How to Stay Healthy at Home

Inspired by our friends at the American Heart Association, and with a passion for helping people build their best lives in Northwest Arkansas, we'd like to share some tips on how to stay healthy at home!


We're not entirely out of the woods with coronavirus, and many people are choosing to stay home, limiting their exposure to crowds. As we continue to spend more time at home and settle into new routines, it's essential to create and maintain healthy habits.


The American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization focused on heart and brain health, offers many resources to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Their chief medical officer for prevention, Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, stated, "It's important to wash our hands and stay home when we feel sick, but it's equally as important to regard our physical activity and healthy eating habits. These are the foundation to maintaining and improving your overall health."


With that said, here are four specific things we can do at home for better whole-body health:


1. Establish a Fitness Area

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults should get at least 2-1/2 hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Having access to fitness equipment at home makes it easier to reach these fitness goals. Plus, exercising at home offers more privacy and doesn't require a membership fee.


To get started, you'll want to establish a dedicated space in your home. Investing in a flex room or rearranging your garage are great ways to do this. Once your fitness area is set up, consider creating a home circuit workout. Select three or four exercises like jumping jacks, lunges, or jogging in place. Do each exercise in short bursts and repeat the circuit two to three times. No matter what, have fun and keep it up!


2. Keep a Well-Stocked Pantry

It may go without saying, but a healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and moderate amounts of unsaturated fats, meat, and dairy can help you maintain weight and protect against many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Plus, when you cook at home, you tend to eat fewer calories. You're also more mindful of what you're putting into your body, and you get to enjoy the company of loved ones.


Need help staying motivated to eat-in versus ordering-out? Keep a steady supply of shelf-stable ingredients in your pantry. That way, you're prepared to cook heart-healthy meals any time. Canned, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables, frozen meat, and dried grains are all great shelf-stable options to have on hand for recipes like this Vegetarian 3-Bean Chili or Slow Cooker Barbeque Chicken.


3. Create a Spot for Relaxation

Stress can keep you from feeling and performing your best — mentally, physically, and emotionally. No one's life is completely stress-free, so it's important to know how to manage the stress in your life. An excellent place to start is by creating a relaxing space in your home. While you can't control the environment or what's going on outside, you can control the comfort level of your space. By creating a cozy reading nook, setting up your bathroom like a spa, and making your bedroom feel like a private retreat, you can start to transform your life from within.


It also helps to take a few minutes each day to meditate, walk the dog, listen to music, improve your sleep hygiene for more restful sleep, and call friends and family to stay socially connected. For more ideas, the American Heart Association offers several great resources on how to manage stress.


4. Make Space in Your Schedule

Modern schedules have become infamously frantic, leaving us feeling completely wiped out. Over time, this can lead to poor health, trouble sleeping, and even depression. It can be just as important to create space in your schedule as it is to create space in your home for rest and relaxation.


By pausing to breathe and taking a moment to connect with those you love, you can enjoy your day in a much healthier way. In fact, researchers have found that people who take more breaks are more productive than people who never get away from work. The brain and body simply need to recharge from time to time. So, sit back and enjoy life as much as you can.


Protecting Hearts at Home


We'd like to thank the American Heart Association for its dedication to protecting our hearts and minds. We also appreciate their inspiration and resources for healthy living. If you're interested in learning more about the local chapter in Northwest Arkansas, visit their dedicated webpage. And if you're looking to start a new chapter (in a new home), we'd love to help. Building a life you love starts right here!

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