Keep It Up, Mississippi!
By: Cayla Mangrum, Manager, Corporate Communications
Recently, Mississippians have been moving more, eating healthier and spending more time with their loved ones. Look around and you will see people of all ages taking a walk, going for a run and getting out to smell the magnolias.
We are spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 56% of consumers say they are cooking more than they were beforehand, while 29% say they are doing more home workouts! And guess what? That is going to help us out in the long run.
Maintain Your Momentum
As we begin to venture out of the house more, begin returning to work, visiting the doctor, and getting back to our everyday activities, let’s focus on keeping the great habits we have built. Just because we are returning back to the "new normal" doesn’t mean we no longer have the time we took to go for a walk around the neighborhood or cook a healthy meal for our families. Now is not the time to relax our hand hygiene or put vulnerable members of our communities at risk. We have the motivation right in front of us, now we need to create the momentum.
To start, let’s first talk about the difference between the two. Motivation is how you feel about something and momentum is the force behind why you are doing something. Getting outside and going for a walk every day or cooking tacos each Tuesday for your whole family makes you feel good, especially when you realize you’re motivated to do so. But, as we start going back out in the world, that motivation may start to dwindle. You see, if you have the motivation but something interferes with your plans, it’s easy to feel like you no longer want to ride your bike or get all the ingredients out for a new recipe.
Momentum - the tendency to keep going
But have no fear! Momentum is a powerful force, but one that needs you to embrace the struggle a little bit. The easy road says "Don’t wear a mask into the grocery store. It’s too hot and I’m not sick anyway." But, the momentum you have around putting your health first makes you think about how there may be high risk individuals shopping inside. Telling yourself "It’s not just about me right now. I can handle being a little uncomfortable if it means I keep others safe."
Focus on Health
Don’t let your health take a backseat. What if we build upon our progress? What if we took these new healthy habits a step further and established a relationship with our Primary Care Provider to talk about our health goals? Did you know your Blue Primary Care Provider can help you? They can even help you manage any pre-existing conditions.
As we make our way back into the world, remember to keep these things front of mind:
- Exercise - According to a new study released by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), members who consistently exercised saw an 8% reduction in the impact of health conditions that could lower their overall health and reduce the prevalence of chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. This can be done in the safety of your own home!
- Nutrition – With a little planning, you can continue to make good food choices. There are many foods which have been shown to reduce anxiety and boost immunity!
- Wash your hands – Given the virus can survive for days on some surfaces, you can’t wash your hands too often. Wash your hands after touching door handles, putting in your pin number to pay, pressing an elevator button, opening the door to a retail store, pumping gas, you see where we’re going with this?
- Social distance – This is not just for your safety, but the safety of others. When you’re grocery shopping, remember the workers don’t need the added worry of a customer reaching across them while they stock shelves.
- Wear a Mask – The CDC recommends everyone wear a cloth face mask when leaving their homes, regardless of whether they have a fever or COVID-19 symptoms. This is because of evidence that people with COVID-19 can spread the disease, even when they don’t have symptoms. Keep in mind, a person you may encounter may work at a nursing home and relies on people they do not know to follow CDC guidance.
- Sleep – Especially during times of stress, sleep is crucial to allow the body to rest and heal. Try going to bed at the same time every night.
- Health – Now more than ever we must focus on health. Keep your momentum of a healthy change.
Regular exercise is key in slowing the growth of serious chronic health conditions like diabetes, a high-risk condition identified by the CDC that can lead to more serious outcomes from COVID-19. Regular physical activity is shown to decrease the risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease by 25% or more, and improve primary cardiovascular health risk factors including cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI.
Think about what makes you get up and go for a walk now? Will that change next month? What about next year? Take these new habits you’re forming and keep them in your routine.