NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With lives so completely changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, many have let healthy habits go by the wayside, but can back to the office mean back to better health?

It’s back to workouts for Daniel Chern of Midtown.

“I definitely got a bit out of shape just sitting in the apartment,” he told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

Losing his access to a gym full of equipment made him stall his fitness routine.

He works in finance and may soon return to the office, so he wants to have a new regimen that works before that happens.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“It’s understandable that it may be challenging,” psychologist Alexandra Stratyner said.

Stratyner says she’s counseling some people working from home who feel guilty for lacking the motivation for healthy eating and exercise.

“The opportunities to exercise may actually be more limited [for parents or guardians] compared to pre-pandemic when you were able to drop the kids at day care or at school and go to a workout class,” she said.

Stratyner says shame doesn’t properly motivate anyone.

Registered dietitian nutritionist Alexandra Corwin agrees, saying eating healthier works when not viewed as a chore.

“Make it into a positive experience,” she said.

Experts say it’s important not to be too hard on yourself, set realistic goals and celebrate small victories.

Hamilton Heights resident Edith Taylor is on a mission to lose 100 pounds, and she’s seen results.

“As well with the 20 pounds I’ve lost, I’ve also lost three to four inches,” Taylor said.

Experts also suggest finding someone who can motivate you, whether it’s someone you live with, a group or someone online.

“I’m part of a Facebook support group, so they help keep me motivated,” Taylor said.

“The main foods to keep out of the grocery cart are high-fat, high refined carbed and sugary food,” Corwin said. “So we want to keep those out, and we want to focus on bringing healthier foods into your home, like fruits and vegetables.”

Corwin says take it slow and steady. Baby steps that make you feel better about you and your family’s health will add up to big strides over time.

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