5 Tips for Staying Strong During Coronavirus

What a week it has been! Our country is undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime experience we hope will be over soon. My wish for you, Alexandria Wellness (AW) members, is to use this time to take charge of your health. You have been so successful focusing on own individual wellness strategies.

This time could be the difference between meeting your weight, stress reduction or strength goals, or not. While many of us will be home more, I challenge you to consider the following practices as a means to take control, tap into your STRENGTH for good – yes even now – optimal health and wellness.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sending communications to help you stay strong and healthy during this highly stressful time for you, your family, your neighborhood and our country. Below is the list of topics on which I’ll focus.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Healthy Habits Challenge, we’ve decided to create more challenges for you to aim for mastery in an array – or even just one – of wellness strategies. You can sign up for the next one HERE.

Below are the first FIVE habits you can start to STAY STRONG during this uncertain time. In a few weeks, I’ll send the next FIVE. Stay tuned and STAY STRONG, Alexandria Wellness!

And, don’t forget to wash your hands – for 20 seconds!

Stress

This is my biggest point to you, my beloved AW strong women…

In my week of surveying each of you, I have encountered an array of emotions from “really worried” to not concerned about Corona at all. For those of you who are really worried, this part is dedicated lovingly to you.

Many of you have chronic and persistent stress. Some of you are working moms, others are retired and exploring your next purpose, and others are juggling parent care with kid care and a bunch are overwhelmed. I implore you: given this environment NOW is the time to take control of your stress. No one can do it for you. It’s time to gain serious perspective, find your “go to” hacks for stress resilience and take stock of all of your Blessings. I assure you, we have MANY. Stress kills and you know it killed my sister. So I am passionate about helping you find your tools.

Ladies, stress suppresses the immune system. Studies have shown that psychological stress increases the risk of illnesses like the common cold. And you know I’ve taught you even PERCEIVED THREAT elevates your hormone cortisol. The more stressed you are,

whether about actual or perceived circumstances, the more likely you are at risk to become ill – or at least lose immunity.

We have a multitude of stress resilience strategies like Meditation, yoga or daily prayer, embracing gratitude sessions and taking 3-5 slow, deliberate and deep belly breaths (like we do at the end of every AW session) every hour are just three we will help you employ over the next few weeks. Did you know thinking of something for which you’re grateful can lower stress hormones and improve immunity?

Sleep

This is not the time to binge watch late night TV or work on that all-night project. Now is the time to get really vigilant about your most important appointment of the day: sleep.

Sleeping fewer than 7 hours can make you 3 TIMES more likely to get sick. Like stress, lack of sleep suppresses the immune system. It can reduce natural killer cell activity. Getting 7 – 9 hours of quality sleep per night is essential. Increase the quality of your sleep by setting your bedroom environment as a “sanctuary” for deep sleep: dark, cool and quiet.

Lack of (quality) sleep leads to illnesses from the common cold to diabetes. You know it can lead to weight gain, irritability, lack of productivity, increased appetite for junk & larger portions, the munchies, less exercise, higher stress, higher likelihood for obesity, anxiety and depression and triggers chemicals that increase hunger by up to 20%.

We’ll include strategies like reducing screen time, addressing your stress and limiting your caffeine are just three strategies that will reap rewards for your dream zone in your challenge and hold your hands along the way.

Exercise

This is not the time for you to race your fastest race, push yourself to your last rep or try out the latest HIIT workout on your Peloton. It is also not the time to isolate and do nothing out of fear.

Now is the time for smart, efficient and moderate strength and metabolic training combined with a serious walking routine.

We will share ideas like practice your 1 to 5-Minute Flow. Some of you have been with us for a few days. Others for a dozen years. You already know to set your timer and just MOVE for 5 minutes without stopping. Jumping jacks, joint circles, squats, Downward facing Dogs, Handstands, whatever…just don’t over-think it. Just move and discover the beauty of 5 Minutes. Consider relying on movements you’ve learned at AW and pull together your own personal Flow. Imagine the rewards, ladies!

Eat Tons of Nourishing Foods

Load up on immune-boosting nutrients from foods, like vitamins A (sweet potatoes and carrots), C (citrus fruits and cruciferous veggies), D (eggs and mushrooms) and E (dark leafy greens), zinc (beef and pumpkin seeds) and selenium (Brazil nuts and sardines).

Also, now is the time to increase the consumption of fruits and veggies. Packed with nutrients, they fill you up and you can’t make any “diet mistakes” with them. These fruits and veggies are another list of some really good sources of immune-boosting properties: Mushrooms, Garlic, Citrus, Broccoli, Almonds, Green tea, and Bone Broth.

Control your Day

Since you will be homebound, you may have a little extra time to define your days a little better.

My concierge members know the life-changing benefits to controlling your schedule for real wellness. Why not take charge of your schedule by mapping out your perfect and ideal day or week? What days will you do laundry, grocery shop, walk, do household finances, strength train?

Lasting habit change requires a real “identity” change. One of my concierge clients half-jokingly now says “I am a person who goes to the gym for Bootcamp and Body Pump classes Tuesdays and Thursdays.” She identifies with her habit; it is not some sort of add-on.

What is your identity? It is absolutely reflected in your schedule. Schedule sucked up by social media, a little cleaning here and little cleaning there and unstructured email time can lead to you losing your day.

If you have any questions about how you can really take control of your wellness, you can A) book a free consult with Adrien to explore how you can CRUSH your wellness with concierge wellness program, or B) book a 30 or 60 minute with Megan, our Nutrition Therapist and Health Coach or with me. You can reach me at adrien@alexandriawellness.com and Megan at megan@alexandriawellness.com.

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Covid-19 update

Alexandria Wellness has been hosting a number of virtual one-on-one personal training, small group training and yoga sessions throughout the morning and day.

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