How to return to healthy habits as pre-pandemic life resumes


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 42% of adults in the US say they gained more weight than they intended to during the pandemic.

Now with the return to normal and summer on the way, a lot of people are ready to take control of those bad habits.

Tracy D. Mitchell, a health coach and author of the “Belly Burn Plan”, says with the weather warming and the CDC’s new guidelines on masks, now is the perfect time to head outside for some exercise.

“I think the first thing people think when they think outdoor activities is to go for a run, or something like that. But for people who’ve been sedentary for a long time, and the last year has been a really long time, just getting out getting some fresh air, going for long walks, and just find some peace and calm in the fresh air,” said Mitchell.

She added, “If you can run great, go run, go play some tennis, hang out with friends, do things that will really get you out of the house and get you moving.”

Mitchell understands some people are still concerned about potential risks of being outside, masked or unmasked, but that shouldn’t prevent someone from getting some exercise in.

“So if you’re not doing things outside right now get started doing things indoors, there are a lot of things you can find online that will get you moving. There are a lot of things you actually can do with your body right now just to start working up a little bit of a sweat and get that blood flowing,” said Mitchell.

To lose some of those pandemic pounds, Mitchell says crash diets won’t result in long term changes. Instead, she encourages people to write down the three big habits that shifted the most during the pandemic that might have caused weight gain, and then work on altering those habits.

“And while it won’t necessarily take a full year for it to come off, it could take a couple of months, maybe two, maybe three months. So really be patient, don’t diet and just trust that by eating healthy, eating the right foods, eating a balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat that that weight that came on will eventually come off,” said Mitchell.

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