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Lethbridge experts push for mental, physical health priority amid pandemic fatigue

Click to play video 'Experts say overall health must take priority to combat COVID-19 fatigue' Experts say overall health must take priority to combat COVID-19 fatigue
As the pandemic drags on, a lot of people are feeling the effects of COVID-19 fatigue more than ever. Taz Dhaliwal looks at how we can keep our overall health in check as we head into what could be a lonely winter – Oct 27, 2020

If you’re feeling more tired, stressed out, irritable or anxious, it’s not just in your head. Those are all symptoms of COVID-19 fatigue, which experts confirm is a real thing.

With winter also around the corner, people may be feeling less motivated to stay on top of their health and fitness routines as the pandemic continues to affect the daily lives of Albertans.

“There are lots of things that are outside of our control,” Dr. Mark Slomp, a psychologist with the University of Lethbridge, said.

“[Try] to focus on the things that are really within our control — which is how we respond, the perspectives that we hold on a daily basis and the attitudes that we hold as well.”

Slomp says it’s imperative for people to find things to do that energize them and engage their interests, such as a hobby, exercise, spending time with loved ones or even volunteering.

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Read more: Canadians are feeling pandemic fatigue. Experts say ‘greater good’ message isn’t enough

“That might be getting involved in something new, pursuing a hobby or an interest that you’ve always put off. Now is that time to do that,” he said.

Joel Kitkas, the owner of Fit Body Boot Camp said regular exercise is a great way to take care of both mental and physical health.

“Exercise is one of the things that has gone on the back burner for people, when unfortunately it should have been top of mind, top of priority — not just for physical, but for mental health,” Kitkas stated.

“The biggest thing, especially if people are getting busy and it’s getting hard to get that [workout] in is, I always tell people, ‘You’ll never find time to exercise, you have to make time to exercise,'” he said.

Read more: Lethbridge gyms consider what reopening could look like

Kitkas adds a workout can even be as short as half an hour and still be beneficial.

“Workouts don’t have to be long, I mean even here at Fit Body Boot Camp, classes are 30 minutes,” he said. “A lot of times, people think you need to work out for an hour… it doesn’t need to be that way.

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“Something people can focus on doing, is doing things fast, but obviously you want to focus on doing the right exercises and doing them properly.”

He adds eating nutritional food will help supplement exercise and a positive mind set.