88 days ago
At a time when large parts of the population are struggling with the day to day balance of life during a global pandemic, prioritising physical wellness has become a lifeline for some, an aspiration for others, and a goal that feels unachievable for many.
It can be helpful to breakdown the meaning of physical wellness: the ability to maintain a quality of life that allows you to get the most out of your daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. Physical wellness recognizes that our daily habits and behaviours have an impact on our overall health, wellbeing, and quality of life.
Roughly translated – that doesn’t mean you need to be running a treadmill marathon every week, or be High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) crazy to be physically well – it’s about finding a level of activity that works for you, and allows you to be at your best.
Five key aspects of physical wellness include: Sleep, eating well, physical activity, hygiene (and medical check ups when you need them) and relaxation.
Here we’ll focus on each aspect and how you can best equip yourself.
National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. We’re all different when it comes to how much sleep we feel we need, or how much we can actually get, but if you’d like a practical indicator of when you should be going to bed, use Heathline’s sleep calculator to work out your best bet of getting those all-important sleep cycles in.
Our bodies crave a regular routine when it comes to sleep, so even if you find yourself not needing as many hours as recommended, it’s wise to try and keep to a regular pattern. Regular disruption of your sleep cycle can lead to
With our to-do lists packed to the hilt, and often with other mouths to feed, we can easily neglect ourselves when it comes to mealtimes. For a quick and easy lunch, our Culinary Ambassador David Mulcahy recommends that you can’t go wrong with that store cupboard staple – pasta.
“In 10 minutes you can transform a handful of penne or spaghetti with a selection of favourite additions to keep you or your whole household team focused for the afternoon.”
Here are six of David’s top quick and easy pasta lunches for you to try, all of which can be perfected in ten minutes, perfect for when that next task beckons!
Much like sleep, your body likes consistency when it comes to what and when you eat. Regularly eating healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grains will give you the nutrients you need to support your physical and mental wellbeing.
And don’t forget, drinking plenty of water goes hand in hand with healthy eating too. That’s why we’re also giving one lucky Make Yourself at Home reader the chance to win a Joseph Joseph Dot hydration tracking water bottle, so you can look stylish whilst you’re at it. Just share this article with a colleague to enter the draw!
Whether it’s a lockdown walk, a local bike ride, or an online class, any level of physical activity is a positive move. While the long-term benefits of exercise are indisputable, it’s no wonder many of us struggle to make it part of our day to day lives at the moment.
Starting simple and sticking to an activity you like and can enjoy can spark your enthusiasm for an exercise routine that may lead to new hobbies, friends and even a whole new outlook.
We’ve got some ideas to get you started:
Free Community Online Academy (COA) classes for kids and adults – accessible through Sodexo Discounts.
Yoga/ adaptive yoga – a great way to build strength and flexibility, yoga can be suitable for all abilities, depending on the type and level you get involved in – try this Vinyassa flow routine, or visit Adaptive Gallery for those with a disability.
Both the NHS and Irish Heart offer Couch to 5k plans if you’d like to take up running, and start with as little as a brisk 5 minute walk three times a week.
Try this equipment free strength and flex plan, paced for beginners and with easy to follow instructions to make sure you perform each exercise correctly.
Hygiene (and medical appointments)
Hygiene is defined as any action taken to maintain health and prevent disease. This has been at the forefront of our minds during the Covid-19 pandemic, and you should continue to ensure you follow practices to protect yourself and others at this time.
Hygiene also includes seeking out preventative medical care such as getting physical exams, going to the dentist and seeing an eye doctor if you have vision issues. Whilst we all seek to not put undue pressure on the NHS at this time, it’s still important to contact your primary medical centre or GP if you have a valid reason.
You might think of relaxation as a mental wellness exercise, rather than one that relates to physical wellness, but it straddles the two equally - if tension builds up in muscles, it can cause headaches, back pain, adrenal fatigue or a host of other very physical symptoms.
While ambition is admirable, scheduling time to simply relax and enjoy yourself is important to your overall health. This short, 7 minute course on exploring relaxation and different ways to relax is available through our Wellbeing playlist on Ingenium.
For help with physical (and mental) wellbeing during lockdown, you can also check out the lockdown wellbeing support page on Your_Sodexo.
Stay well, stay safe, and let’s get through this, together.
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