keeping an eye on how they spend their time online

We hope this helps you see now that monsters can be real. But perhaps not in the way you might expect. However, you still need to prepare for their potential bite and learn how to battle them the right way. 

*This is a collaborative post*
We always experience a surge of enthusiasm when we get hit by the fitness bug. It’s so easy to dream of the time when we’ll have a toned or chiselled body! Alas, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done before we get to that period, and it’s just a fact that many people falter before they reach their desired goal. If you’re going to reach your goal, then you may need to step things up somewhat. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to do this.


Make it Convenient

You’ll be going to the gym or otherwise working up a sweat with enthusiasm for the first couple of weeks. After that, things will begin to die down somewhat, and eventually you might have more or less given up on fitness altogether (or just be doing the bare minimum). And it’s not hard to see why this happens: we all live such busy lives, so it’s not always easy to dedicate time to fitness. As such, it’s recommended that you find ways to make your fitness as convenient as possible. Pick the gym closest to you, get your gym clothes ready the night before a workout, and so on. You’ll find that you’re much more inclined to work out.

The Right Workout

If you’re going to put the time and effort into working up a sweat, then you’ll want to get the best results from your efforts. But this isn’t guaranteed. It’s not enough just to go to the gym and sweat; in order to reach your goals, you’ll need to focus on the areas of your body that you want to improve. Some workouts feel strenuous but don’t do all that much for us. Working with a personal trainer or looking up an exercise circuit that leads to your goals will help.

Get Serious About Food

Here’s something that all people concerned with their fitness need to be aware of: what you do at the gym is only half the battle. The other half is your food. You can’t expect to reach your fitness goals if you’re just eating whatever you want after you’ve worked out. If you’re not achieving the results that you’d like, then it could be time to get serious about food. There are diet meals that’ll ensure you’re eating healthily after your fitness workout. As well as generally eating healthy meals, it’s also important to avoid too many of those cheat days; the odd unhealthy snack is fine, but you’ll run into trouble if you’re rewarding yourself. 

Setting Goals

Finally, remember that it’s always best to go into anything with a desired goal, including your fitness. Having something to aim will help to keep you on track and motivated. Once you’ve reached your initial target (let’s say, the ability to do 40 push-ups), you can then revise your goals and set new targets. Doing this will ensure that you’re always pushing yourself to be and feel better. 

*This is a collaborative post*


Is anyone else getting a little bit sick of it all? Not the devastating global pandemic, or the subsequent lockdown. They’re pretty much a given. No, we’re talking about the ceaseless pressure on us from all angles to turn ourselves into omni skilled superbeings while the lockdown is in effect. Everywhere we look we see friends and celebrities alike indirectly shaming us on social media. Making us feel like we’ve somehow “failed” at lockdown if we haven’t learned to make the perfect sourdough loaf, or run a marathon, or learn esperanto. While learning new skills and getting in good shape are admirable goals under lockdown, the pressure to achieve greatness under extraordinarily bad circumstances may be too much for many to bear. 


We shouldn’t feel bad if all we can do is get through the day without breaking down in tears. Nor should we feel bad if we want to indulge ourselves in a carefully managed vice. Whether yours is a big ol’ slice of cheesecake or a few puffs of e-liquid or a glug of coffee, a little indulgence can go a long way under lockdown. Here ‘s why...

It can keep you in good spirits

When we’re stressed, depressed or irritated it has a knock on effect on the social dynamic of the whole house. Hardcore abstinence can make us a little crankier and more iritable… and this can be a match to a powder keg when the whole family is afflicted by cabin fever

It helps you to concentrate

You’re likely working from home, and grappling with the logistical and emotional complications that occur when your home is your workplace and vice versa. While there are certainly studies showing that you can be more productive when working remotely, the current climate introduces a range of variables that weren’t issues when these studies took place. It’s at least easier to concentrate when you’re not distracted by cravings or the need for comfort. 

It gives you something to look forward to 

Anticipation can be a powerful stimulator which can allow us to power through many an adverse situation. As such, we can use our vices for good rather than ill. We can use them as a treat to reward achievements in work or around the house. This helps us to feel as though we’re achieving something of value every day.

It helps you to feel normal

The world has changed enormously in a very short space of time. Many are debating whether or not we will (or should) ever return to “normal” again. This can take a toll on even the most inveterate optimist. The odd treat every now and then can help by making us feel normal and grounding us in an unprecedented time.  

It can boost your metabolism

Okay, so this doesn’t work for every indulgence. But if your diet is normally clean as a whistle, but you enjoy a big greasy pizza on a Friday night, this can actually be beneficial to your metabolism. It’s the reason why so many body builders and athletes have a cheat meal once a week. 

So, don’t shame yourself for your vices and indulgences. They can be surprisingly helpful given the current situation.

*This is a collaborative post*
Are you one of the many people out there who have been saying some version of, “Oh, I’d love to try yoga. I’ll get around to taking a class eventually…”? If that sounds like you, but you never actually “got around” to taking that class, you’re certainly not alone. When it comes to our busy lives, it can be hard to carve out time to do extracurricular activities, even ones that are genuinely enjoyable and good for our overall health, like yoga. 

Photo Credit: Burst

These days, most of us are stuck at home, and if there’s any silver lining to being forced into isolation for a while, it’s that we have more time to do those things we always planned to get around to. And yoga happens to be a great option, not only because it’s good for your physical health, but because it is a proven stress reliever - training your mind and body through breathing exercises and practiced movements, teaching you to stay calm, to focus your breaths, to be present and engaged within your body, manage stress and envision wellness. For those living through stressful times, trying to manage anxieties, and stay as healthy and mentally healthy as possible, yoga is a wonderful way to achieve all of those things, while remaining at home, safe and sound. 
Yoga for beginners is easy, accessible, and best of all, fun. Why not try it out today? What do you have to lose? 
The first step for most new yoga devotees is to find a class. Now, if you’re secluded at home you may be wondering how you go about such a thing, but don’t worry! Many, many online and virtual yoga classes exist (and have done since long before people started practicing social distancing). Many of them are free or low-cost, and you can find your own local yoga studios, groups and classes to join where locals are offering up classes via zoom or other online outlets. Yoga communities thrive, both in-person and online, so you’ll find that a quick google search of “yoga” and your area will bring up all the various studios, groups and online communities of people near you who love to do yoga. Joining up with these people is a great idea! If you’re more of a loner, and don’t crave the social aspect, you can also find yoga classes through places like YouTube or even streaming apps on your television. There are also tons of yoga books and DVDs out there if that’s more your speed. 
You may even be able to still take one-on-one classes from the comfort of your home, with teachers who are able to Skype with you or teach you in a private lesson online (or in person, once social distancing is over). These classes obviously cost more, but may be worth the cost depending on your specific needs and/or goals. 
Luckily, you won’t need that much equipment or supplies to get started with yoga. You can order yoga mats through many online stores, including big-box retail stores and more, for really cheap. If you don’t have one, or don’t want to buy one, you can improvise using a folded up blanket or towel. Simple athletic gear like leggings and a fitting tank or shirt will suffice for clothing. Luckily, most folks these days already own yoga pants, even if they’ve never done yoga! Don’t forget a towel for drying off (you’ll get sweatier than you think; yoga is a real workout), a water bottle to stay hydrated, and other odds and ends to use as props if you don’t have a yoga block or brick (there are plenty of good substitutes). 
When starting yoga for the first time, be sure to start off easy and don’t push your body too hard. Basic beginner’s poses like Sun Salutation, corpse pose and child’s pose are the types of poses you should be doing at first, until your body and mind are accustomed to working in this way. Focus more on your breathing exercises, training your body and lungs to breathe properly, and acclimate your body to the calm, centered movements. As you become more accustomed to yoga as a practice, you will move farther and farther up the scale of moves and find ones that are more challenging. But as with all good things, this will take time and cannot be rushed. 
Always follow your instructor and never move ahead of their instructions. This is true whether you’re following a DVD, an online tutorial, or an in-person class. Your instructor knows the proper pace at which you should be moving and where your current abilities lay. For more concentrated areas (such as if you’re doing yoga to lose weight or if you’re interested in  yoga to relieve anxiety), you can find classes that are specifically geared to those goals - however, make sure you’re moving along with your own level of expertise. If you’re a yoga beginner, don’t take advanced classes until you are ready.
More and more people are taking up yoga every day, with the number of yoga devotees having almost doubled from 20 million to almost 40 million from the years 2012 to 2014. And in our current social climate, those numbers are going to rise exponentially higher, as people find themselves with more time to spend focusing on themselves, and with people looking to Eastern practices to learn coping skills and physical health. 
Yoga is a wonderful blend of the spiritual and the physical; a practice in manifesting health and wellness in every aspect of the body. Best of all, it’s something you can do right in your own home. Mastering yoga is possible for everyone, and the benefits you experience are well worth the effort you put into it. Learning to control your breath, and training your body to do specific calming and physical movements is so good for your entire wellbeing, mental and physical. Why not try practicing yoga today? 

*This is a collaborative post*



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