The COVID-19 pandemic is making people more health-conscious. What was once just a trend is now an essential step for people to steer clear of the effects of the coronavirus and other disease-causing microbes.
Deciding that you’ll live a healthier lifestyle is just the beginning, though. When you start to look at your unhealthy habits and try to map out your journey towards change, the entire endeavor feels overwhelming.
As with any lasting transformation in your life, you need to start small and be practical. Take the baby steps that will empower you to make bigger ones tomorrow. To kick-start the process for you, here are four lifestyle switches you can do that will positively impact your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Try a plant-based diet
If you’ve considered turning into a vegetarian or vegan someday, switching to a plant-based diet is a good launching pad. This kind of diet doesn’t cancel the meat and dairy from your meals entirely. It’s simply a conscious decision to fill your plate with more vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and beans.
Can you have a taste of that steak and ice cream? Absolutely, but control your portion and reduce the frequency of your intake.
Many researchers have studied the benefits of a vegetarian and Mediterranean diet. They discovered that these diets reduce the risk of diabetes, depression, heart disease, and cancers, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancer. It also improved people’s physical and mental functions.
Understandably, this isn’t the most exciting switch, especially if you’re an avid meat lover. When you consider the health benefits you’re missing out on simply because you refuse to eat more vegetables, however, you’ll find it easier to fill your shopping cart with greens.
Take up multiple sports
You will always have a favorite sport, and that’s fine. Don’t give that up, but don’t stick with just one, either. Taking multiple sports is a challenge that will improve your well-being in ways that might surprise you.
Did you know that there’s a strong link between focusing on one sport and suffering from burnout, stress, and overuse injury? That’s not something that you want to happen, especially when that sport brings you joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Avoid this risk by diversifying your athletic accomplishments. You don’t have to compete in other sports or be particularly good at them. You simply need to find ones that challenge you physically and mentally. Playing more than one sport can expand your knowledge in training methods, too, which can benefit your performance in your top sport.
For instance, if you’re an avid swimmer or marathoner who’s always exposed to the elements, why not try an indoor driving range? The physicality involved in playing golf may shock you because every swing you take engages major muscle groups. Just the number of repetitions required will give you a full-body workout, and that’s not to mention the mental prowess involved in making sure you actually score in the game.
Support a cause
When people talk about changing their lifestyles, they think about food and fitness. It’s only later in the conversation that people remember they also need to take care of their minds and souls. In this respect, giving back is an option you need to try.
This is a vital topic during a global pandemic. More and more non-profit organizations are popping up to support demographics that suffered severely due to the outbreak. Some are fighting for animal rights and seeking help to feed and shelter them in this time of crisis.
When you support a cause, you increase your capacity for empathy and enjoy a sense of fulfillment. You’re also likely to develop better self-esteem, lower blood pressure, less frequent depression, and reduced stress levels.
Reflect on what’s right for you
Different people have different habits they want to change. Apart from these, you may venture into minimalism, religion, or an entirely new career path. Do what you think is right for you in all aspects of your health. Only you can determine what really lowers your stress and makes you want to dance like a crazy—but truly happy—person.