Keeping a Positive Mindset with Exercise and Nutrition
Lockdown is having a negative effect on the mental health of people across the world. We haven’t put enough time between us and this pandemic for studies to have been carried out into the effects of staying indoors and deteriorating mental health - although several are in the pipeline and the correlation is obvious.
It’s been a tricky time for the whole world and being trapped inside a bubble is no fun. Dietary habits will normally slip into something a little less than healthy and it’s easy to get down on yourself about it.
Firstly, we’re living through a global pandemic so give yourself a bit of a break! Secondly, and as long as you have your trusty Booseblend, there are ways we can get through this together.
Depending on where in the world you are, isolation is going to look a little bit different. Some exercise might be allowed outdoors, some might not be. Just because you’re allowed to be outside for a little while doesn’t mean you have to be - not everyone is a keen runner or cyclist.
The thought of pounding the pavement might send cold shivers down your spine, knees and ankles. If that’s you, there are plenty of ways you can burn some calories from your own home.
Exercise is really important for good mental health, which is really important for surviving a lockdown. It can help to stimulate mood improving chemicals in your brain as well as keeping parts of your noggin that are responsible for memory and learning active.
People who are inactive are up to two times more likely to have depressive symptoms than active people. During a lockdown, that is going to hit home.
This can also be looked at as an opportunity. Isolation and lockdown are tough processes to get through, but this is a unique time in the world. There’ll probably never be another one like it - where you have nothing to do for days on end.
Why not use that constructively? Use it to try new things. Go on YouTube and type in yoga for beginners, have a go at calisthenics. Bake some bread. Order a smoothie maker and whizz up a few green smoothies.
Treat yourself, yeah, and stay off Instagram and stop comparing yourself to the photoshopped, posing girls and boys. These people know how to stand so their bad bits become their good bits and leave you struggling with the mental gymnastics on how they managed to do it all while partying and living their best life.
Give yourself some leeway and be good to yourself.
Part of the way that you can be good to yourself is through exercise. Getting a sweat on releases these chemicals called endorphins and serotonin, which are released as part of the exercise process. Burning some calories can help to reduce stress levels as well as improve sleep. How’s that for a double whammy?
As well as the chemical, exercise can improve the physical as well. It turns out that brain training is more than playing a few rounds of sudoku and learning a new word every day, you can do it with movement!
Exercise pumps blood to the brain, which can help with clarity of thought, it makes the hippocampus bigger (the part of the brain that controls memory) and it can speed up the nerve connections between nerve cells in the brain, which help to protect it.
It might be daunting for those who haven’t historically enjoyed working out, but you can add little things to your daily routine that help get the heart rate up and help to release these pleasure and happy chemicals. It sounds really cheesy but it really can help beat the lockdown blues.
World Athletics has got some really good tips on how to exercise at home, and this could be especially useful for people who don’t normally work out.
Things like doing a minute-long plank, or filling your suitcase up with heavy stuff and using that to do squats with is super easy - while skipping is a really good cardio-blast that hardly requires any equipment!
Nutrition is the most important part of being healthy and that goes hand-in-hand (socially distanced, of course) with exercise. This is going to be a real struggle during lockdown, but there are ways you can work around it.
One easy way to stay on top of healthy eating is through smoothies. You can make these so they taste delicious but have plenty of hidden nutrients to keep you stocked up on the good stuff throughout the day.
You may be struggling to get enough greens in your diet, especially fruits. You could have done a big, isolation shop but now need to get rid of the stuff before it goes off and you don’t want to waste anything. Throw it in the Booseblend and whiz it up!
That’s a great way to make sure your nutrition is still in check. Try to find room for a nice leafy green within your smoothie mix. They are useful for a whole bunch of things, but among them is the power to retain fibre and thus help with digestion and prevent a spike in blood sugar.
Trust me, the last thing your lockdown self needs is a sugar high followed by a sugar crash and all the associated feelings you get with that.
This is especially true of all you essential workers out there: the healthcare workers, the construction workers, the supermarket workers. If you’re busy dealing with lines around the block, an influx of new patients or a horrible deadline then it’s no good dealing with a sugar crash.
A green power smoothie is the way to go in this situation. The spinach in here will make you feel like Popeye and comes loaded with vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron and manganese.
You can find some sweetness among all the healthy leaves with chia seeds and honey while the almond butter gives it a rich, nutty flavour.
All you need is a cup of almond milk, ½ cup of spinach, one banana, two teaspoons of almond butter, one teaspoon of chia seeds and one teaspoon of honey.
Whizz them all up and you’ve got something healthy and nutritious that has enough hint of sweetness about it to feel like you’re having a little lockdown treat - because we are living through a global pandemic, after all.
With 339 calories, 13g of protein, 32g of carbs, 15g of fat and 11g of fibre this isn’t something that’ll cause you to gain weight. In fact, the nutritional profile is excellent and it’ll help with digestion too!
Don’t think that you have to stop with just smoothies though. You can use the Booseblend for so much more than that - and it can be healthy as well.
Show me someone who doesn’t like guacamole or hummus and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t had the right guacamole or hummus. Luckily, you can make both in our perfect little on-the-go smoothie maker.
For the guacamole, all you need is one avocado, half a red onion, two tablespoons of coriander, a squizz of lime and some salt and pepper to taste. That’s stuff you can just find at home, and if you have to brave the lines for the shops it won’t take you long before you’ve got everything you need and you can get back to the safety and sanity of home.
Throw them into the Booseblend pro at the same time at voila! There you go. Something delicious to snack with while your working TV or working or just hanging out on the coach.
Avo is another great food to have during lockdown because it contains a lot of healthy fats and it can help you stay fuller for longer, which’ll be great for beating cravings.
If you’re feeling like something a little sweeter, there are plenty of ways you can help stay positive with good nutrition. You just have to be a little bit creative! Dates are a great way to start (the socially distant, fruit kind), but be careful with these because they’re packed full of calories.
Try to use natural sources of sweetness, like sugar found in fruit and maple syrup. The refined, white sugar has all the bad things and none of the good, so try to avoid that if you can.
Feeling good, exercise and eating right come hand in hand. But during a lockdown things get a little weird. Just remember not to beat yourself up too much, we’re living in crazy times and that means you can treat yourself.
But try to stay a little bit stable with your diet and exercise. Get a house-based sweat on, bust out a few planks and try some skipping.
Smoothies are your friend, and the Booseblend is the way to go for a quick, healthy easy meal. They can be sweat, they can be green and fresh, and if you follow what’s written in here they’ll always be good for you and incredibly easy to make.