Nuffield Health top 10 tips for staying fit and healthy at home
Nuffield Health are experts at helping people get well, stay well and live well, achieving the level of health and fitness that they aspire to. Here are their 10 top tips for staying healthy at home...
1) Focus on sleep - it is very important to main a regular sleep routine as the quality and quantity of you sleep impacts your mental resilience and immune function. Take a look at Nuffield Health’s sleep articles to inspire and motivate you to sleep well.
2) Maintain postural health and care for your back. Your home desk may not be set up appropriately to protect your back, neck and shoulders. You may also move less often and become more sedentary. In short, you may experience discomfort and stiffness. If you are using a home-based desk that you are not familiar with or a laptop read The Science of Slouching.
3) Try out new habits such as drinking more water. You could start the day with a cup of hot water and a squeeze of lemon. You may want to track your intake and use your urine colour as a trusty hydration indicator. Is your urine clear and pale? If your urine is dark, you are not drinking enough water. Sparkling water is also a great choice if you enjoy the bubbles! Opt for sparkling water rather than high sugar or sweetened options. Check out the NHS Urine chart: Hydration and Urine Chart.
4) Take regular breaks - it's good to have a routine when you're working from home, but work shouldn't become monotonous and you shouldn't stay glued to your screen all day. It's important to take regular screen breaks and get up from your desk and move around. Be strict on yourself and consider going outdoors.
5) Stay connected - keep in touch and interact with others: You should especially reach out to those who make you feel positive and energised. Use video calls if you’re self-isolating – a smile can be much more reassuring than just a voice. Network and look after each other. Knowing you have each other’s backs can be a huge comfort.
6) Take steps to experience fresh air and sunlight regularly. Vitamin D is created when your skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically UVB radiation. It is important for calcium absorption and bone health but deficiency impacts many other health risks. Between April and September, exposing your skin to direct sunlight for 10 minutes once or twice per day is recommended (Royal Osteoporosis Society).
7) Get your blood flowing with this express session of cardiovascular exercise. With a no-breaks policy, this 30 minute booster will have your pulse racing performing a wide range of equipment-free exercises including high knee runs, push ups, jumping squats and lunges.
8) Breathe in, breathe out - performing deep breathing exercises with a focus on your heart or breath can help to 'reset' your mind so that we can become better able to focus on the task in hand. Perform the six-breath test: Sit quietly and breathe at a rate of around five seconds in, five seconds out for six breaths, focusing on your heart or feeling of breathing. This can help bring the function of the brain in sync with the heart and body. Doing this prior to new tasks, demanding situations and at times when you feel more tense and anxious can be a key step in helping optimise emotional experience and mental focus.
9) Get dressed - washing and getting dressed will not only improve your state of mind, it will psychologically prepare you to start work. Some people find that dressing formally is helpful, and useful if they need to dial into a video call.
10) Parents - check out these home exercises for kids - These simple exercises are a great way to improve kids’ cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility, as well as boost their energy levels. If they do this workout up to four times a week, the exercises will become easier and they'll feel fitter – so get your kids to give it a try.
For more information download the Nuffield ‘My Wellbeing' app. This app gives you home exercise advice, exercise tutorials and full workout plans.