A terrible side effect of the COVID-induced lockdowns for many of us was a serious bout of “couch-potato-itis.” Hours of working at our desks or planted on the couch with chips and soda, binging TV series or even the odd stint playing online casino games may have left us feeling sluggish and deflated.
Getting back our health needn’t be a Herculean feat, though. Follow these tips to get the zing back into your day and feel great again without really trying that hard.
Rest is best
While lying in bed playing casino games may seem like a bit of well-deserved downtime, lack of sleep or “bad” sleep is a quick path to feeling awful. Adults need around seven or eight hours of “good” sleep a night, and lying in bed awake, gawking at the blue light from your phone screen deprives you of this.
To stay on your game, try limiting screen time to waking hours. Even better, leave it charging in the kitchen overnight and don’t take it to bed with you.
You need to stress less
Studies have shown that Americans are among the most stressed-out people in the world. We’re always connected to everything and have forgotten how to unplug from our devices, jobs, families and so on.
This takes a toll on both our mental and physical health, leaving us depleted and often ill. An effortless exercise is to choose a time of day to just unplug and shut down. Even if it’s for a few minutes, it’s worth doing.
Stop, close your eyes and listen to your breathing. Focus your mind on your body, mentally scanning it from your toes all the way to the top of your head, then slowly bring yourself back into the world. This awareness practice, even for a few minutes a day, will decrease your stress levels without you even noticing it.
Train your brain
Here’s one you might not have considered. Play some online games that really get your brain ticking. If you know how to play casino games, you may be interested to know that switching off from responsibilities and playing strategic casino table games like poker and blackjack can have a positive effect on short-term memory and enhance overall brain health. But there are many so-called brain-training apps you can try too, if they’re more your thing.
Studies have shown that gaming in general improves motor coordination, visual recognition and spatial navigation, memory and reaction time, reasoning, decision-making, problem-solving, resilience, cooperation and participation (among other things.) And that’s all while you’re having fun, of course!
Tuck in that tummy
Exercise can sound like a swear word to many. So don’t use it. Instead, find things to do where exercise is a secondary benefit. Try dancing, walking the dog, anything that is fun but includes movement (even housework!) The resultant endorphins and release of serotonin and other happy chemicals in your brain will help reframe the concept of exercise and take the effort out of it.
Park further from your destination
Try finding parking spaces just a little bit further away from your workplace or the mall – maybe closer to the exit. Not only do you get some exercise, you also avoid the exit queue when you leave. (Equally, you could get off the bus or train one stop earlier/later, if you use public transport.) If you apply this rule whenever you go places, you’ll soon tot up little bits of exercise that make you generally more active. The same goes for taking the stairs over the elevator whenever you can and have time.
Set up a weekend morning stroll with a friend
Look forward to catching up on the week’s news with your bestie against a dynamic backdrop? You could even break the walk up with a coffee break (though ideally, hold the cake option.) The key is to focus your mind on socializing and not on exercise. If you’re alone, crank up a podcast or a playlist to help put a spring in your step.
Think you’d better dance now
This is one you could do by yourself, with friends, family or even with your significant other. Make dance dates and stick to them. Try out a few classes or even just throw a weekly family dance party after dinner on a Friday night.
Dancing, much like walking and running, helps burn off calories, increases the production of happy hormones and leaves you feeling lighter.
Eat yourself fitter
This is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult one to achieve. Often, the problem is the punitive, strict diets that we impose on ourselves that are completely unsustainable.
We start out at a sprint to lose weight and get healthy, but at the first hurdle, we stumble and fall straight into a delicious pie.
The idea is not to punish yourself but rather to make a few switches, interspersed with the odd high-calorie treat every so often. Try to shift most of your diet to vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, fish, eggs, beans and nuts. If you’d like some more ideas, check out our guide to easy healthy eating at home.
Then treat yourself with the odd reward, assuming that the shift in food types feels onerous… which, once you’ve got going, it won’t.
Experiment by having crunchy veggies with all-natural dips like hummus or tzatziki instead of chips, or swap your mid-morning chocolate bar for a banana dipped in peanut butter. Replace sodas with fresh fruit smoothies or water.
Here are some other top eating tips:
- Sit down to eat: Eating on the move increases your intake without you even noticing
- Don’t “bolt” your food – take your time
- Chew thoroughly
- Turn off the TV and put your phone away
- Shop on a full stomach to avoid impulse comfort purchases
- Drink a glass of water with every meal
- Always have a healthy snack on hand
- Have your coffee black
- Add fruit to your morning oats
- Eat off a smaller plate
Relax and refresh at one of the top online casinos
The ultimate aim of all this health talk is to relax, live and feel better. This includes finding a good balance between a wholesome lifestyle and the occasional treat. At Borgata Online, our online casino hosts some of the best casino games available, which are great fun to play.
Register to enjoy the thrill and relaxation of playing whatever you like, from casino table games, slots and variety games to innovative live dealer casino games. You’ll also be able to read our blog, which provides all sorts of trivia, tips and advice related to online casino games, such as how to practice mental resilience when playing poker.