LOCKDOWN seems to have affected everybody’s health and fitness.
Exercise, like working and eating, are all part of our daily routines.
However when our routine is broken it has a domino effect, we stop our normal exercise and inevitably that has a massive impact, not just physically but also mentally.
Most of us rely on exercise as a stress relief, we get hooked on those endorphins being released. But exercise and our nutrition go hand in hand – if exercise stops or is affected our eating tends to slip and we develop bad habits.
Confident trainers will adapt new routines, however the novices will probably struggle to adapt and motivate themselves.
Speaking with clients during lockdown, everyone seems to be struggling with nutrition.
You can regain accountability by recording your food and drink on apps like my fitness pal and plan your meals ahead.
This week I wanted to focus on lockdown nutrition advice and my next column will focus more about adapting exercise.
What we eat doesn’t just affect the way we look; it massively affects the way we feel mentally. Improving what you eat is one way you can help improve your mood and how you feel.
It isn’t just about losing weight its about nourishing the body giving it the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs to keep you healthy and feeling well.
Here are my top five food tips to boost your mood:
1. Iron: Tiredness low mood and lethargy can be linked to anaemia, a common condition caused by low blood iron levels. Even if your levels are slightly low you can still feel the negative effects.
So it’s important to eat foods rich in iron such as meat, fish, poultry, dark green leafy vegetables and beans.
To ensure you feel the boost! Get lots of vitamin B12 in your diet from rich sources like meat, eggs and fortified cereal.
2. Omega 3: Research shows the positive effects of omega 3 and mental health. A deficiency is well linked to contribute to depression.
The best source is oily fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel. Seed oils also provide a good amount. Supplementing omega 3 in a capsule has been shown in research to reduce symptoms of depression.
3. Folic acid: This also has an effect on your mood, a deficiency is also linked to depression. Folic acid is found in many foods like green leafy vegetables, potatoes, fortified bread and cereals.
4. Vitamin B1: Serotonin is the hormone that makes us feel good, low amounts in the body will leave you feeling depressed. We can increase production by eating B vitamin Thiamin and amino acid Tryptophan.
Great sources of Thiamin are turkey, fish, milk, eggs, bananas and beans. Protein rich foods like poultry, oily fish, pulses and seeds are all rich in Tryptophan. By eating carbohydrates such as brown bread or rice alongside these foods will also improve the rate of Serotonin production
5. Limit alcohol: Lots of us have changed our drinking habits during lockdown. This in most cases is an attempt to lift our mood.
Cut down on alcohol
However this is counterproductive as alcohol is a depressant not to mention high in empty calories. It will also dehydrate you leaving you with hangover blues and inevitable weight gain. So to keep your mood high and waist line down limit alcohol intake and keep drinking lots of water!
Got a question you’d like to ask Mark? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org