Time to Practice

— Written By and last updated by Abi Reid
en Español

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Sometimes when tragedy strikes, we often tend to look at all of the difficulties, disappointments, and dangers. We don’t really look at it as a time to build discipline. During this time of COVID-19 precautions and orders, we can actually look at the measures being taken as a blessing in disguise. It is a perfect opportunity to develop new disciplines by taking advantage of the time to practice them. That is what we call, using our time wisely.

First we have to inquire and ask ourselves, “Why Change?”  The first thing that I’ve usually done is look at the facts of why a dietary habit or physical activity habit is good for me. If it’s true that this is good for my body and that it may indirectly affect other things such as how my health impacts my family and the people closest to me, then that becomes the incentive to make the change. Maybe you want to change in order to accomplish a lifelong goal of doing a mountain to coast bike ride in North Carolina or it may be simply completing a 10k.

Redeem the time you have now to practice and develop the habits that will allow you to get to your “why.”

Now, we must consider how we are to use our time to develop these healthy habits. Most of the time we don’t do some of these things listed below because we don’t have the time, but time is not an excuse now.

  • Use this extra time to meal plan. Start small with planning for 1-3 days, then move to 5-7 days, and so on.
  • Take this time to learn new recipes and cooking techniques.
  • Practice incorporating certain dietary habits that prevent chronic illnesses
    • Sodium reduction by using herbs in cooking
    • Pick out lean cuts of protein such as chicken and fish or plant proteins
    • Start incorporating new vegetables and fruits
    • Practice drinking more water instead of sugary beverages.
    • Swapping saturated cooking fats for unsaturated cooking fats.
  • Take this time to preserve food or learn how to preserve food.
  • Learn new exercises and develop a new exercise plan
  • Develop a habit of moving throughout the day.
  • Set a pattern for getting more than seven hours of sleep.
  • Maximize your day by developing a capacity for an early rise.

Remember, now is the time to practice all of the dietary and exercise habits that you’ve struggled with before. Many habits take time to form, so strive for consistency. It’s imperative that you use this downtime to your advantage.