Lockdown inspires healthy life choices among Michiganders

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According to a study by Rehabs.com, over half of Michiganders (54%) say lockdown has inspired them to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking, exercising more and drinking less alcohol.

Rehabs.com, a provider of rehabilitation resources and treatment information, conducted a study of 3,000 Americans to find out if they have adopted healthier choices during lockdown. Michigan’s 54% matched the national average of 54%.

The study noted most people have a specific lifestyle concern they have always wanted to address. Of those surveyed, 56% say they have started eating healthier since the lockdown began. This was followed by 35% of respondents taking up more exercise and 7% quitting drinking and smoking.

Additionally, over 1 in 5 people (22%) say their alcohol consumption has decreased the longer lockdown has continued. Broken down by gender, 36% of men say this is the case as compared to 10% of women.

When visits to the outside world are limited, regular trips to the grocery store or nearest takeout are not so easy. This means fewer processed convenience foods — such as microwave meals and freezer pizzas — and more homecooked, wholesome dinners. This might explain why 43% of respondents admit their diet has improved since the start of lockdown.

Moreover, because there is no need for an afternoon commute when working from home, it helps to have some extra time in the evenings to prepare a healthy meal. Many people appear to have embraced this opportunity to fine-tune their skills in the kitchen. In fact, the average American has learned to cook four new recipes since lockdown began.

But there also are downsides to having too much time on our hands.

“Even though some are afforded the gift of time with commutes and rush-hour traffic no longer being a daily issue, anxiety and depression surrounding the pandemic are still conditions being felt by many,” said Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer for American Addiction Centers. “With more time available, unhealthy habits, such as increased substance and/or alcohol use can persist. For those who may be dealing with those issues, making better lifestyle choices such as lessening alcohol intake, adopting a better diet and exercise not only improves physical health but are beneficial for mental health, as well.”

For the complete results, click here.

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