This is how lockdown made me more health conscious

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LOCKDOWN made me realise how important it is to look after my body.

When gyms closed and we were cooped up inside for most of the day, it was so easy to laze around the house and not be active.

ALSO READ: How the pandemic has given cycling in Oxford a boost

Before the pandemic, I would catch the train and walk to work every day, but as I was working from home last year, I only walked an average of 3,149 steps a day – a huge drop from 8,069 steps in 2019.

Only now have I realised how walking played such an important role in keeping me fit.

Towards the end of the first lockdown, I noticed my clothes were fitting tighter than before and I knew I needed to change the way I was living by doing regular exercise.

I started doing home workouts and thanks to YouTubers Lily Sabri and Chloe Ting, I was able to incorporate fun daily exercises into my life.

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But that wasn’t enough. 

When the second lockdown started, I also became a lot more conscious about the food I was eating and found myself trying to find answers to basic questions about what I should be doing to live a healthy lifestyle.

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Questions like:

  • How much sugar, fat, carbs and protein should I consume every day?
  • What foods are most nutritious?
  • What is my BMI?
  • Am I a healthy weight?
  • How much exercise should I do every week?

These were all questions that I found answers to on the NHS website – answers that shocked me to be honest.

Before lockdown, my eating habits were really bad. I only ate one proper meal or sometimes two meals a day.

Oxford Mail: Sweet potato salad with baconSweet potato salad with bacon

Breakfast wouldn’t even cross my mind as I commuted to work. Then sometimes I’d pop out to grab lunch which would most likely be a shop-bought meal deal – a packet of crisps, sandwich and fruit.

On my way home, I used to buy a snack – something like a chocolate bar or milkshake – and once I got home I’d have dinner which was often carbs heavy.

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But now, I’ve changed the way I eat. I meal prep so that I’m more organised and know exactly what I plan to eat on a daily basis.

I eat three nutritious meals a day and during the third lockdown decided to exercise twice a day – in the morning and in the evening.

Oxford Mail: Yogurt po with fruit and honey (left) and overnight oats with fruit and chia seeds (right). These are my breakfast favouritesYogurt po with fruit and honey (left) and overnight oats with fruit and chia seeds (right). These are my breakfast favourites

I used to think eating healthy all the time was boring, but I’ve learnt how to make food like vegetables taste good. In this age of the internet and social media, there’s really no excuse to not be able to find delicious healthy recipes. Just experiment, you’ll be surprised at how something so plain like oats can be transformed.

Now that gyms are open I also do more cardio exercise such as running on the treadmill or cycling on the exercise bike.

These are all things that I wasn’t doing before lockdown and so that’s why despite how challenging this pandemic has been, one good thing that has come out of it for me is my new healthy lifestyle.

ALSO READ: Bicester yoga teacher launches lockdown app

No, I don’t count every single calorie I consume or feel bad if I miss a workout, but I have a better understanding of my body and what I should be doing to keep it healthy.

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