It goes without saying for most of us the new normal looks changeable and a little different to pre 2020. Now is the time to move towards health and wellness, including a mix of physical exercise, nutrition and most importantly emotional health. Here are some simple tips to help you find your way.
- Increase your fruit and vegetables where possible. Our bodies need all the vitamins and minerals they can get, so aim to include vegetables and fruits into every meal. Consider frozen, canned, preserved and powdered options when you don't have your usual access to fresh sources. PURE Beet Endurance (one bag is equivalent to 1.6kg fresh beetroot juice) and PURE Blackcurrant Recovery (one bag is equivalent to 1kg of fresh blackcurrants) are convenient options to pack a serious nutrient punch into your diet. Both products are produced by freeze-drying, a process that concentrates nutrients without compromising the natural nutritional quality.
- Vitamin D is essential for its role in bone health and helps support your immune system. While small amounts can be found in oily fish, liver, eggs and added into food products, we need sun contact with skin to meet our daily requirements. Autumn and winter tend to be safer times to achieve this so it's important to lock in 15-20 minutes outside to expose your skin to the rays. Tip: On cooler days rug up while still exposing parts of your body so you don't get cold.
- Sleep. It's not new advice but it's actually really important at a time like now. Aim for a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per night. This will provide extra support to your immune system and aid muscle repair and recovery (for those sustaining higher training loads). Bonus points for going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, your body likes to have a rhythm. Having trouble getting out of bed? Open the curtains and let the light in to naturally help you wake up.
- Schedule exercise into your daily routine. Whether you're charging ahead with indoor training or simply in survival mode daily exercise is important for both mind and body. First, assess where your headspace is at and exercise accordingly. Feeling overwhelmed? Don't dive headfirst into a training programme and stick to light exercise such as walking around the block to get some fresh air. Making this time a high-load training block? Make nutrition, recovery and hydration a high priority to keep healthy (and consider additional immune support)
- Rug up and warm up. Most of us find ourselves in chilly and changeable weather this time of year so have extra layers to warm up/down in. Ensure you are warmly dressed and then take the time (minimum of 10-15 mins) to slowly ease into your workout and also warm down at the finish. This will help avoid injury and limit unneeded stress on the body.
- Don't forget hydration. Meeting your fluid needs is important for general health as well as while exercising. Know your daily fluid requirements so you start your training session on the front foot and for sessions over the 1-hour mark incorporate hydration into your session. PURE Electrolyte Hydration is ideal to provide replacement of carbohydrates, electrolytes lost in sweat and prevent dehydration during sustained exercise. PURE Electrolyte Capsules is a no-carbohydrate option for lighter training or for those with electrolyte deficiencies.
- Rest and Recover. Remember training adds additional stress to the body and specifically our immune system, so recovery should be a top priority if you are continuing to train frequently. Maximise the 30-minute window at the completion of your workout to get carbohydrates and protein on board to support the recovery phase. Don't feel like training hard? Take this time to relax, reset and to focus on the things that really matter to you right now.
- Additional Immune Support. We are proud to have developed and produce a range of health and wellness support supplements using premium ingredients from New Zealand and around the world. Visit www.avianthealth.com to view our range.
Marewa Sutherland is a qualified Sports & Exercise Nutritionist (BAppSc, University of Otago) and co-founder of PURE Sports Nutrition.