Taking care of yourself this winter has never been more important. As the second lockdown comes to an end, take some more time to stay fit and healthy, and you’ll feel so much more energised.
Keeping Your Energy Levels Up After Lockdown
Feed yourself the right fuel
Being stuck at home means it can be too easy to slip into bad habits. Many of us are most likely eating a bit more and moving a bit less as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, so it’s even more important that what you are putting in your body has nutritional value. Eating well and getting the right nutrients and vitamins will help you to stay energised and healthy, particularly while working from home.
Vitamins are important for our bodies to function normally and the main source is from the food you eat. Ensuring you eat a diet based on real food, not processed, with plenty of fruit & vegetables will give you a great foundation, but if you want to thrive, not just survive, this winter then consider taking dietary supplements of these key vitamins.
Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones, but also crucial for your immune system health. In fact, a recent study suggests an association between people with higher levels of vitamin D and a reduced risk of severity from COVID-19 infection. Unlike other vitamins, the main source of vitamin D is not our diet, but the effect of sunlight on our skin, which is usually in short supply during the UK winter months! For this reason, Public Health England recommends all adults take Vitamin D supplementation during the winter and this year is even distributing free supplies to the elderly and vulnerable.
Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant that fights diseases by strengthening the body’s defenses against viruses and other toxins, it also helps all our cells produce energy, improves the absorption of iron, and is crucial for collagen formation – the main structural protein of skin, bone & tendons. A good source of vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, kiwis, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes, red pepper, and even potatoes – providing you leave the skin on!! Vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, and sprouts are also rich in vitamin C as well as many other important nutrients of course, such as iron, vitamin A and vitamin K. Because vitamin C is water-soluble, it’s best to have a regular intake every 4-6 hours – not always easy to do if you’re relying on fruit and vegetables, but a benefit of considering vitamin C supplementation
Try adding these other energy-rich foods to your regular shopping list:
Oily fish, such as salmon & tuna – full of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 and healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
Eggs – a great source of protein
Oats – rich in fibre, B vitamins, iron & manganese
Nuts and seeds – combine fibre, healthy fats, protein, iron, and vitamin E
Lentils – packed with protein, folate, and zinc
And don’t forget some dark chocolate – the higher cocoa percentage raises anti-oxidant levels & blood flow
Exercise is key
As well as putting the right foods in your body, make sure that you are moving your body as much as you can. Making the most of your available outdoor time, or using any outdoor space that you have at home can really enhance your energy levels as well as mood, blood flow, metabolism, and even your immune system. Just what you need to keep the bugs at bay!
Stay warm as we enter winter
The second lockdown arrived just as the colder weather was beginning to hit in the UK. The worries and anxieties caused by life under COVID-19 restrictions are certainly exacerbated by the stresses that winter can bring. Not only do we tend to feel more blue in the winter due to decreased temperatures and hours of sunlight, but life can also often be slightly more expensive. Staying at home more means higher energy bills – difficult for some to afford. But a crucial way to keep your energy levels up is staying warm. Living in a cold house has been linked with high blood pressure, worsening asthma, and deteriorating mental health. Don’t stress about the cost of it: the energy price cap has you sorted. You’ll never have to overpay for your energy. Moreover, if the environment is of major concern to you, switch to a green energy supplier like Bulb. Staying warm is paramount to staying healthy and energised.
Take some time for yourself
Personal space & downtime is so important. It allows our batteries to recharge & energy levels to recover. Achieving this is not always easy, especially if you are stuck at home with others – either your family who you love or flatmates who you don’t know so well. Prioritising making the time to check in with yourself regularly to see how you are feeling. A build-up of stress and anxiety can cause us to feel drained and can lead to more serious feelings of fatigue. Meditation and mindfulness are great ways to keep your mental health in check and stay mentally energised.