With most school children heading back to school next month and some parents heading back to the office, it feels a good time to share some easy tips to incorporate for your family's health and wellbeing.
Get Salmon on your weekly meal plan.
- By eating one portion of Salmon a week you and your family will be consuming enough DHA and EPA to look after your brain, heart and vision.* DHA is needed for normal brain function and focus and concentration are a definition of this. If oily fish is something you and your family wouldn't consider or if you want a little extra reassurance, then it might be worth considering a supplement such as Efamol DHA drops, Efamol Brain Formula or Efamax Ultra Strength.
Get your 5 a day plus if possible.
- Follow healthy eating guidance and make sure you eat at least 5 portions of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables a day, healthy fats from nuts, plus a good portion of protein. This should give optimal levels of the nutrients that help keep your immune system healthy, including Vitamins A and C, selenium and zinc. Try batch cooking soup and eating it throughout the week as a healthy way to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet.
Consider a Vitamin D supplement.
- Most of the Vitamin D we need comes from sunlight, our bodies can then convert this sunlight into Vitamin D. In the UK the sun is only strong enough to do this from late March to the end of September but even then suncream blocks the UVA and UVB light that the body needs to make Vitamin D. Advice from Public Health England is that adults and children over the age of one should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D, particularly during autumn and winter as it is hard to get enough Vitamin D from your diet alone. Food Sources or Vitamin D are: Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver and egg yolks. Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
Lock down, for many, was a chance to more easily incorporate outdoor exercise into their daily routine. With no commutes or school runs, on top of the lighter mornings and evenings exercise became less of a chore and something to look forward to. Around 207,000 people* shared their running stats on social media through exercise apps in March, – that’s more than January and February combined. Some of these runners will be completely new to the habit, others may have rediscovered their love of it after many years.
So how do we keep these new routines going when the days start to get shorter coming into Autumn and for many of us life is starting to go back to old routines.
- Keep exercise front of mind and a priority in your day, don't let it be the thing that gets dropped off the 'todo' list.
- Have a regular daily time for your exercise and stick with it, whether it is first thing in the morning, lunchtime or straight after work - making a new habit stick is all about routine.
- Get buy in from your family so they can support/ encourage you.
- Set yourself a weekly goal and reward yourself when you meet/exceed it.
- Treat exercise as your medicine to look after your mental wellbeing.
According to the NHS one in 3 of us suffers from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed. Good sleep helps us to think clearly, remember information, and make decisions. When we don’t get enough quality sleep, it impairs our “executive function”—a set of abilities we need to do well in school, at work, and in all realms of daily life.
According to Sleepfoundation.org when you lose sleep, it’s harder to focus and pay attention. This affects school performance and job productivity.
Lack of sleep slows your reaction time, making for dangerous driving and other safety related risks at work and at home.
Sleep feeds creativity, synthesizes new ideas, and leads you to “ah ha” moments. Research shows that we need good sleep to feed our high-level, innovative thinking and problem solving abilities.
As you sleep, memories are reactivated, connections between brain cells are strengthened, and information is transferred from short to long-term. Without enough quality sleep, we can become more forgetful. Studies suggest that sleeping shortly after we learn new information helps us retain and recall that information later.
So how can you make sure you get your 8 hours a night - Improving your bedtime ritual may help….
- Remove screen time at least an hour before sleep.
- Take a relaxing bath scented with Lavender oil.
- Make sure your bedroom is a relaxing sanctuary with a good quality mattress and pillows.
- Try a relaxing yoga sequence before bed, there are lots to try online and many are only 10 minutes long. We love yoga with Adrienne's YouTube channel.
- Try mindfulness - the aim of mindfulness is to take charge of your busy mind and move it from worrying into a more relaxed state. A calmer state of mind should help you fall asleep easier. We love the Calm app for guided mindfulness sessions.
- Try to go to bed and wake up and the same time each day, this will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you're likely to feel tired and sleepy.
- Get some natural light in the morning by having your morning coffee outside, taking a short walk. This will programme your natural circadian rhythm a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours.
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) contributes for normal brain function and vision the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250mg of DHA. EPA and DHA contribute to the normal function of the heart, the beneficial effect is with a daily intake of 250mg of DHA and EPA.