Mediterranean Diet Can Help You Stay Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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You may not be aware of it, but there is a direct relationship between your diet, physical activity, and health. To achieve a balanced physical, mental, and social well-being you have to feed your body with the proper nutrition that can only be found in the Mediterranean diet. It is also the key to preventing chronic illnesses and promotes longevity.

Your general lifestyle will also determine whether you’re going to visit the doctor any time soon, or keep living a healthy life like you always have. One of these determining health factors is physical activity. A normal healthy life usually goes a long way; however, living a sedentary lifestyle will get you closer to developing chronic diseases, a degenerating immune system and even loss of movement to a certain degree. Because of this, you have to make it a priority to increase your physical activity and movement while we’re under lockdown and quarantine as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Having said that, we will discuss how you can come up with ideas on getting more physical activity at home, what kinds of food you need to eat (the Mediterranean diet is highly recommended), and other important details.

Who is at Risk?

  • People who are 65 and above.
  • People who have chronic illnesses such as lung disease, heart disease and diabetes.
  • People whose immune systems have been compromised.

Benefits of Following the Mediterranean Diet and Exercise

Studies conclude that those people who usually live a longer life are also those people who are active for the most parts of their lives and those who follow the Mediterranean diet, meanwhile the opposite are those who have developed a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The severity level of the health risks of inactivity is as dangerous as high cholesterol, smoking, or high blood pressure. In case you’re still in doubt, then read the items below and find out what the amazing benefits of exercise are:

  • Stress and anxiety relief – With the lockdown measures in place due to the pandemic, it’s only a matter of time before people will succumb to stress and anxiety and it can undermine your immune system. When you exercise your brain releases naturally-occurring chemicals like serotonin and endorphins, which are also known as “happy hormones.” These hormones help give you a good mood, keep you from feeling depressed and reduce cognitive decline, as well as prevents you from having dementia.
  • Boost immune system – Keeping yourself busy with daily physical activities can actually boost your immune system.
  • Manage your weight effectively – I think it’s Mother Nature’s way to have our bodies respond positively to regular physical activity and highly nutritious Mediterranean diet by maintaining our body weight. It has been a long known medical fact that health risks can be traced back to excess weight.
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases and other chronic illnesses – Eating recommended meals from the Mediterranean diet reduces your blood pressure as well as other illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, especially when you pair it with regular physical activities.
  • Bone, muscles, balance, and flexibility – When you do physical activities, you basically are doing yourself a favor because it helps improve bone and muscle strength, as well as boost balance and flexibility of your body. Having strong bones and muscles is good not just for young people, but is also particularly important for elderly folks as well. This is because it helps prevent them from getting injured due to falls and other related accidents. Meanwhile, in kids this helps them with their physical growth and development and instill in them healthy habits that’s going to be good for their future.

For kids with ADHD, physical activities can help reduce their unwanted behavior and help them concentrate with school activities, especially now that school is conducted online and they’re mostly indoors.

Steps to Start Being Physically Active at Home:

Focus on Weaknesses

Having an intention prior to beginning a workout routine is considered prudent and should be treated as a rule of thumb. When you do this, you’re acknowledging your weak points and simultaneously what you want to improve in yourself. We’ve prepared a list of abilities we think people who are staying home at the moment, both young and the elderly, should focus on.

Check each one of the categories and determine in which areas you excel at, where you perform moderately, and where you don’t do very well. To get the most out of this you may want to start here you least excel at, then work your way up to where you’re already good at. This, however, does not mean that you’re ignoring the rest while working on a specific category, but rather you’re building up an intent with your physical activities.

  • Strength and core strength – The quantity of force that a muscle can exert against a certain resistance. The resisting forces can come from any external objects or perhaps even your own body weight. Your core strength comes from various muscle groups that when combined are responsible for many patterns of movement. Improving your core strength also helps improves motion.
  • Aerobic capacity and endurance – The ability of your heart and lungs to bring oxygen to your muscles through the bloodstream to enable muscle function.
  • Flexibility, mobility, and stability – The capacity of your body to move through the full active and passive range of motion is called flexibility. On the other hand, mobility is when you move your joints, arms and limbs in their full range of motion or ROM. The ability to control your body and maintain balance through your body position and movements is called stability. For those who do not regularly exercise or live a sedentary lifestyle they usually lack mobility and stability in their joints and may be impaired with their movement.
  • Balance and coordination – When you exercise your body’s ability to coordinate your body’s movement and coordination is it called balance. This can be observed when two or more parts of your body move with perfect coordination and control.

These workout routines are highly recommended for people who stay indoors while the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on:

  • Yoga
  • Weight/resistance training
  • Body weight exercises
  • Brisk walking or jogging

Recommended Meals from the Mediterranean Diet to Accompany your Workout Routine

Of course, it would not be good for your health if you don’t have proper nourishment which you can only achieve through the Mediterranean diet. Those precious vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids cannot be skimmed, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic because we are all required to stay at home. So while you burn lesser calories than during the normal days, it may be wise to also eat meals that provide these nutrients to your body.

  1. Greek-Style Baked Cod with Lemon and Garlic
  2. Chicken Shawarma
  3. Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
  4. Easy Seafood Paella
  5. Briam

 

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