As restrictions put in place to protect us all from the spread of Covid-19 begin to ease, you may be thinking of planning that Florida wellness vacation you’ve been dreaming of.
Whether you are interested in a vegetarian weight loss plan at our Florida beachfront retreat because of the pounds you’ve put on while sheltering-at-home or a fitness retreat, there are ways to protect your health and safety while you travel.
Flying to Florida
You may be surprised to learn that the Mayo Clinic says, “Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses don’t spread easily on flights.” The challenge with flying is, of course, dealing with crowds.
We’ve all seen those photos on social media of packed planes. The airline execs have also seen them – as well as our reaction to them. Most major airlines have implemented safety protocols regarding seating on flights and making it mandatory for all passengers and flight crew to wear a face mask.
If you board a plane and find it is too crowded for your comfort or that adequate safety measures are not being implemented, in most cases, you will be allowed to get off the plane and will be eligible to receive a refund.
In addition to safety on the airplane, itself, you’ll want to be prepared for other areas where you could potentially encounter crowds or find social distancing hard to maintain, from the long lines going through security to the cramped confines of most concourse convenience stores.
You’ll be happy to know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has responded to the threat of Covid-19 and the concerns of travelers by implementing increased cleaning and disinfecting of the equipment and surfaces you find at screening checkpoints.
If you are contemplating your first flight since the novel coronavirus swept the globe, you can expect to see new TSA policies in action, including:
- Face masks and gloves being worn by TSA agents.
- If a TSA agent needs to pat you down, they will be doing so with a fresh pair of gloves on.
- Those plastic shields that you’ve gotten used to seeing at the grocery store will also be in evidence at various places, such as where you show your ID, offer your carry-on bags up for examination.
If you have questions about local restrictions that will be in place here in Florida during your wellness vacation, please contact us.
Holiday weekends usually aren’t the best time to start a weight loss retreat. First of all, you might feel like you’re missing out on all the festivities if you’re on any kind of health retreat. Secondly, food always seems to figure largely in our holiday celebrations – and it is usually not exactly the healthiest food.
We will be celebrating our dads on Sunday, June 21 this year. And, thanks to the ongoing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus, many of us will probably be looking for ways to celebrate that will allow us to keep Dad and all the other older members of the family safe.
There are many families that usually celebrate Father’s Day with a backyard barbecue. This year, not only would a backyard gathering be in keeping with the holiday’s traditions, it might also be your best bet when it comes to protecting your family’s health.
Planning a Happy – and Healthy – Father’s Day
According to the CDC’s guidelines, the lowest risk of getting Covid-19 comes with virtual gatherings, like a Zoom call. If you want to get together in the real world, the safest best they say are small outdoor gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart. They also recommend that everyone:
- Wear cloth face coverings
- Do not share objects or food
- Come from the same local area (in other words, it’s not a good idea to invite Aunt Jane who lives three hours away to join you.)
Another way to make your Father’s Day barbecue a healthy celebration is by making sure there are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu. Some great ideas include:
- Veggie kebabs
- Potatoes on the grill
- Portabella burgers
- Black bean burgers
- Pasta salad
- Potato salad
- Corn on the Cob
- And, for dessert, grilled fruit!
And, when all the healthy Father’s Day festivities are over, instead of a weight loss retreat, you might want to open your mind to the possibilities of a holistic health retreat in Florida!
Your search for a wellness retreat rather than a weight loss retreat may have brought you to Balance for Life but maintaining a healthy weight can be an important element of holistic health.
Don’t worry, though. If you have put on a few pounds while you’ve been staying safe by staying home, you are not alone. You don’t have to look far on social media to find references to the “Quarantine 15.”
As the health experts at WebMD say, “Life in lockdown has disrupted all our lives, creating the perfect setup for putting on pounds.”
Why Is Comfort Food So Fattening?
Unfortunately, there aren’t too many of us who turn to a juicy apple or fresh salad for comfort when we’re stressed out. Comfort foods tend to have high levels of sugar, fat or carbohydrates.
WebMD reported that, “Website Lose It! reported a 266% increase in candy eating in the last 2 weeks of March, compared to February, among its 1.4 million monthly active members, along with an increase in eating carb-heavy foods like bread (54%) and noodles (36%). Data provided by WW (formerly Weight Watchers) shows their members are using the app to record they’re using and consuming almost 40% more baking ingredients like flour than they did before the lockdown.”
And WebMD’s own data might explain why: “Among readers, 70% in the U.S. and 35% internationally cited ‘stress eating’ as a cause of their weight gain.”
Even if you’ve been maintaining a healthy diet (relatively speaking!), you might have managed to gain a bit of weight if your regular workout routine has been disrupted. With gyms closed, you might want to try to get out for a walk or bike ride (bike sales have been through the roof lately!) or take advantage of some of the online exercise resources that are currently available at no cost.
Even though most of the country is gradually re-opening or planning to, the stress involved in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic continues. And that’s what is driving most of the unhealthy eating. When we are able to safely re-open, we will be happy to help you get back to taking care of yourself with the vegetarian weight loss plan at our Florida health retreats.
At Balance for Life health retreats in Florida, we believe intaking an holistic approach to wellness at our retreats. We don’t think it’s enough to focus on one issue, ache or challenge. In order to achieve lasting change and overall wellbeing, you must embrace and engage the whole person – body, mind and spirit.
What Does Holistic Mean?
The dictionary defines holistic as an adjective meaning:
characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated, there are times when medicine can and absolutely should focus on a specific ailment. But, while it is wonderful and we should celebrate every time a Covid-19 patient leaves the hospital, successfully treating a disease does not produce overall wellbeing.
On the flip side, a holistic health retreat can promote the kind of overall wellbeing that will not only enhance your immune system but also engender the kind of resilient emotional and mental health that will help you cope with the challenges of living through a pandemic.
It’s easy to get excited about the idea of overall health and wellbeing, but simply talking about the importance of the connection between physical, emotional and mental health isn’t going to help you recharge and rejuvenate. Holistic health is the goal. But you need tools and clear-cut objectives to help you attain that goal.
You need practical tools to In order to help you achieve holistic health, we structure our wellness retreats around four core components:
- Mindfulness and
- Natural Treatments
If you would like to know more about our unique approach to holistic health and our Balance for Life wellness retreats in Florida, please contact us.
Here at Balance for Life, a holistic health retreat in Florida, some of our team members have gotten creative with their face masks recently. When we connect online for a virtual meeting or a gathering around the virtual water cooler, they’ll show them off, which often makes us smile, if not laugh out loud. And that’s good for our health and our hearts.
We look forward to welcoming you when it is safe to do so (we will get there!), but for now, we hope you remember that you don’t have to be on a retreat in Florida to do something that will have a positive impact on your health and wellness. Find something – or someone – that can make you laugh. Laughing may not be the very best medicine, but it sure is a great way to enhance your health and wellbeing.
The Health Benefits of Laughing
“Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke,” the clever folks at the Mayo Clinic say. “Whether you’re guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good.”
In fact, there is a growing amount of research indicating that having a good laugh can be an important aspect of your wellness journey.
“A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body,” the experts at the Mayo Clinic explain. “Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long term.”
Laughter has the ability to give your immune system a boost, which is good to know in the age of the coronavirus. “Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses,” the Mayo Clinic explains.
According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter may also:
- Stimulate some of your organs, including your heart, lungs and muscles (so when someone says that laughing at something did their heart good, they aren’t kidding!)
- Increase endorphins in your brain
- Make you feel more relaxed
- Enhance circulation and relax tense muscles
- Relieve pain
We can’t welcome you to Florida for a wellness vacation right now, but we can share information with you that can help you stay healthy and happy during these difficult times.
Here at Balance for Life, a holistic health retreat in Florida, we are thinking of you and we look forward to welcoming you to one of our wellness retreats when it is safe to do so. We hope you are all staying safe, following the social distancing guidelines and frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. There are other things you can do to give your immune system a boost, including taking supplements like echinacea.
Echinacea is a homegrown plant. While it now grown all over the world, it is native to North America – specifically, it seems, to the lands east of the Rocky Mountains. Native Americans were using the plant for medicinal purposes as far back as the 17th century. The Great Plains Indians used it to treat a variety of ailments. When swallowed, they believed it helped with pain, coughs, stomach cramps and snake bites. It was also used on the skin to help heal from wounds and burns.
Health Benefits of Echinacea in the Modern Era
“At the beginning of the 20th century, Echinacea was the most frequently used plant preparation in the USA,” K Hostettmann says in a paper posted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
“The extracts exhibit immunostimulant properties and are mainly used in the prophylaxis and therapy of colds, flu and septic complaints,” the paper reports. Although there are over 400 publications concerning the plant and dozens of preparations of Echinacea in the market, the true identity of the active principles still remains open.”
Today, as the experts at WebMD tell us, “Echinacea is most commonly used for the common cold and other infections.”
You can find a wide range of products containing echinacea, ranging from herbal teas to supplements. But not all products that contain echinacea are created equal. “There are concerns about the quality of some echinacea products on the market,” WebMD says. “Echinacea products are frequently mislabeled, and some may not even contain echinacea, despite label claims. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘standardized.’ It doesn’t necessarily indicate accurate labeling.”
The medical experts behind our holistic health retreats in Florida have provided more information to help you heal and stay strong and healthy during this difficult time. We can’t wait to welcome you to a beachfront wellness retreat in Florida in the better times ahead.