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Pandemic Resource: @HOME Powered by Pennington

By Sara Bongiorni
PBRC @Home #17 – Beat Stress – Social.jpg
Expert guidance on improving nutrition, mood, sleep and fitness during the coronavirus pandemic is available through a social-media initiative launched by Pennington Biomedical Research Center in late April.

The main hub for @HOME Powered by Pennington is a Facebook group, but Pennington also reaches followers through Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest with the handle #ShelteratHome and #HealthHacksBR.

Its accessible health tips range from cyclist-friendly Baton Rouge bike routes and at-home fitness workouts to dietary changes to sleep better and beat stress.

“Everybody’s at home, but there are still ways to be healthy,” said Pennington Marketing Manager Aryelle Stafford.

@Home’s 7-day-a-week posts are practical and accessible. The guidance is backed by researchers at Pennington, whose world-class bonafides include developing nutrition protocols for the U.S. Army for three decades.

Followers don’t need special equipment or exotic ingredients to put the tips to work. A recent post on a quick fitness workout, for instance, requires nothing more than a floor and a towel to follow.

@Home’s recipes are likewise straightforward and designed around ingredients found in a typical kitchen.

There are also ideas for keeping kids busy, setting up a stand-up workstation at home and improving nutrition through small steps like preparing more foods with bananas.

Some posts draw on nutrition breakthroughs developed at Pennington such as the low-salt, low-fat Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet—or DASH—to lower high blood pressure.

Followers to date are mostly women in their mid-30s through mid-50s.

Pennington will continue with the social media initiative after the pandemic subsides although in a format that reflects changing needs as shelter-in-place orders ease, Stafford said.

The point is to make Pennington research on nutrition and health broadly available to the Baton Rouge community and beyond, whether people are at home or at the office.

“We want to get information to people to improve their mental health, fitness and nutrition in a way that is doable and accessible,” Stafford said.