Wednesday July 6th 2022

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Phillips Neighborhood Clinic: Things Open Up

By Harry Leeds

Our lives have changed tremendously over the past few months, and as we very slowly move towards normalcy, it is important to remember your healthy habits. Perhaps the first thing to keep in mind is that we are not out of the woods yet. The State of Minnesota has done a better than average job of social distancing and preparing hospitals. What this means, though, is that the spread of COVID-19 has slowed enough to (likely) ensure that everyone will have access to the medical treatment they deserve if they get sick. That”™s what the models suggest, anyway. Social distancing and working from home are still important.

We might have slacked with our old, good health habits, but it is important to keep them up. I have often joked this last month that Jenny Craig is going to make a killing next year. If you are stuck at home, whether you are employed or not, it is tempting to eat junk food. These times are stressful, you worry about the next time you will be able to enjoy that doughnut, and supermarkets have been one of the few businesses to remain open.

The health benefits of eating a plant-based diet in the long term are pretty well established, but it is also important to think about the short term. High calorie foods can cause inflammation in the body, which basically means that your body thinks it is under attack. The effects on your mood and immune system are negative, and a poor diet can make you feel tired, sad, and reduce your ability to fight infection.

There is a way to boost your immune system, feel happier and more energized. That is to exercise. If you can safely go outside for a walk while staying six feet away from others, you might find it will do some good.
It can feel overwhelming to try and keep up these healthy habits, especially with the stress that we are all under. But if you make eating healthy and exercise routine, you may find you will look forward to them. Some people find that rather than thinking about what foods they shouldn”™t eat, they think about healthy food they do like (Don”™t think, “I shouldn”™t eat the doughnut,” but, “I love roasted sweet potatoes.”) If you find yourself with little to do, now is a good time to try out some new recipes. It could be a welcome, and healthy, distraction.

Harry Leeds is a nursing student at the University of Minnesota and nursing clinician at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic (PNC) 2742 15th Ave. So

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