With the coronavirus suddenly sending the majority of us home from school, it’s easy to sink back into old habits of staying in bed until 2pm and only getting up for snacks, meals and bathroom breaks. While being stuck at home is definitely discouraging, there’s actually no better time to focus on a healthy lifestyle than now. I mean, seriously, what else are you doing? I know this is easier said than done, but read on for advice on how to make quarantine the best thing that has ever happened to your body. 

Stop buying junk food

Quarantine has sent the entire population running through supermarket aisles throwing anything and everything into their carts in an effort to never have to leave the house again. Be smart with what you stock up on. Let's not all of a sudden pretend we have willpower. If you’re trapped in the house with bags of chips and Oreos, then obviously you’re going to snack on chips and Oreos. Keep your cabinets and fridge stocked with healthy choices. Fruits, vegetables, cold cuts and yogurts should fill the fridge while nonperishables like natural peanut butter, granola and dried fruits can fill your cabinets. In the event that quarantine does inhibit you from going to buy more food, I just want to know what your Lay’s are going to do to save you? Nourish you with empty carbs and no nutrients? That’s what I thought. 

Snack smart

So now that you’ve stocked up with healthier food options, how do you stop yourself from eating everything in one sitting? First, remember to ask yourself if you're hungry or if you're just bored. Since you're in quarantine, there's a pretty fair chance that you're just bored. When you actually are hungry sit down and make yourself a real snack. By a real snack I mean something like a banana and peanut butter, a greek yogurt, or a smoothie. Mindless snacking happens when you aimlessly start grabbing handfuls of food while roaming in and out of your kitchen causing you to eat more than necessary. 

Get Moving

Quarantine is not an excuse to put exercise in the past. There is literally no better time than now to get in shape. Again I ask, what else are you doing? Go outside, take a walk around your neighborhood (just keep your distance from others), play basketball in your driveway, go to youtube and do an at home workout, walk up and down your stairs every hour. Just do something. Think about how many times you walked back and forth to class while in school in comparison to now where all your classes are on your laptop. That’s a lot less movement than your body is used to, and it will catch up to you if you don’t make a conscious effort to remain active. 

Make a schedule

The reason falling off track seems so easy while stuck at home is because with a lack of responsibility comes a lack of motivation. Give yourself responsibilities. Give yourself reasons to get out of bed in the morning. If your mental health is not in check it will become that much more difficult to work on your physical health. Set a morning alarm and make a routine. Schedule hours to do your school work, hours to do a workout, and hours to focus on yourself. Routine is what will give you stability and control in a time where everything else is so uncertain.

Spend time on your meals

No more excuses about not having time to make breakfast or only having time to eat a protein bar for lunch. You now have all the time in the world. This is the perfect opportunity to have a well-balanced plate at every meal. Replace your quick bowl of cereal with an omelette and whole wheat toast, instead of your afternoon protein bar make yourself a grain bowl, spend the day cooking dinner instead of ordering take-out. Now is a better time than ever to focus on your nutrition. 

Limit late-night snacking

So you manage to keep your diet pretty balanced during the day. You eat your healthy meals and occasional snacks, but then it hits 8pm. And you’re in quarantine. So seriously what else is there to do for the rest of the night other than eat? My advice: stay far away from your kitchen. Everyone wants something sweet after dinner, and that's fine. The problem is sticking to one and only one dessert. Make yourself a bowl of fruit and grab a piece of chocolate and walk away. Don’t sit down and eat it at your kitchen table because the second you finish, odds are you’ll be reaching for something else. Drink some tea to unwind and try to stop eating for the night an hour or two before you get in bed.

The world is a crazy place right now, and nobody quite knows how to act, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Keep your immune system strong and healthy, be nice to your body, and come out of this quarantine looking and feeling like the best version of yourself. Stay positive, stay healthy, and of course, STAY HOME.