Healthy habits to implement in your life during the lockdown period

It’s a crazy time in the world right now and most of our lives have been impacted from this lockdown. Whether you’re working from home, online learning, having this time off or an essential worker – chances are you’re not in your regular routine. And that’s okay!

Thankfully we are only looking at one more week of level 4, but Level 3 may not be too much different for you. Whatever position you are in during this lockdown I’m going to share some of my top healthy habits to implement into your life to try and stay a little in routine.

 

  1. Break up your sitting time

    During isolation most of us are spending more time sitting, whether that be at your makeshift office at home or on the couch binge watching Netflix. Breaking up your sitting time every hour or so with a few stretches, a walk around the house or a couple of jump squats is great for your overall health. Not only does it benefit your mental state from taking a break from whatever it was you were doing it also helps increases your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) to burn a few extra calories.

 

  1. Increase your NEAT

    Following on from the tip above; usually you would be out and about walking to your local coffee shop, walking to work, going up a few flights of stairs, walking to the bus etc. These are all activities that increase your NEAT during the day. Whilst being at home we all tend to spend more time not moving because we don’t really have anywhere to go. Try and increase your NEAT by doing a few stretches on the floor whilst watching TV at night to relieve tension in muscles, check your emails whilst standing, any small tasks you would normally do sitting try standing and take regular walks!

 

  1. Keep a large water bottle with you at all times

    Simple but effective! If you have a large water bottle sitting on your desk as you work, cook, watch TV, garden or any task you will be much more inclined to drink it! We don’t drink nearly enough water as we should, so this is one of the best tips to implement to keep your body and mind happy!

  1. Remember to take time out for yourself

    Self-care is important! Give yourself at least an hour a day to do something you love or enjoy. Read a book, bake, go for a walk, take a bath or put on your favorite music!

 

  1. Try a few new exercises

    With all this time at home try and find a new style of exercise you like! Take up running, yoga, shadow boxing, dancing! There are so many options and so many videos online to teach you!

 

  1. Set yourself daily goals and gratitude’s

    Learn to appreciate the small things in life and set yourself small daily goals to feel like you’ve accomplished something each day! I like to write down three things I am grateful for and three small goals for the day!

 

  1. Keep in contact with friends and family

    We may be in self-isolation but that doesn’t mean we have to be alone! Catch up with old friends, the ones you always think about calling but never do! Now’s the time to check in with them and make the call! Try group face time calls and have Friday night drinks or Sunday brunch together.

 

  1. Sneak vegetables into everything

    Getting to the supermarket isn’t as easy as it used to be so sometimes you won’t have fresh produce in the house! But get creative with it! Stock up on the frozen vege and put lots in all your dishes! Even better frozen spinach and zucchini are great for smoothies with frozen bananas! This will give you a boost of nutrients when you may be lacking!

 

For a lot of us, we do have more time on our hands. More time at home. More time to ourselves. So now is THE TIME to focus on yourself, your family, your DIY projects, your baking skills, your favorite Netflix series or whatever else interests you. Try and stick to a routine that works with you and your #isobuddies and implement exercise or daily activities into your lifestyle.

10 foods to boost your immune system

First of all everyone should be aware that consuming these foods will not prevent you from getting corona virus or any other sickness. However, our food choices and lifestyle factors do have a large impact on our immune function and therefore a diet that obtains all essential nutrients will allow the body to bounce back from sickness quicker than those with a poor diet. While it is also convenient to pop those lolly-tasting vitamin C tablets and other multivitamin supplements, your body absorbs nutrients a lot better when they come from a dietary source.

 

  1. Capsicum

Many people turn to vitamin C when fighting a cold, but if you think citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C then think again! Capsicums have twice the amount of vitamin C than citric fruits and also contain beta carotene which keeps your eyes and skin healthy.

 

  1. Spinach

Spinach also contains vitamin C and is packed with antioxidants and beta carotene. Antioxidants help protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals (air pollutants, chemicals, processed foods). Undamaged cells mean a fast working and effective immune system. Light cooking of spinach allows nutrients such as vitamin A to be released so the body can better absorb them.

 

  1. Yogurt

Yogurt is a good source of probiotics – this can also be advertised on labels as “live cultures” or “acidophilus”. Probiotics in food serve to maintain a healthy flora of gut bacteria. If our gut flora is unbalanced, opportunistic pathogens can more easily enter the body. Yogurt is also a great source of calcium, protein, vitamin A, and zinc. Choose plain low fat yogurt and serve with nuts, seeds, berries, or fruit for a healthy snack.

 

  1. Almonds

Almonds along with other nuts contain valuable vitamin E and healthy fats. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that help the body fight off infection.

 

  1. Eggs

Eggs have gotten a bad rap due to concerns of cholesterol, but fear not, the egg yolk is a little powerhouse of nutrients. They contain the immune boosters zinc, selenium, and vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 is a crucial component for many chemical reactions that occur in the body and are also important for red blood cell formation. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain vitamin D which is critical for bone health, enhances immunity, and is a vitamin many of us can get low on in winter months due to less sun exposure. The egg white is a rich source of protein which is vital to build and repair body tissue and fight infections.

  1. Legumes

Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and beans are great sources of zinc. Zinc plays an essential role in the immune system and zinc-deficient individuals experience increased susceptibility to infectious agents. Zinc is also very important for would healing.

 

  1. Green Tea

Green tea contains compounds called polyphenols which promote immunity through various pathways. However, be sure to wait 30 minutes either side of main meals to drink your tea, as polyphenols interfere with your body’s absorption of iron.

 

  1. Garlic

Garlic may boost the amount of virus-fighting T cells in your blood and the sulfur it contains can help your body absorb the immune boosting mineral zinc. Some evidence suggests garlic may also plays a role in reducing stress hormones.

 

  1. Broccoli

Broccoli is a superfood! It contains high levels vitamins A, C, A, and K, along with a good profile of B vitamins, including folic acid, and the minerals iron, potassium, calcium, selenium. Research has also identified a special compound that occurs in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables called DIM which has potential immune enhancing effects.

 

  1. Potatoes

No this does not give you a free pass to eat all the potato chips… When boiled, mashed with only a dash of milk, or roasted with just a drizzle of olive oil, potatoes retain their high nutritional value. They are high in the immune boosting vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. Potatoes are also an excellent source of iron which is essential for maintaining healthy blood.

 

It is important to note that eating just one of these foods will not help you ward off the flu, cold, or other illness. Variety is key! You must get your recommended 5+ fruit and vegetables per day, every day, in order to get all the nutrients your body needs for it to work optimally.

Poor diet is also not the only factor contributing to poor immunity. Smoking, excess alcohol consumption, poor sleep, and lack of exercise also contribute to decreased immunity.

Finally, the most important thing you can do for your immune system and overall health is to wash your hands.