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Sanity Saver: Lockdown Edition

Sanity Saver: Lockdown Edition

Some train to stay sane, while others train to stay alive – being able to move your body and test your limits is one of the biggest privileges that we have! Fitness and wellness go hand-in-hand, and shouldn’t be divided into two separate states of being, after all – fitness is not a destination but a way of life! And with lockdown in the UK underway, we think that it’s a good time to set our sights on new goals. 

By introducing exercise to your daily schedule, not only are you actively improving your physical health but your mental health too. To us, having regular exercise in your everyday schedule really is a win-win! We’ve all had our down days during these unpredictable times. But what can we do to feel better, physically and mentally? Making small, meaningful changes – at a pace, you can manage – is a great way to improve your life, one day at a time.

The facts: how exercise improves your mood

We all know that our mood lifts along with those dumbbells – and science agrees. As you exercise, your brain’s serotonin levels increase. Serotonin is responsible for regulating your mood, appetite and sleep – which all impact the way you feel. Your brain also releases endorphins, which are our very own natural mood boosters!

And since many of us are met with the all-too-familiar challenge of working from home, it’s also great to know that regular exercise significantly improves concentration and our ability to process new information. All the more reason to get moving!

How to beat the lockdown blues:

Kick-off your day with a workout 🏃

You know what they say – conquer the morning, conquer the day! Not only will you be able to cross exercise off the list, but you’ll fire up your mind (and metabolism!) for a productive day. By starting your day on that post-workout endorphin rush, you’re bound to set the tone for the rest of your day.

Get those z’s in 😴

If you find it difficult to fall asleep, trackback to step 1: moving more. Your body needs to recover and good quality sleep is often underestimated. Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night, however, 30% of adults get less than 6 hours. Inadequate sleep can lead to increased appetite and sugar cravings and may decrease your metabolism. So try to go to bed at the same time each night so your body can get into a healthy rhythm and allow your body to maintain a healthy body weight!

Enjoy some fresh air🌤️

Even if it’s just to enjoy the breeze coming through the window, studies have proven that even a glimpse of nature can do wonders for your mood and mental space. Schedule a walk outside into your day, you are more likely to stick to it and it will do you the world of good!

Do something that ‘fills your cup’ every day 📖🎮🎨

15 minutes of a good book, a bit of gaming, painting or an inspiring podcast – whatever lights you up! Self care comes in many different shapes and forms, whether it’s taking time to sit and read a good book or pounding the pavement for a 10km run – we are all so different and that is what makes our Sudor Community so unique and special! 

Tasty Mood Boosters

Did you know the food you eat can affect your mental well-being as well as your physical health? Although our moods are bound to lift with our dumbbells, what we eat plays a key role in how we feel! Beyond this, key additions such as omega-3 rich fats, fibre-rich whole grains, fermented foods, proteins and dark green vegetables are super important when it comes to ensuring mood balance and well-being. Add these tasty, mood-boosting foods to your menu for a natural pick-me-up.

Oily Fish

Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the brain cells flexible, ensuring that the brain’s messaging chemicals can work effectively – this contributes to a happier, more balanced mood. Salmon, mackerel and sardines are all great choices.

Sudor’s Secret Anxiety Busters

Sudor’s Secret Anxiety Busters

While there are many things that can make us anxious, there are at least DOUBLE the number of things out there that can help beat that anxious knot in your stomach. From food, to exercise, to meditation – the world is your oyster when it comes to beating the anxiety blues. The good news is that anxieties pass and there are concrete ways to protect yourself from sweaty palms and palpitations. This is our simple guide to slowing down your racing mind.

Update your diet

Science tells us that people who centred their diet around vegetables, fish, fruit and whole grains were significantly less likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder. The suggested science is that the way in which your gut ferments the extra fibre in a healthy diet creates short chain fatty acids that reduce your stress response.

Equally, it’s smart to put a cork in the daily glass of chardonnay. While that first sip may hit different, as the alcohol wears off, our happy hormone levels fall and anxiety levels are exacerbated. Hangxiety is real, people!

Try meditation

If repeating mantras just isn’t going it for you, focused breathing can help you find a mindful moment and escape anxiety in general. And the benefits are instantaneous! It calms anxiety by reducing cortisol in your blood and stimulates the release of nitric oxide. This helps open up constricted blood vessels, protecting your heart from the effects of stress. When we meditate, we open ourselves up to far-reaching and long-lasting benefits: We lower our stress levels, we get to know our pain, we connect better to our bodies, we improve our focus, and we understand ourselves better. Let us walk you through a basic meditation.

Get outside

Even if it’s just to enjoy the breeze coming through the window, studies have proven that even a glimpse of nature can do wonders for your mood and mental space. Schedule a walk outside into your day, you are more likely to stick to it and it will do you the world of good! You should make the most of your outdoor walk with one person from outside of your household. 

Prioritise sleep

If you find it difficult to fall asleep, trackback to step 1: moving more. Your body needs to recover and good quality sleep is often underestimated. Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night, however, 30% of adults get less than 6 hours. Inadequate sleep can lead to increased appetite and sugar cravings and may decrease your metabolism. Good sleep hygiene is a must, too. That means trying to stick to a bedtime routine and creating a peaceful, restful environment to sleep in.

Do all these things, get a good 6-8 hours, and dealing with the stresses of the following day won’t feel like such a nightmare.

 

Tweak your training

We all know that our mood lifts along with those dumbbells – and science agrees. As you exercise, your brain’s serotonin levels increase. Serotonin is responsible for regulating your mood, appetite and sleep – which all impact the way you feel. Your brain also releases endorphins, which are our very own natural mood boosters!

Taking a rest day? It’s still worth including some mobility and abs work. Low-impact stretching has found to reduce cortisol levels. Try 10 minutes of cat cows, thoracic rotations and hip circles.

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