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Sunday Musings: Are You As Healthy As Before COVID?

Are you as healthy as you were before the COVID Crisis? Did your overall health decline – or improve – by the end of the pandemic? If your health has suffered, now’s a good time to take stock. And make the lifestyle changes you need to!

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Most are worse off…

Alas, for us as a society, most folks will probably tell you they are worse off, health-wise, than they were before the COVID Crisis. They aren’t as happy as they were. But they’re in a quandary as to where to start to get back on track.

Did you gain weight?

Yes, the official numbers say an overwhelming number of us gained weight during the lockdown. From a few pounds/ kg to a couple of dozen! It a depends on your metabolism and genetic predispositions. And of course, how – and what – you ate.

The main dietary culprits behind weight gain over the ‘COVID Era’ were junk food, alcohol and snacking. Too much of any of those would ultimately have a negative effect.

But to many o us indulged in more than one – or all three – of those nutritional sins for months on and. Now, we’re paying the price.

I’ve cut out booze and excess starches. I’ve become downright religious about dodging excess sugar. And I’ve adopted a suppertime regimen focused on a vegetarian theme. I felt a benefit, both physically and emotionally, after only a couple of weeks on that new regime. And I felt the positive changes to my sleep and digestion just days after cutting out alcohol.

Are you still as sedentary?

I’m marginally more active than I was through the lockdown. But not active enough, by any means. I’ll be going out walking every morning, again, as soon as the weather lets me switch from snow boots to sneakers. My goal is to build myself up to at least 2 km a day over the first month. That will burn enough Calories each day to help me lose weight. Not all at once. But over 3 to 6 months. I did it before. And I lost 50 lb. / 20 kg. between Easter and Labour Day that year. I want to get my size 12 stuff out to the front of the closet, again!

Walking is also great cardio exercsise, too. You’re encouraged walk ‘briskly’ for cardio purposes. But don’t fret if you start off slow. I found that my pace just naturally picked up as my distance increased. And my overall physical condition improved.

Did you go back to the office?

I never left. My office is a corner of the big, multi-purpose room on the first floor of my tall, thin house. But chances are you were going in to the office or a plant or a retail  location of some sort before COVID.

Did you manage to keep that pre-COVID job? Are you hunting for a new one? If you spend a fair amount of time away from your home every day, now that pandemic is over, you may fall prey to the lure of easy-to-get junk food. And you may be sitting down nearly as much as you did at home, either in the office or in your car.

Make a point to get a reasonable amount of excercise. Make time for it. And try making a lunch for yourself to take to ‘work’, rather than buying something while you’re out. I pack healthy snacks for myself – just to take down to my ‘office’. Sister Erin and I always have a tub of jumbo Calamata olives close at hand. And maybe an apple or a banana. No baked goods, sugary stuff, or processed foods allowed. Reforming your snacking habits can really make a difference!

Did you get Long COVID?

I had Long COVID (LC). And I’m still suffering from some of the brain-centred symptoms. Erin and I were talking about it this morning. She told me I was quite zombie-like at the height of my LC. I don’t remember that at all. I must have been too immersed in it to realize… But I do remember the muscle and joint aches, the headaches. The coughing and the perpetually running nose.

Worst of all, I was hit hard by dizziness and balance issues, ‘brain fog’ and a general inability to communicate effectively. Erin said that, for several weeks, my eyes looked dead and my stare was distant. And when I spoke, it was in a halting monotone. All I was aware of was the frustration of not being able to find the right words at times.

I was more ‘COVID’ than I was my usual self for over 2 years.

If you had, or still have LC, don’t underestimate its effects. And just keep trying to climb out of the hole. No matter how I feel on any given day when I roll out of bed, I tell myself, “You can still do better!”

My take

“Life’s a bitch. And then you die.” That’s the defeatist mantra I used to drone to myself at the height of my COVID experience. Now, my outlook has changed for the better.

My questions for you:

Where are you in your overall ‘recovery’ from the COVID experience?

What would you like to improve about yourself, that COVID weakened or damaged?

Do you have the strength and the courage to get on with whatever it takes to get yourself back to who you were before the pandemic?

Muse on that…

~ Maggie J.