Best advice? Take care of yourself

There’s so much advice going around lately I’m about ready to stop listening. Just thinking about all the things I

Paula Reece

should be doing — or NOT doing — makes my head spin.

The coronavirus outbreak has quickly changed our lives. We face dilemmas about not only our health, but also our jobs and money. That’s not to mention the fear of the unknown.

So this is what I’d like to offer readers.  I want to write about what I know to be true, and that’s the importance today and every day of self-care.

How do you maintain your physical and emotional states at their best? You take care of yourself. That means exercising every day, eating nutritious meals, getting proper sleep and trying to manage stress.

Our bodies need exercise every day. Putting temporary closure signs on our fitness centers was an emotional task knowing how many people rely on us for their exercise needs. So it’s time to get creative with your exercise.

Our website at www.crossroadsfitness.com offers some options. Our instructors and trainers are creating workouts and virtual classes.  There are links for Les Mills and Silver Sneaker classes. Join us on Facebook and Instagram for even more ideas.

There are many options for indoor exercise. Use home equipment if you have it. If not, get your heart pumping by climbing the stairs, jumping rope or doing high knee lifts.  Weight training can be part of your home workout, too. Body weight training requires no equipment — just you. Try pushups, wall sits, arm circles and crunches. Fill water bottles with water and use them as light weights.

Alternatively, head outdoors. Take a brisk walk, walk your dog or hop on your bike. The fresh air will make you feel better.

If you’ve always been disciplined with your exercise, try to keep exercising at the same time you used to go to the gym or participate in exercise classes.

There are opportunities now to include your family in your workouts. Kids love to join in exercise time. Make it a priority in your self-care routine.

Eat right. Don’t buy into the notion we have to eat processed foods out of cans. There are many healthy options. Frozen veggies are still better than chips. It’s a great time to consume power foods to help boost your immune system. For Vitamin C, try broccoli, strawberries and red and green peppers. For Vitamin E, try almonds, sunflower seeds and peanut butter. For zinc, eat baked beans, cashews and chickpeas. Fermented foods also keep your immune system strong. Such foods as pickles, olives and yogurt increase the good bacteria in your gut and in turn boost immunity.

Stressful times can affect your sleep. The need for quality sleep is more important than ever.  It helps your body and immune system stay strong. Make time to unplug, even if it’s for only a little while. No TV or phones. Just let your mind be still. Take advantage of your quite time to reflect. What are your blessings? What’s positive about your day?

One of my blessings? The readers of this column. Thank you for letting me be part of your day.

Stay safe, healthy and happy.