In our recent webinar series, Waterloo alumni share their passions and expertise to support others during this strange time.

Jason Lu and Debbie FungAs millions physically distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, life continues in the privacy and isolation of our homes. Life has changed dramatically, and it can be a struggle to keep healthy routines.

Debbie Fung (BES ’06) and Jason Lu (BSc ’05) are the co-founders and owners of Yoga Tree, a thriving business with five studio locations across Toronto. Here are just a few of the ideas and activities they suggested keep a healthy mind and body from home.

Find a physical activity that suits you

Do you like yoga? Does running make you feel good? The answers are different for everyone, and it’s important to choose a physical activity that suits your body’s needs as well as your interests. In the webinar, Jason cited a variety of things that contribute to a healthy body, including range of motion, strength and flexibility.

The best physical activity will depend on your lifestyle, physical needs and activity level. Try different things, and choose something that makes you feel good.

If you’re feeling out of shape and want to start a new routine, take things one step at a time. Start with simple movements, stretches or short walks, and create small goals like doing a pushup or walking for 10 minutes each day.

“When you have that success and that progression of those little milestones, you start to gain momentum and confidence,” said Jason. “And over time you can start adding more. […] This is for you, and it’s not being compared to anyone else.”

Create and follow a regular schedule

Schedules and routines came up multiple times throughout the webinar, as a way to stay accountable for healthy eating, sleeping habits and physical activity.

Eating meals at regular times each day can help to curb unhealthy and absent-minded snacking. It’s also a great way encourage you to eat more unprocessed food and hit the right balance of food groups.

This is for you, and it's not being compared to anyone else.

JASON LU, Co-founder, Yoga Tree

Scheduling regular times for movement and physical activity can help to keep you accountable. Jason suggests adding a physical activity break in your calendar, joining an online class or working out with a friend via Zoom.

Get a good night’s sleep

When you get a full night’s rest (7-9 hours for adults), your mind will be more alert and ready to take on the day.

To help settle in for the night, Jason suggests calming activities like light stretching. During the webinar, he also suggested an app called Calm, which he uses to settle his mind and prepare for sleep.

Find a hobby to help you recharge

Hobbies can recharge your mind and prevent you from feeling tired or overwhelmed. Jason suggests a hobby that has no financial significance and is separate from your career. Choose something that you find enjoyable and interesting and do it for yourself. When you’ve found an activity that engulfs your mind or makes you lose track of time, you know it’s a good fit.

For Jason, that hobby is taking care of his plants.

“When I’m looking after my plants […] I’m making sure they have the right nutrients; I’m preparing them to grow for the next season; I’m repotting them; I’m moving them to the best window, trying to understand what their likes and dislikes are,” he explained. “For me, that just takes me out of my worries for the day.”