Health

Get through Covid-19 with nutrition, fitness and supportive community

With Singapore's circuit breaker in place for more than a month due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we may be unconsciously indulging ourselves in sub-optimal lifestyle choices, such as consuming unhealthy food or exercising less.

But a sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, as well as obesity, which plagues two in five adults in the Asia Pacific.

The lack of proper nutrition or regular physical activity can also lead to lowered immune functions while increasing the risk of developing chronic ailments or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes.

NCDs are the leading causes of death in the Asia Pacific, and accounts for 71 per cent of all deaths globally.

As we continue the fight against Covid-19, it is more important than ever to have a healthy body and strong immune system, and to take active steps to emerge stronger and better for a post-Covid-19 world.

This requires discipline and consistency in practising health-enhancing behaviours over a prolonged period of time.

It also requires three key ingredients - proper nutrition, an active lifestyle and a supportive community.

PROPER NUTRITION

To ensure proper nutrition to fuel your daily activities, adopt a balanced diet. It is worth investing some time to develop a deeper understanding of what our bodies need, and to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to selecting from a multitude of nutrition options.

This ensures that the products we put in our body are beneficial, based on sound nutrition science and a rigorous quality assurance programme.

With most of our time being spent at home now, we can take this opportunity to prepare our own nutrition-packed meals.

The meal preparation time will be a good break in between work, and a healthy meal will provide a much-needed boost to work productivity.

ACTIVE LIFESTYLE

To kick-start an active lifestyle, it is helpful to build an exercise plan and set realistic goals. In today's context, home fitness regimens and online exercise content have become more relevant than ever. This will help us to build up our fitness capabilities while lowering the risk of developing chronic diseases, managing our weight, relieving stress and improving our mood.

SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY

Having a supportive community to guide and encourage you can make a huge difference in uprooting unhealthy routines and establishing healthier ones.

As we practise social distancing during this period, technology and social media platforms can be a boon to help us stay connected with one another, keeping us committed to our diet and exercise plans.

Instead of exercising in large groups in person, we can issue fitness challenges on fitness apps and leverage video conferencing applications to galvanise each other into action.

The writer is the senior vice-president and managing director of Herbalife Nutrition Asia Pacific

WELLNESS & BEAUTY