Written by Miss Farmer, Director of Sports at KPS
Miss Farmer, Director of Sports at KPS, has put together this guide to staying fit and well during the winter lockdown. It's important to know how to look after our mental and physical health and wellbeing during this extended period of online learning from home.
- Get outside in the mornings
Many of us are used to getting up and out early in the mornings, whether rushing to the tube or bus stop on our daily commute or walking our children to school. In lockdown, and during these colder months especially, however, it is easy to go a whole day without going outside; we miss out on the fresh air and those crucial steps to raise the heart rate. With shorter days in winter, take advantage of the morning light by getting outside for a quick walk – even if it is only to the local coffee shop for a takeaway!
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day”
Henry David Thoreau.
2. Consider taking Vitamin supplements
Although most people should get all the nutrients they need from a varied and balanced diet, with many of us having spent more time than ever indoors over the last year, we may find ourselves low in Vitamin D (which we normally get from sunlight). This can make us feel tired, and more susceptible to viruses and colds. Consider taking a Vitamin D supplement during the winter to keep your bones and muscles healthy.
(Always consult with your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement)
3. Drink your 2 Litres of Water a Day
During the summer months, we constantly remind ourselves to stay hydrated due to the hotter weather. It is easy to neglect this in the winter, however, it is just as important to drink sufficient water even when it’s cold. Indeed, with the heating on, you may even find yourself feeling dehydrated quicker! Keep up with your 2 litres a day and you will see your focus, attention, and energy levels soar! Try tracking how much you are drinking by filling up a 500ml water bottle and ensuring you finish 4 of these a day!
4. Eat the Rainbow
The NHS and WHO recommend eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and this is especially important in winter when we may not get the vitamins and nutrients we need through sunlight. The more colourful the fruit and veg, the better! There is plenty of seasonal fruit and veg to be enjoyed in winter, so try experimenting with new recipes or throwing some extra vegetables into your old favourites!
5. Sleep for Success
We all know how we feel when we don’t get enough sleep – and it’s not good! Studies have shown that getting one extra hour of sleep per night has more impact on your daily happiness than getting a pay rise (Independent), and can even help you to lose body fat, build stamina, and improve your memory.
Develop a healthy bedtime routine to ensure you maximize your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Turn off your screens at least one hour before bed, and try reading or listening to a podcast if you need help ‘switching off’. Herbal teas which don’t contain caffeine, such as chamomile or peppermint, can also be a great way to sooth busy minds.