Staying Healthy While Staying Home

Steph Wagner MS, RDN

March 15, 2020

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Staying Healthy While Staying Home

healthy at home activities when you are stuck at home bariatric food coach

Whether staying home for weather or illness, how to stay healthy while home bound


Stick to your schedule

Easier said than done but sticking to your schedule is simple yet powerful. Easy, no. Simple, yes. Just reflect what your schedule would typically be and set timers to have meals, vitamins and water the same as your other days.

Sure, you might sleep in later, especially if you are under the weather but adjust your times as you wake up instead of letting the whole day be lost in a time warp.

My traditional guideline as a dietitian is to eat breakfast within the first hour of waking. Adjust your meals slightly if you are waking up later than your usual.

Keep a tentative meal plan for what you are going to have and about what time. This does not have to be perfect but a loose idea of what you will put together so you have a clear vision of the day instead of making last minute choices and decisions.

Think about the visual layout of food too.

Move tempting foods to the back of the fridge or the top shelf of the pantry. Keep the healthier choices at the front and eye level. Avoid having much out on the countertop or the table if you can (you might have to recruit family to help with this).

Lean into the challenge

I am writing this blog during the COVID-19 crisis. Major events have been canceled, schools are closed, companies are figuring out ways to have employees work from home. It is truly unlike anything we have experienced before.

How do we lean in to the challenge of staying home and keeping social distance? We all know snow days and vacations tend to get the better of making good food choices. When you are bored, anxious, stir crazy, annoyed with family or any other emotion that triggers the brain to eat, the kitchen is right there.

What comes to mind when you think of “leaning in” to this?

I think of spending more with my family and focusing on the things I am grateful for. We have been pulling out old toys, books or crafts and finding ways to keep the fun going.

I also think of investing some attention into my home that I do not normally get to do. This is hard with young children by the way. Nonetheless organizing an old drawer or going through old recipe magazines and tearing out the pages I would actually cook.

Helpful Activities

We all know social media and devices can be addictive. My family will certainly be watching more movies in the coming weeks and I will be checking in on my members Facebook group. I’m sure text threads with family, friends and our church group will be a plenty. Those things are healthy and helpful in balance, but we do want to find other activities that bring healthy enjoyment.

What do you think of when you think of helpful activities?

Below are some suggestions that I organized as productive, recreational and social. You can use recipes on this site to create several meal plans for the weeks when you do not have as much down time!



Staying Connected While at Home

It’s important to stay connected with people even when we are home bound for a little while. Sure, you may have family members at home with you and having meal times or face-to-face conversations with them is a great use of time being together in the house.

If you do not have family in the house or you are a little tired of them and want to talk to someone else, utilize technology to stay in touch with others!

In my opinion, having face-to-face time is more powerful to feel connected than texting. Set up a time to FaceTime a friend or use apps like Marco Polo where you can record a video and that person can view later and record a video to respond. This has been the best way for me to keep up with friends who also have young children and/or live in different time zones!

Create physical activity

If you are blessed with good weather (this is assuming you are home due to COVID-19 social distancing, not because you are stick) then you can get outside! You are the lucky ones! Take a long walk for me!

For the days when weather is not ideal, at home physical activity will really help pass the day, help you feel better and improve your overall health. You might try a free trial to a subscription online workout program. Possibly you have a treadmill.

You can listen to music or a podcast and go up and down your stairs.

Go to YouTube and search for at home walking videos or yoga stretches.

The point is to move you body. Get your muscles working and your heart beating. It really is a good reminder that healthy bodies handle viruses more easily and investing in physical activity is one of the best things we can do for our hearts.

Helpful activities and staying connected are your secret weapons

Being cooped up at home is not an easy place to be when it comes to snack attacks. Setting your home turf up for success is a huge key to success and one to always re-evaluate.

Chances are if you live with other people, there are temptations available. Even if you don’t live with people, it can be very easy to eat outside of a meal time because of boredom or any other emotion.

Even still, keep it simple.

Stay on your schedule. Focus on water in between meals, filling protein at your meals and finding ways to get your body active.

When you are not eating a meal or doing something to stay active, remind yourself of helpful activities you can do that will benefit your mental health and think of who you can reach out to and connect with for emotional connection.

Even if you are working while you are home bound, drinking plenty of water, finding a way to get in 30 minutes of activity, eating consistent meal times and catching up with a friend on Facetime and working on a puzzle will help set you up for better success for staying healthy in mind and body!

What are you doing to stay healthy in mind and body while staying home? Your responses are welcome on the blog or if you are a member, in our closed group!

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2 thoughts on “Staying Healthy While Staying Home”

  1. I am checking out the website. Coloring, meal planning, individual freezer meals

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