How to achieve a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle in lockdown

Hello, my name is Charlotte McCrea and I am a Psychology student at Liverpool Hope University. I am currently a first year, which unfortunately has been cut short due to the Coronavirus outbreak, as have many other students across the country. However, the staff have been incredibly supportive through the difficult times like this, and I am more than grateful to all of them.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well during these challenging times, but we will get there eventually, no matter how long it takes us. Please stay happy and positive, things will get better.

On a productive note, I understand that it’s hard to be successful and look after yourself at times like this, but that is what lockdowns for. So, I have decided to give you my five top tips on how to achieve a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle throughout lockdown.

1) BALANCED DIET
– Through lockdown you need to make sure for the majority of the time you are still eating all the right foods.
– In my opinion, and due to lots of other nutritional sources, it is recommended to have around 1/3 of your daily intake consist of carbohydrates, 1/3 fruit and veg, and the last
1/3 proteins and fats.
– Carbohydrates provide you with energy, which is needed to get you through the day. If you have lots of energy, you are going to feel happier and more positive
during lockdown.
– Fruit and vegetables provide you with vitamins and minerals, which is especially important through a virus outbreak. The vitamins and minerals will improve your immune system, allowing you to fight viruses more efficiently, and become less likely to develop symptoms.
– Proteins are essential for growth and repair. If you are still growing, protein is what is helping you grow. Also, if you are exercising throughout lockdown, your body needs the protein to repair your muscles, helping you to become a stronger person. Fats contribute to body energy and supporting cell growth.

2) WATER
– Water has so many amazing benefits. It helps digest your food better, and also flushes out toxins from your kidneys. Being hydrated also decreases fatigue, as it carries oxygen to your cells, and will help you feel fuller, initiating weight loss. It also helps you stay focused and concentrated.

3) EXERCISE
– The Prime Minister has guided us to enjoy exercise outside once a day. I recommend you do this every day as fresh air will provide you with a feeling of normality, it’ll cleanse lungs and also improves your immune system.
– If you don’t enjoy exercising outside, that’s okay because exercising inside is equally as good for you. Exercising helps you release endorphins, which will increase your happiness and improve mental health. Along with this, it reduces your risk of heart diseases and helps manage blood sugar and insulin levels.
– If you are struggling to motivate yourself with exercise, try doing YouTube workouts online or message the Liverpool Hope running club Instagram page @lhurunningclub and they will do their best to create a workout for you.

4) SET ROUTINES
– Setting routines is super beneficial when it comes to being motivated and productive. Spending each of your weekdays in a structured style will make you more efficient and productive.
– Personally, I have a routine of the hours of 9-5pm, and it helps so much as it feels like I’m just going about my day as normal. Make sure it consists of tasks you want to complete throughout the day, fun things you enjoy, rests and food.
– For example, here is mine.
routine

5) TREAT YOURSELF
– I think having a treat every now and then is probably the best tip on here! ALWAYS give time to yourself to eat that bar of chocolate or order that top you wanted online (don’t spend all your money during lockdown though!) as this is what’s keeping you going! Many of you have holidays booked soon, or in the near future which are sadly at risk (mine also) so keep giving yourself regular treats to keep you happy, as it will go much faster and be a happier experience.

Life may appear to be challenging at the minute and very restrictive, however, with a positive mindset (and this gorgeous weather we have been having) it will get better soon. Please stay active and happy, everyone is here for each other and learning new things every day.

Stay Safe!

Charlotte x

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