Maybe one of the unexpected beneficial outcomes of sheltering in place during COVID-19 is that many Jewish Atlantans who are practicing good nutrition along with exercise find they are feeling better now. With less eating out for lunches, they have been cooking more, many having freezers overflowing with vegetables.
Some found new ways to follow a regularly scheduled exercise regimen.
“Besides getting restorative sleep of seven to nine hours to feel well-rested, eating a well-balanced diet of fresh vegetables, fruit and protein, combined with regular exercise, will certainly lead to healthy habits,” said Dr. Brian Nadolne of East Cobb Family Medicine who is past president of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. “In these days of working from home, with less commuting or travel out of town, there are no more excuses anymore not to find in your day at least 30 minutes to exercise. Walking is one great way.”
To stay accountable, he urges people to use a device such as Fitbit to keep track and be consistent on whatever exercise program they put in place.
Following the doctor’s prescription for better health is Daniel Goldman, professor of physics at Georgia Tech, who now teaches and attends meetings at home using Zoom. “I can no longer swim at Life Time fitness nor can I play my weekly pickup basketball game, so I’ve increased my bike riding and jogging, the latter much to the chagrin of my knees.”
No longer commuting more than an hour to work, he has time to fit in exercising about five times a week, he said. Goldman’s wife Marni told the AJT that because of having celiac disease and Type I diabetes, she needs to “be diligent about her eating habits.” She attempts to do the same when incorporating protein, fruits and veggies in every family meal. Goldman tries to educate her first grade daughter Amelia about the importance of a balanced plate. “Treats like fruit, Cool Whip and smoothies are a weekly staple,” she said.
George Hess told the AJT that instead of going to Life Time fitness, he and his wife Maxine now walk up to four miles every day the weather permits, where before, neighborhood walks in Woodstock were occasional. He said another change is “beginning yin yoga usually for an hour before breakfast, but since we are late risers, we eat breakfast at 12 p.m.” After reading more about the benefits of walking on longevity, this retired associate professor of early childhood education at Kennesaw State University is thinking of writing a column for the Mended Hearts Atlanta Chapter 81 newsletter. Before the pandemic, Hess volunteered as a Mended Hearts visitor at WellStar Kennestone Hospital’s cardiac unit. After a recent mild heart attack and going through rehab successfully, he said Maxine “is determined to keep me healthy and it seems to be working.” Their meals are low-fat, low cholesterol and what he calls “heart friendly.” Hess admits his downfalls are ice cream and gelato, so he’s teaching himself how to limit portions to a half cup. “It’s hard, but most evenings I accomplish it,” he said. Hess told the AJT he “managed to lose about 3 ½ pounds where I no longer have a pot and I feel comfortable in my clothes now.”
Julia Kesler Imerman, owner and personal chef of Stop Think Chew, told the AJT she “supports Atlanta’s local food system by shopping directly with farmers, and provides healthy, whole-food meals to her clients as well as virtual health coaching services.” Even during social distancing, she said, “I still go to local farmers directly who have online ordering systems where I pick up my order curbside.”
Kesler Imerman recommends shopping at Fresh Harvest for produce and having “provisions from local farms delivered directly to your door in metro Atlanta.”
Instead of home visits during COVID-19, she said she offers “one-on-one virtual healthy coaching services via Zoom starting at 30 minutes to one hour, or six or more sessions on a variety of healthy nutrition topics.”
She did yoga two or three times a week prior to COVID-19; she now does yoga 30 minutes to an hour every morning. Along with eating nutritionally, the increase in exercise, plus daily walks with her husband in the evenings, definitely has made a difference, she said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, perhaps people will continue to practice healthy habits after all.