Staying Healthy Westport Weston Family YMCA

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A Important Message to Keep You on Track While at Home!

By: Shelly Goldman

This disruption to daily life caused by the coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone’s normal routine. We have to stop binging on the latest updates, or sitting around in PJ’s eating comfort food each day. We all want and need to feel good and stay healthy and strong. Movement, eating well, and getting adequate sleep is a step in the right direction.

Since we are confined to home we need to be self-motivated and creative about getting movement into each day. Exercise is the best medicine. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of strength exercise a day.


If you are not sick and can do it, go outside for a walk, jog, or bike ride every day. Just like plants we all need the sun to thrive, so you can soak up some vitamin D which is great for your immune system and is also a proven mood booster. You can burn calories with yard work such as weeding, mowing the lawn, or beginning the April planting of peas, spinach, lettuce, radishes, and broccoli.

Inside the house create 10-15 second intervals by running up your stairs and walking back down. See if you can work up to doing this 8 times. March or jog while waiting for water to boil or whenever you have the microwave on.

Perform your bodyweight exercises anytime and anywhere. Do push-ups off the bottom step of stairs. Sitting in front of the TV? Plank, push-up, or wall-sit during commercials.

Use the stairs for a BARRE , standing sideways a few steps off the floor, hold the railing and do your side leg work. No stairs? Use your kitchen counter or a chair back.


When it comes to staying healthy and especially when trying not to gain weight, remember every bite, lick, & taste counts. Take a close look at the variety and preparation of what you are eating on a daily basis.

Looking at your food prep- opt for: skinless, steamed, broiled, boiled, raw, baked & grilled, instead of breaded, fried, creamy, or sitting in heavy sauces. Season with herbs and spices instead of salt.

Look to see where you can add more filling, dense and lower calorie foods into your day. Foods that you will try, or ones that you already like to eat. Oats, yogurt, berries, eggs, cut up vegetables, air popped popcorn… For a starch substitute, try cooking then grating your cauliflower with a box grater or food processer into rice. Use the cauliflower rice as a base for your main dish.

Be sure you are hydrating each day. Eight 8oz glasses are recommended daily. Water is always the best choice. See if you can reduce or cut out soda.

Perhaps you might prepare a large tossed salad with whatever is in the house, any variety of green/red lettuces and as many raw vegetables as you like- hold the croutons, cheese, heavy nuts, breaded or fried meat. Fruits in your salad add more nutrients and make a nice variety. Add protein with: beans and/or broiled or baked meat or fish. Try squeezing lemons instead of dressing or- balsamic vinegar with a dash of oil over your salad. A mist dressing, or a flavored dressing can be drizzled over as needed. Fill up on the salad before your main course.

For snacks- slice an apple and dab of peanut butter on the slices, air popped popcorn, don’t let fruit spoil- freeze cut up bananas & grapes to munch on later, take celery and spread cream cheese inside, pair carrots or other raw vegetables with hummus dip, make cucumber slices with cheese or other veggie’s on top… If you have a can of chick peas, drain it well and grind up the chick peas then add a little oil, water, and herbs of choice to make a tasty hummus dip.


Take any cake mix and add a can of diet soda or seltzer instead of the oil, water, and eggs. Substitute applesauce or low-fat yogurt for oil or butter in cake and other recipes. Brownies can also be made healthier by substituting ground black beans for the eggs and oil. Just take one brownie mix, add one can of drained and crushed black beans with one cup of water, blend and bake as usual. You won’t be able to taste the difference!


Be sure to get 7-8 hours of restful sleep each night to stay healthy. Sleep boosts the immune system, helps you focus better and maintain your memory and also helps you to manage your weight by keeping your hunger levels down. Feel good and stay as healthy and strong as you can until we see you back at the YMCA!


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Questions Contact:

Director of Health and Wellness
Shelly Goldman