Coming out of lockdown and looking after you physical & mental health
If you are anxious about life after lockdown you are not alone. Since restriction are lifting it is normal to experience feeling nervousness whilst adjusting to the new norm. Lockdown created a tricky environment for most families, many children and young people have likely experienced loneliness and in particular, been affected by the lack of physical contact with friends, family and peers. As well as the boredom and frustration associated with a loss of all the activities they have been used to taking part in (sports clubs etc). At ProYouth Nutrition we aim to turn a negative lockdown experiences into learnings, by empowering a movement to get families and children motivated to get back on track.
At times like this it is vital we prioritise our physical and mental wellbeing. Our nutrition and Physical activity plays a massive role in our wellbeing and mental state. As we come out of lockdown, ProYouth Nutrition encourages parents to continue to be healthy role models and get kids back to grassroots clubs and active again. Additionally, for many of us lockdown has more than likely impacted our physical activity and diet quality negatively. There are several nutrients that have been linked to supporting wellbeing and mental state and could be useful to incorporate them into our lifestyle moving forward.
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that is present in the ProYouth performance nutrition bars, it contributes to energy yielding metabolism and reduction of tiredness and fatigue. This is an ideal nutrient for those of us returning to our busy schedules and extra-curricular activities.
The hectic lifestyle we were once used to, may now seem stressful and overwhelming since being isolated indoors for a long period of time. Fortunately, Vitamin B12 is correlated to improving symptoms of anxiety and depression due to its neurological and psychological functions. Several studies have found low vitamin B12 status amongst patients with mood related disorders, indicating that Vitamin B12 is impactful for our mental health.
Vitamin B12 is predominantly found in animal food sources such as red meat, chicken, liver, fish/shellfish, eggs, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Vegan and vegetarian food containing vitamin B 12 include nutritional yeast, fortified plant-based milks and cereals, tempeh and seaweed. However, those following a vegan and vegetarian are at greater risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, it can be useful to check food labels for foods fortified with B12 or consider supplementing.
Vitamin D is often known as the sunshine vitamin it is responsible for the maintenance of bones, cognitive function and normal functioning immune system. We can obtain Vitamin D from exposure to sufficient sunlight as body coverts it into useful vitamin.
Lockdown has left a lot of us lacking in exposure to sunshine. Now that lockdown is lifting, and we are approaching the summer months, it is the perfect opportunity uptake an outdoor activity such cycling or tennis whilst topping up our vitamin D levels.
Not only is Vitamin D essential for our physical wellbeing, it also has a major impact on our mental health. As research suggests vitamin D insufficiency may reflect higher levels of anxiety and depression. This is not surprising as vitamin D is known for it’s mood boosting benefits because it assists in generating serotonin (the feel-good hormone). Light therapy and exercise are frequently used methods for treating mood disorders, giving us even more reason to get active outdoors whilst enjoying the sun. Covid-19 has taught us an important lesson of taking care of our health and building our immune system. Vitamin D is essential for the health and functioning of our immune system and research has shown deficiency can cause compromised immunity. Sunlight is the most natural source of vitamin D, yet we can still attain vitamin D through dietary sources. Foods rich in vitamin D include fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, cheese, fortified breakfast cereals and milk.