Ester Marsh column: Make plans for healthy living at home

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 26, 2020


ith the extended shelter-in-place rules, we must hang in just a bit longer. This is not something that is easy for anyone. But what we do not want is after six weeks of this to re-open and have to close again (and have more deaths) because of a huge surge of COVID-19 cases.

I am immensely proud how our hospital and our community is taking care of the matter and keeping our curve low. Let’s hang in there a little bit longer.

With that, it takes more from us to try to stay healthy, not only going out when necessary but also eating healthy and moving around.

Last week, I mentioned I would dive into that a bit deeper.

To be successful, it has been proven that when people do meal plans and scheduled exercises, it is more effective for staying on a plan or getting on a plan.

So, this week I am challenging you to write down each day what you are going to do for at least 30 minutes most days of the week and plan your food for each day, starting Monday through next Sunday.

In the past weeks’ columns, I have given examples on exercises you can do. As always, going for walks is probably the easiest and most doable exercise there is. The Rowan Cabarrus YMCA, the Forum and Soulful yoga (part of the Forum) still offer virtual classes for our community. Our website can guide you to the YMCA classes and our Facebook page will too.

Each day you accomplish your 30 minutes (or more), put a big check mark on that day or a sticker! Doing the classes that are offered via social media gives you choices of hard cardio classes, easy cardio or chair exercises. When the live class is shared, it is stored in the video library on our Facebook pages so you can go back and do them at any time. You can even save them in your own video library.

Planning your food not only helps your budget (only buying what you need), but it also limits trips to the grocery store, which is currently still important. Literally, write down what you will have for breakfast, lunch and dinner and make sure to include the snacks and the drinks. Also check your portions: one plate of spaghetti is not one serving. Most people’s plates will have 4 even 5 or 6 servings. There are a lot more calories there than people think.

Also, check the calories and serving sizes of your drinks. Especially sugary drinks are loaded with calories. I have spoken to people who say, my child (or children) family members do not need to lose weight. Healthy eating is for everyone!

The ones who do not want to lose weight can have bigger portions of the healthy foods they cook/ buy. If it is challenging to know what a healthy meal should look like, go to It is free and has tons of great information that will help you and your family get or stay on the right track and learn that healthy eating can be very tasty.

The Rowan Cabarrus YMCA is starting a virtual weekly healthy living at home accountability program, which is free for our members. Check out our website to sign up or email me at if you need any additional information or help signing up.

I also will take requests on exercises you can do at home in each column each week in the Salisbury Post. So, for now, start planning and recording your food intake and plan and record your exercises for one week at a time. A, it gives you something else to do, and B, it will truly works.

Ester H. Marsh is  Health & Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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