Health At Home: Staying Fit And Healthy During Coronavirus
As we all adjust to coping with Coronavirus and a different way of life, you may be wondering how you can keep up healthy levels of exercise without your access to your usual workout, the gym equipment, pool or running track.
Nottinghamshire based Dietitian and football fitness expert Matt Lawson, who has a Masters degree and is a UEFA B Licenced Football Coach, shares some ways to exercise and live well at home to keep fit, healthy and motivated.
Exercise at home
When you are confined to a smaller space it is easy to become sedentary and you will be doing fewer steps moving from the sitting room to the kitchen than you do on your normal commute. So, if you are looking to keep your activity levels up and to exercise to lose weight, don’t dismiss everyday things around your house and garden.
Football – why not practice ball mastery and technique in the back garden? We have all seen the toilet roll videos going viral, but why not improve your skills and get some fresh air during lockdown?
Household jobs – these can burn off a surprisingly high number of calories. Try monitoring this through your phone or tracker and see for yourself that an hour of hoovering and mopping the floor never did you so much good!
Gardening – the time of year is coming when its back to mowing lawns, removing moss from the driveway or digging over the boarders. You might not have taken much interest in gardening before but this is the perfect time to consider growing your own nutrient-rich herbs and vegetables. To get you started, what about planting some mint and basil leaves to pep up a healthy pasta dish or salad?
If you were trying to build strength and stamina in your legs, don’t forget that government advice allows for people walking or running in the fresh air each day, as long as you stay a safe distance from other people. For professional footballers now, who are used to around 3 hard runs per week as well as technical training, now could be the time to up your training to 5 or 6 and build your stamina with intervals, fartleks and hill training.
Mindfulness – our brains need working. Engaging the mind in a good book or similar can help relax us while working our brains. Remembering to stay calm and live in the present is good for our mental health.
We still need to refuel if you expect your body to rejuvenate, repair tissues and be ready for the next day, keep a structure based around three meals a day.
Optimal sleep is essential, during sleep your body produces growth hormones which are largely responsible for tissue repair. What you eat and drink before bed can affect this, so avoid late night consumption of high sugar foods.
Vitamins and minerals are vital to boost our immune system and they are best gained through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A top tip is to add at least one extra veggie item to each meal, like my recent chicken curry with extra mushrooms, spinach and celery.
Enjoy cooking – this is a great time to try new things, give something a go! Perhaps batch cooking some healthy lunches is a good start.
Healthy body fat levels improve immune function, particularly HDL fats from oily fish and dark green veggies which promote good immune responses, so keep monitoring your bodyfat levels to keep an eye on any changes.
You can follow Matt on all social platforms @MattLawsonSports
Image: PA Images