TOPS offers tips for staying healthy while staying home
MILWAUKEE — At a time when social distancing is the new reality, it’s easy to feel alone and disconnected. That’s why it’s important now more than ever to practice self-care, finding balance between staying informed while taking time to unplug and reset.
Take Off Pounds Sensibly, or TOPS, a nonprofit weight-loss support organization, offers several tips on how to make these extended periods at home more enjoyable while creating or sustaining habits that can lead to a healthier you.
— Just because you have to stay home doesn’t mean you can’t keep moving. There are a variety of exercises that can be done from the couch or a chair. Search online for free streaming workouts and classes. No equipment? Use household items: a 16-ounce can of soup or beans is 1 pound, while a 72-ounce bottle of laundry detergent is 5 pounds. Also consider doing sets of stair climbs. No matter what type of movement you choose, start slow if you’re not accustomed to regular physical activity — and listen to your body.
— If you have a scale, weigh yourself weekly to stay accountable to yourself.
— Put on your chef’s hat and make good-for-you recipes you never had time to do before.
— Do some early spring cleaning. Start with a drawer or closet and move on to different areas of the home. Decluttering certain areas of your home can be a great stress reliever.
— Incorporate more immune-boosting foods into your diet. Choosing fatty fish — such as tuna, mackerel, sardines and salmon — will help increase your intake of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons and grapefruit, are naturally high in vitamin C and potassium. And don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
— Stress and uncertainty can lead to emotional eating. Combat this by identifying and accepting the emotions that you try to soothe or boost with food. How can you feed your feelings without food? Consider exercise, soaking in the tub, deep breathing or reading a book. Call a supportive family member or friend. Before grabbing something to eat, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”
Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. Membership is affordable at just $32 per year in the U.S., plus nominal chapter fees.
To find a local chapter or become an online member or for more weight loss tips and inspiration, go to www.tops.org.