How I Got My Health and Fitness Routine Back on Track

I’m not sure how many of you have heard of the “Covid 19” but it’s a cheeky little take on the Freshman 15. You know those extra pounds that late night pizza and solo cup filled parties in college are said to take up residence on our bodies during our first year of college? Apparently the same thing is happening to many of us right now. I don’t know everyone’s story behind the whole “Covid 19” thing, but I can share mine. As a spoiler alert I did not gain 19 pounds but I did notice an uptick, despite the fact that I was working out more regularly. Here’s the real reason why- during those first few weeks, actually months if I am being honest, I treated the stay at home order as somewhat of an extended staycation.

I loved being at home with my family but I was a little worried about the potential health risks to my loved ones and a little anxious about what was going on outside of our little bubble too. I wasn’t really sure what to do with all of that nervous energy and all of those feelings and so… I ate some of them. Quarantine snacks became a thing. And because I couldn’t indulge in all of the things I was used to doing, I gave in to lots of little pleasures too. For instance there’s a bakery with the most amazing cupcakes within walking distance of my home, and let’s just say I walked there a lot. We also got gourmet pizzas from our favorite bistro and delighted when they threw in a complimentary bottle of wine. But as the stay at home order dragged on it was obvious that this wasn’t an odd little vacation and I needed to stop treating it as such. I wanted to get my health and fitness routine back on track and I am sharing three small things I did that might help you too if you are also on a similar journey.

Tracking my Fitness– like I mentioned earlier, I was working out more than ever but the reality is that I was also sitting more than ever too. I was obviously not out and about the way that I used to be. Sure I was getting in 30 minutes to an hour daily- then spending the next 15 hours working from home, watching Netflix and chatting with friends via facetime or the facebook portal. In other words, I was sitting on my tush or taking small steps around our home. I decided to purchase another Apple Watch- I had owned one when they first debuted and liked the texting/talking feature more than the tracking feature, so I had not used it the way I do now. You certainly don’t need to purchase a fancy watch to track fitness. There are a lot of free apps.  Even keeping a fitness journal works well too. 

Anyhow, tracking my fitness led to me paying attention to my move goal which meant more than my early morning workout, it actually helped me to move more throughout the day.  I even linked it up with a few friends so that we could share our achievements and awards and cheer and push each other on. A notification like Joanne just finished a workout or won an award makes me feel excited for her and connected too. And like I mentioned earlier even if you don’t use technology, start a fitness journal where you manually track your workouts and time standing or walking. And secure an accountability partner, someone you can call or text with how your workouts are going works too. 

Eating Less Processed Food– This one actually hit me a little later than I would like to admit. By early July I realized that I wasn’t eating the same way that I typically did. Summer, while often filled with small travel indulgences, was actually the time I usually ate the best. Crisp salads, fresh fruits, smoothies and pressed juices on the go were a large part of my summer diet. But being cooped up seemed to make me crave comfort foods.  Many of you know that I have been plant based for years, but let’s just remember that potato chips, cookies and pizza can be vegetarian too. I still eat those things but in moderation- meaning in very limited amounts, and started pushing myself to enjoy those fresh products I used to enjoy. It didn’t take long before nuts, fruit, and dark leafy greens became the norm again. I try to practice the 80/20 rule, so what I eat now is 80 plant based-mostly raw, mostly green and 20 whatever else I want. As a little disclaimer on a particularly tough day it might be more like 60/40 but 80/20 is the norm.

Drinking (the right) Water– I am pretty sure I don’t have to tell you how important drinking water is. I think anyone taking the time to read this post already knows that, but what you may not know, because I didn’t, is that the type of water you drink matters too. I mentioned earlier that I have watched a lot of Netflix but it hasn’t all been mind numbing. I love documentaries and my daughter actually introduced me to a docu series called Down To Earth With Zac Efron. In the series Zac travels around to different countries with his companion health guru Darin Olien in an effort to expose the secrets behind their healthy life practices.

In one of my favorite episodes they talk about water. They meet with famed water sommelier Martin Reise. Yes, that’s a thing. Weird right?  It actually wasn’t the first time I had heard of him. I was introduced to him in a hilarious clip where Nicole Richie uses her conscious rap platform Nikki Fre$h to talk about water too. But this was a more serious discussion, although Zac and his guest-Anna Kendrick did bring some humor. The long and short of it is that the quality of our water matters and that natural spring water is the best. If you’re like me and you’ve been using filtered, distilled or purified water he shares how it does more harm than good and actually pulls minerals from our body. It does this because those types of water-that Riese described as “boiled up tap water that I would never drink”, don’t have the minerals our body needs. According to Riese when you drink purified or distilled water your body goes looking for minerals taking them from other areas so that you are actually losing minerals every time you drink it. It all sounds a little complicated but watch the series if you have time, and if you don’t just buy the highest quality natural spring water that you can afford. That’s what I have been doing and I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect or what but I think it does taste better and I already feel better too. 

So those are my little tips for getting my health back on track. Nothing revolutionary here, just conscious intention to move more, eat more plants and drink natural water. 

I would love to hear what you are doing to improve your health and fitness right now too. 

Until Next Post, 

Xo Tonya Parker 


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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

5 thoughts on “How I Got My Health and Fitness Routine Back on Track

  1. I wish I would have gone into quarantine and thought about transforming my body. Instead I threw out every healthy habit I had. Love your post because I’m really trying to take off that extra 19. Great tips and advice.

    Liked by 1 person

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