Katie Distaso (Irvine, CA)

“Before the pandemic, I didn’t prioritize my nutrition when it came to eating clean. I knew what it was, but felt I was doing just fine without it. I was, and am, a pretty athletic person, I like to play sports and to be active at least once a week. The pandemic threw a wrench in my plans and the restrictions caused everyone to stay inside their house. I saw this as an opportunity to work out in my own space and create a new routine. I’ve worked out in gyms before and I really enjoyed it, but with things beginning to lock down I made do with what I had at home. I started prioritizing my health and became more conscious of my nutrition. It was around the middle of the pandemic that I really started working out consistently and seriously. I would work out probably 5 to 6 times a week. I had started to take control of my body and started seeing improvements to my physical as well as mental health.

Now after I work out, I always feel good physically and mentally. I see working out as a hobby. For example, I enjoy boxing and I am in no way, shape or form a professional, but I do enjoy boxing at least once a week. This hobby of mine has quickly turned into a passion and a lifestyle. I find that working out and being aware of what foods I put into my body helps me keep not only my body healthy but my mindset as well. I always say ‘health is wealth’, and I truly believe that if your health is top-tier, your mental health will reflect that. 

My advice on starting a workout routine would be first to start small. For example, engage in a calm walk every morning. Even a few times a week gives your body time to be active. Working out creates a great opportunity to spend time with yourself and reflect on how you’re feeling and how your week is going. Build a routine that fits you. Take time to enjoy being with yourself and reap the benefits of an active lifestyle. What started for me as a simple COVID hobby turned into a passion and improvement of not only my physical health but my mental health too. I notice now I am calmer, not as stressed, I feel accomplished and in a great mood. It feels like a brain reset, I am able to focus on my day and feel great mentally at the same time.”