Right now there is no better time to fight for your health.
In a time when a lot of things seem out of our control, let’s control the one thing we cannot live a full life without; our health.
You are born looking like your parents but you die looking like your decisions
Optimum Nutrition = “The best possible intake of nutrients to allow your body to achieve it’s best performance and maintain the longest possible life time in good health.”
No one nutrient or superfood will prevent a virus attacking our body, however fuelling it with the best possible quality and variety of nutritious food will give it the best possible chance should you become ill. Did you know that regularly over-eating processed foods and under-eating nutritious foods, actually causes an inflammatory response which your body has to fight against? Why should your body fight against a virus or disease when it’s already too busy fighting against the rubbish that you eat?!
There has been no better time to clean up your diet and spend time preparing your own meals. Ensure you include foods from every group and eat from the rainbow as much as you can when it comes to fruit and vegetables.
This is one part of our armour in the fight for our health.
- Choose the best possible meat and fish you have access to. Ideally, locally sourced and organic as this will minimise the amount of time it takes to reach your plate and therefore the chemicals needed to keep it fresh.
- Look for organic locally produced vegetables and fruit. During this time, a lot of suppliers are delivering food boxes containing seasonal produce direct to your door. What better way to support local businesses and keep your time outside the home to a minimum. They also often provide local sourced milk and organic eggs.
- Be sure to include a variety of fats from different sources: nuts, seeds, oils, organic oily fish, even locally produced butter and cheese can play a part.
- Don’t be afraid to eat carbohydrates. Eat as many different types as you can but be wary of any that cause gastrointestinal issues (wheat can often be the culprit). Other sources include oats, white & brown rice, quinoa, white & sweet potatoes and sweet fruits such as mangoes, pineapples, bananas, apples and dried fruit. Time these around exercise to optimise their usage and prevent storage as fat.
- Use supplements wisely and don’t rely on them to make up for gaps in your diet. They should enhance what you’re eating, not replace it. Do you research and focus on the ones that assist in improving your immunity; these include: zinc, curcumin, selenium (a mineral naturally found in meat, fish and eggs) and vitamins C, D and the B complex.
Move as much as possible, it’s what us humans were designed to do.
Granted, it isn’t the easiest time to do this with us confined to our houses for most of the day, but you would be amazed at what you can do in a space only just big enough for one person.
Each person has said that they can’t believe how much us coaches are able to push them to get them working so hard, with such limited space and resources.
Think bodyweight, homemade weights (shopping bags filled with groceries) and well planned programmes. If you want us to prove it, download our free Bodyweight Beast programme, follow it for four weeks and you’ll see what we mean!
Walking, jogging, yoga and pilates are a few other types of exercise that can be done without equipment. Plan your day making sure to add in time to move, your body (and mind) will thank you in the long run. Also, there is evidence to suggest that moderate exercise increases the body’s immune system so lets add this to our armour and get as fighting fit as we can!
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Take time everyday to acknowledge how you’re feeling and why. Write a list of what you can’t control but then write a list of what you can control. I guarantee you the latter will be much longer, so focus your efforts and headspace on that.
Control how you spend your day, write a schedule and stick to it like you would if not in isolation.
Set time for work, sleep, exercise/moving, down time (tv, reading, hobbies, etc), time with people in your household, also time with people outside your household via phone/video, meal preparation and eating. Be sure to know that this uncertain time will pass, so control what you can and do your best to forget about what you can’t.
Our body recovers when we sleep, that’s why we spend a third of our lifetime in this state. A regular sleep cycle should be scheduled into your day and everything else worked around this (N.B – to all the mums and dads with young children reading this, we’ll cut you some slack here as I know it’s not always this simple)! Sleep forms part of our armour as well, so if our body doesn’t get a chance to recover, how can it operate in it’s optimum state and be expected to fight against illness?!
If your mind is busy and won’t stop whirring (especially at night if you’re anything like me), try some mindfulness before you go to bed.
If you haven’t tried it before, SPC’s yoga instructor Annette, has put together a simple video for you to follow. Other than these seven minutes, what have you got to lose?!
There is no magic pill for your health
There is no magic pill or simple one step solution to heath. It is a combination of the above elements in various proportions and should always be prioritised as much as possible. Let’s not just clap for the NHS, let’s do our best to keep healthy throughout our lives to allow them to spend their time fighting at times like this. Yes we will all inevitably need them at various points in our lives such as during childbirth, when we have accidents, develop genetic diseases or cancer or have age-related comorbidities to name but a few, but if we allow them to focus their resources on these, it will stand them, and us, in much better stead.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.