Virginia Cooperative Extension nutrition expert gives tips on staying active and eating healthy during COVID-19 pandemic
“Eating well and being active is critical during this time of anxiety and uncertainty – both to maintain emotional and physical wellness but to maximize your immune system,” said Elena Serrano.
People working from home due to the spread of COVID-19 need to try to retain normal eating habits and stay active, even if the options look different, acccording to Elena Serrano, Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist and director of the Virginia Family Nutrition Program.
"Eating well and being active is critical during this time of anxiety and uncertainty - both to maintain emotional and physical wellness but to maximize your immune system," said Serrano, who is also a professor in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise.
Serrano provides some helpful tips to assist with proper nutrition and exercise at home:
- Place fruits and vegetables on counters or in your new workspace to help encourage you to eat them.
- Create a home exercise routine. Do whatever it takes to be active each day. Build it into your day like you would brushing your teeth. It's a great outlet for stress. Check out eatsmartmovemoreva.org for some free at home workout videos.
- Limit high-sugar, high-fat sweets, like ice cream, cookies, and other desserts - It is tempting to seek comfort foods during this time, but try to limit them.
- Try new recipes - be creative!
- Get outside. Walk, run, garden, etc. The fresh air will help you feel less isolated. Follow proper social distancing and guidelines from local health departments.
VCE has a vast library of resources on nutrition, and a full list of publications on healthy eating habits can be found here. A list of exercises at home can be found here.
- Written by Max Esterhuizen