You can achieve a fitter body and improve your overall health by resetting your mindset, being open to changes and new challenges, despite of what is happening in the world. One of the best things that you can do right now is to invest more focus and effort to be at your healthiest, so you can live longer for your loved ones.
When the lockdown started, one of my clients immediately approached me regarding online coaching. I wasn’t really sure that time if all my existing clients would also embrace the idea of virtual workout sessions. However, there was no other option at that time but to let them try online Zoom coaching sessions. They loved the new exercise training concept- a formal exercise session at the comfort of their homes! So that’s how a brand new phase in my life all started. It was such a blessing for me and my husband Armand, who is also a health and fitness coach to continue our mission in helping people improve their health and lifestyle. I was able to use my skills, experience, and knowledge through online fitness coaching while being at my best health, despite this pandemic. Now I have more energy and motivation to share what I have so I can effectively help others achieve their fitness goals.
Here are some of my learnings and personal experience that I share with my clients.
Making early morning a productive one
I am always excited to get out of bed as early as 4 or 5 am to enjoy my “me” time. My early morning ritual prepares me mentally and emotionally for a long day that starts as early as 6:30 am. This morning habit includes self-assessment, planning, work preparation (fitness programs), morning chores, self-care, and online shopping.
You can avoid distractions and start your day right by creating your own early “me time” in the comfort of your own house. However, you need to consider your sleeping time which is very important for productivity and health. Discipline is key to success. Avoid late-night television watching and keep your phone away from you right before sleeping.
Modifying the environment
I believe that environment plays a major role in one’s well-being. I used to exercise in the gym for weight training and cardio and run outdoors occasionally. Now, I have my own exercise/workspace in our bedroom and my husband has his own in the living room. It is really important to have an exercise space at home where you can place at least an exercise mat so you can consistently do your fitness routine.
The food environment plays a huge impact on weight management. I always stock up on healthy foods and snacks like nuts and seeds, oats, quinoa, brown rice, multi-grain bread, fruits, vegetables, coconut water, nut milk, nut butter, seafood, egg, chicken, and lean meat. You can always order healthy foods which are readily available online. Keep unhealthy foods out of sight. Avoid buying junk foods and sweets. If someone gives you high-calorie foods like pastries, cookies, and cakes, you can have a bite to taste, but share and give the rest away.
Planning healthy meals in advance
Devote more time for food planning and preparation to avoid impulse buying of high-calorie foods online. I’ve been eating the same breakfast (egg and toast) and snacks (chia pudding, fruits, or green smoothie) during the whole pandemic. Teamwork is always important. My husband is the one assigned for lunch (mixed quinoa and brown rice, veggies, and protein) and I always prepare dinner (more veggies and protein) right after work. To combat sweet cravings, I prepare my healthy nutty, and fruity desserts weekly like sugar-free banana bread and energy balls.
Assess your weekly food intake and have a weekly healthy menu for the whole family. You can always check for quick and healthy recipes for your favorite foods online. Steam, boil, broil, saute your main meals. Avoid deep-fried, saucy, and salty viands. Fill your stomach with simple and quick green dishes like vegetable wraps, salad, baked mixed veggies, and blanched leafy vegetables. Drink enough water and avoid liquid calories from alcohol, flavored drinks, and sodas.
Monitoring physical activity
Aside from my formal workouts, I used to complete at least 10,000 steps pre-pandemic. Surprisingly, I can complete 10,000- 15,000 steps for the whole day just by my moving around and working out with my clients inside a 45 sqm unit where we live. Yes, it is possible to complete your desired steps even at home. In fact, I have several clients who can complete more than 8,000 steps every day inside their house using their cardio machines, joining zoom classes, and walking around the house. Keep or increase your exercise motivation by investing in a good fitness wearable that can track your calories burned, heart rate, number of steps, and even sleep quality.
Keep an exercise journal so you can start or keep a well-balanced weekly exercise routine consisting of 20 to 60 minutes daily of cardiovascular exercises (dancing, circuit training with light weights, indoor cycling, treadmill or outdoor walking/running, swimming, HIIIT workouts), two to four times a week of resistance training (bodyweight or equipment-based strength exercises) and flexibility and core training.
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