Don’t Fall Victim to “Post-Pandemic Body” Pressure

As expected, social media posts suggesting the need for a “post-pandemic physique” are on the rise. Many are making pandemic resolutions to look their best when the country fully reopens. The rush is on to tone up, slim down, and fit back into summer clothes as Covid-19 appears to wane. Trainers say their bookings are quickly rising as clients get vaccines.

But, there’s no need to succumb to “post-pandemic body” pressure. Here’s how professional trainers say you can get in better shape the right way.

Avoid Get-Fit-Quick Schemes

A healthy lifestyle is a worthy goal, agreed upon by fitness and mental health professionals, but they are urging caution about get-fit-quick transformations. “People coming out of lockdown strive to be the best version of themselves, and they think that means being thinner,” said one clinical psychologist. “Thinner doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be happier or healthier,” she added.

Go Slow 

It’s best to start with one small step. Think of one thing you can change right now instead of going for a total revamp of your lockdown lifestyle. Making several changes all at once is incredibly difficult when you’re coping with pandemic stress and it’s an invitation to a quick and early burnout. Don’t plan on jumping back into your former gym workout regimen of seven days a week right away. Doing too much too soon will invite injury and also slow your progress.

Get Plenty of Sleep and Water

Many people notice changes in their sleep patterns. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said they have been getting either too little or too much sleep since the pandemic started. In addition to being tired, making the right food choices is tough when you’re operating without enough sleep. Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to summon up enough energy to do any workout. And above all else, staying hydrated is a cardinal rule for fitness, but also overall health.

Cut Down on Pandemic Drinking

Initial studies indicated 23 percent of people reported an increase in alcohol consumption to cope with their stress during the pandemic, but a recent survey indicated the numbers are now dropping. Why not join the latest wave? Alcohol is sneaky and drinking provides extra calories you don’t realize you’re consuming. In addition to hidden calories, it also hinders your ability to regulate your food intake. Mindful drinking (or not drinking) will cut calories.

Set an Eating Schedule and Stick to It

You have plenty of opportunity while working from home to take a snack break whenever you want. That temptation can add up to a lot of unconscious extra eating, especially when you’re feeling stressed. Set a regular time for a coffee break and lunch, and make sure you stick to it. Scheduling meals will cut down on unplanned eating and also give structure to the day that many people say they miss.

Take Shortcuts to Cooking

Never mind those Instagrams posts by proud home chefs who’ve discovered they have enough time to master the intricacies of five-star cuisine. The rest of us are mentally exhausted and don’t have the energy! Instead of poring over recipes and scouring the grocery shelves for ingredients, stock up on ready-to-use items for semi-homemade meals. A combination of chicken breasts with frozen veggies and rice delivers a nutritious dinner.

Indulge in Effortless Weight Loss

Many can’t find the patience to plan all that goes into even a Mediterranean or low-carb diet. Consider intermittent fasting. You don’t need to count calories when you decide to eat during a set window of hours each day. You’ll likely find that you eat less when breakfast is later in the morning and dinner is earlier in the evening.

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