Maintaining Health and Physical Fitness at Home


Healthy foods on six pieces of toast
Working from home can disrupt your nutrition and fitness habits, but it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise in a time when our health can be compromised.
Taylor Tran, registered dietitian and employee wellness program manager at UT Dallas, says that setting a schedule for meal times and exercise will create a sense of normalcy and help you avoid mindless or stress eating.
Stock up on foods that pack a nutritional punch and eat healthy, balanced meals as much as possible.
“Fill up on fruits and vegetables, which contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that are good for your immune system and will help keep you healthy,” Tran said.
Here are a few healthy pantry staples to keep on hand:

  • Whole grain pasta or brown rice, low-sodium canned vegetables and canned fruits packed in natural juice or water.
  • Legumes such as beans and lentils are high in protein and fiber, and can add texture and flavor to sauces, soups and stews.
  • Canned mackerel or tuna is high in omega fatty acids, which keeps your body and mind healthy.
  • Healthy snacks such as nuts and dried fruits. Find ideas at the American Heart Association.

“Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and limit alcohol and sugary drinks because of the empty calories. Keep a glass of water near your workspace at home to help you stay on track,” Tran said.
Legs of walker on a trail
Finding ways to stay active is also good for your physical and mental health, Tran adds. Go for a walk if you have open space – a yard, a park or a safe sidewalk — but be mindful to keep a safe distance from others. A bike ride is another great activity that doesn’t involve any invasion of personal space.
Indoor exercise equipment like Pilate balls, dumbbells, exercise bands or tubing, and push-up bars are an inexpensive way to create a routine that works all the major muscle groups. Doing squats, jumping jacks, sit-ups, stretching, and jogging in place at home will keep your heart healthy. Yoga can be done anywhere — all you need is a mat.
Work out with an online video and turn your living room into your personal gym. Here are some online resources to help:

  • Orange Theory – daily at-home 30 minute workout routines
  • Rumble – daily Instagram Live videos
  • Tone It Up – app is free to new users for 30 days
  • P:volve – 30 days of free streaming
  • CorePower Yoga – daily free streaming live classes
  • Amazon Prime offers fitness videos including HIIT and Zumba.

“Maintaining your healthy routines — whether that’s a workout first thing in the morning or starting the day off with a healthy meal — can provide a sense of control when things feel uncertain,” Tran said.
–Robin Russell